Robert "Bob" Curtis Westbrook Jr., 73, passed away October 21, 2012 in Cheyenne Wyoming at the Davis Hospice Center. Bob was born September 23, 1939 in Long Beach California to Robert and Elinor Coates Westbrook. He married Pat Penninger in 1962. They had two sons, Travis in 1967 and Jason in 1968. They later divorced. He married Vernita Knapp in 1976. They divorced in 1989. Bob grew up in southern California during the heyday of the hot rod era, and was a member of the San Diego Roadster Club. While enjoying friendships with many legendary race car and Bonneville Speedway individuals, he set numerous speed records starting in 1966 in his 1927 Ford Roadster and also set records while riding BSA motorcycles. Bob established his own musical instrument repair business, "The Pickin' Post" which was located above the Cottrell's men's store at Broadway and Pearl in Boulder. Seeking a quieter and more rural setting, Bob and Vernita moved their business to Winfield, Kansas - home of the national flat-picking championships and bluegrass festival. While in Winfield, they met Mike Longworth, head of the customer relations department at C.F. Martin and Company. After hearing about Bob's work, Mr. Longworth personally presented Bob with his certification as an authorized C.F. Martin repairman. Bob's high level of craftsmanship earned him the praise of many musicians in the area. He was regarded as one of the top repairmen in the country by Harry Tuft of the Denver Folklore Center. Bob was trusted to work on many valuable vintage instruments owned by Charles Sawtelle, Nick Forster and Pete Wernick (all members of Hot Rize) as well as Dick Weissman and a myriad of others. In an effort to have a more accessible living situation, Bob moved to Cheyenne, Wyoming and re-established his repair business while also making a very nice home for himself. Bob enjoyed drumming for the Belly Dance groups that his longtime companion Barbara Thomas belonged to. Besides twenty seven years in the instrument repair business, Bob decided he needed a project that would allow him to return to his love of hot rods, so over a 12 year period, he built a 1927 Ford Roadster pickup from the ground up. He accomplished this all from his wheelchair which he was in since 1988! His Roadster pickup won the "People's Choice" and "Club Member's Choice" awards at Cheyenne's Annual Rod and Custom Show in May 2011. Bob had many good friends in Cheyenne and kept his old customers from the Front Range as well. He is survived by his first wife Pat of San Diego, CA and his second wife, Vernita of Boulder, CO. He is also survived by his two sons, Travis (Ruthie) of California & Jason (Lou) of Cheyenne and Jason's children Ryan, Joey, Kyle, Jessica, Justine and three grandchildren Shaydon, Evin and Gabriel. He was preceded in death by his parents and his companion of 15 years, Barbara Thomas. Cremation has taken place. A Celebration of Bob's Life will be held at the Knights of Columbus Hall in Cheyenne, Wyoming on November 11 at 4:30 PM. All his friends and customers are invited.
Published in The Boulder Daily Camera from November 4 to November 6, 2012