We lost a good friend and the first President of the Midwest 356 Club
after his sustained battle with cancer. Bob did a great job of
hiding his illness and demonstrated extreme courage over several years
with his battle.
When the Midwest 356 Club was founded in 2004, the previous 356 clubs in the area had dissolved, either for lack of commitment or just out of boredom. Bob and several of our founding members realized that there were still many 356 owners in the area but no casual way for getting together and sharing stories, parts and repair experience. I had met Bob many years ago at a PCA event and we developed a friendship that grew once we both realized we had a 356. His black coupe was very special since it was his father's. After some nasty battles with different paint shops he got the paint correct so it looked like new. This was not his first early Porsche - when he was 21 he owned a '64 C Coupe. As an active Concours person I would work with Bob at numerous events and he went on to judge at Amelia Island, Rennsport, and Pebble Beach. He was also a racing fanatic from his early teens since the Follmer family was very active in racing early Porsches – including the famous 917.
He was a Marine and we had many mutual jabbing sessions since I always teased him that the Marines were just part of the Navy which was my service. This discipline helped in leading our club and generated many of our early events. Bob was very active in the Knights of Columbus and gave his infectious enthusiasm to his church and family. His wife Deanna not only tolerated his hobbies but was a great hostess at their backyard BBQ's.
We talked regularly about his situation and he was always upbeat and willing to fight. I was always impressed with how he did not let it get him down. I once asked Bob why he was so enthusiastic about our Club. His response was: "They are a great group of gentlemen and fun to be with." Let us remember to have fun because that is what he would want us to do.