Dec. 23, 1923 - Sept. 8, 2011
Robert Lloyd Boettcher
"A Life Well Lived"
Robert "Bob" Boettcher passed away Sept. 8, 2011, after enduring a long illness. Bob managed this long illness like he lived his life, with good humor and grace. He was surrounded by his family during this difficult time.
Bob was born Dec. 23, 1923, in Spokane, to Lloyd D. and Imogene Kinder Boettcher. Bob grew up in Vancouver and from an early age loved being outdoors. Bob could often be found in the woods, camping, enjoying outdoor sports and adventures. Bob used his camping and organizational skills in the Boy Scouts, earning their highest rank of Eagle Scout.
In 1942, Bob came to Pullman, enrolling at Washington State College. He studied aeronautical engineering until he left for home to enlist in the armed services.
In World War II, Bob served in the Army Air Forces as a B-25 pilot in the European theater. After the War, Bob returned to WSC to obtain his bachelor of science degree in agricultural engineering. His brother, Bill Boettcher, followed Bob to WSC and both of them belong to the Alpha Tau Omega fraternity.
Upon returning to WSC, Bob met Virginia Dirks, his life partner and love. They were married Aug. 24, 1947. In addition to their great friendship, the relationship was graced first by the birth of their daughter, Robin Lee Boettcher Wimmer (Mel) and later by their son, Dirk Robert (Joy). As his children grew and married, Bob was delighted by his grandchildren: Erin Boettcher Svancara, (John) (of Lewiston) Luke Wimmer (serving in Afghanistan) Erik Boettcher (of Lewiston) David Wimmer (Melanie) (Eden Prairie, Minn.) Kyle Boettcher (Columbus, Ohio). In addition Bob has two great-grandchildren: Nora Wimmer and Ben Svancara. Bob began his career working for Pacific Supply Cooperative and then moved on to Northwest Nitro Ltd as a district manager. In 1966 Bob began his role at The McGregor Company as an agricultural business executive. Bob worked with Sherman McGregor, developing the company into a progressive and growing organization that serves farmers in the Washington, Idaho, Oregon and British Colombia production areas. Bob worked hard to make sure that producers had the information required to make informed decisions related to their crops. He was a diligent mentor of the younger staff of The McGregor Company and enjoyed their successes and growth as individuals. He leaves a work legacy of honesty, hard work and good relationships.
In addition to his work for The McGregor Company, Bob worked in numerous volunteer roles associated with his profession, through both regional and national trade associations. He was a director of The Pacific NW Plant Food Association and president of the Inland Empire Fertilizer Association. Bob was active in his church, he served as an elder for the Pullman Presbyterian Church.
The Pullman community benefited from Bob's service. He served on the Pullman Planning Commission, the Pullman School Board Advisory Committee and the Whitman County Civil Service Commission. Bob's other volunteer efforts were related to his interest in outdoor activities, mentoring and friendships. Bob served on the National Ski Patrol and The Boy Scouts Advance Board of Review. These volunteer efforts earned Bob recognition in "Who's Who in the West." Bob was an avid Cougar, a Gray W Letterman in swimming and a Cougar Club Booster, stadium builder and faithfully attended Cougar sporting events for 40-plus years while living in Pullman.
Although Bob worked hard, he was clear about the importance of time away from work with his family and friends. He enjoyed hobbies that involved anything mechanical: model airplanes, sports cars, fast boats and lawn mowers that would start. Life with family often involved time in the mountains, skiing, sailing, and camping at Priest or Coeur d ‘Alene lakes. These times would be sprinkled with adventure and fun. Bob's wry sense of humor often showed through in this play.
Bob leaves a legacy of a life well lived. A life balanced between hard work and passionate interest in family. Bob's memorial service will be held at the Pullman Presbyterian Church, 1630 N.E. Stadium Way, Pullman, at 10 a.m., Monday Sept. 19. A reception will follow at the Presbyterian Church. Family and friends will also gather that afternoon at the Ridge Point club house off Bishop Avenue, across from the Pullman Hospital. A family graveside service will be held at 9 a.m., at the Pullman City Cemetery off Highway 27, at the end of Fairmont Road preceding the memorial service.