Robert DeSpain (1947 - 2018)

  • "Long time friends of both Robert and Laura. Will miss his..."
    - David and Dallas Allen
  • "You are in my heart, always. Thank you for being yourself,..."
    - Cornelia Houston
  • "Dear Laura, So sorry to hear about your loss, he will be..."
    - Lucy Biggs
  • "Robert, the red. farm boy, loving Man. Uncommon.....common..."
    - Craig Patterson
  • "My sweet I worked late for "Jug Cannon"..."
    - Merry Chandler`

Robert DeSpain was a sixth-generation Oregonian born in Pendleton, Oregon in 1947. In Ione, he was known as "Red" or "Bobby". He graduated from Arlington in 1965 and began at O.S.U. with dreams of becoming an electrical engineer, before embracing a love of music. He became Marching Band Assistant Director, Student Union Activities Coordinator, and Composer of full concert band pieces and woodwind quartets. His first degree was a B.S. in Music Composition and Theory. In Italian class, he met Linda and they married in 1971. Their daughter, Arwen, was born in 1972. Linda and Robert parted but maintained a close relationship throughout the years. At the U of O, Robert received a Master's in electronic music composition and held a teaching position. He worked for Worker's Trust and Organically Grown Co-op, then drove backhoe and mastered the trades of demolition and environmental clean-up. Much of Robert's life was devoted to the Oregon Country Fair, where he served as a role model for the multitudes he organized. At the Fair, he met his best friend and future wife, Laura. Everyone enjoyed their 18 years of dynamic, fun-loving, adventurous partnership.

Robert's goodness defies words. Throughout his life, his values of integrity and community brought people together. For him, each interaction was an invitation to curiosity and learning. His way of living profoundly affected many people's lives. Robert had a gravitational pull that made you feel seen, heard, important, and empowered. As his grandson says: "whenever we were down, he would bring us back up." Authentic, kind, loving, present, available, real, safe, a great listener, giver of the best hugs, preparer of the finest steak and garlic mashed potatoes known throughout the galaxy, an unhesitating helper for those in need: he was all of those things. He was a Buddhist, his religion was kindness tempered with a repertoire of cheesy one-liners. Later in life he was ordained in the church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster, and officiated weddings with a colander on his head. He loved experiencing the awe and wonders of nature. In his spare time, he studied astronomy, geology, indigenous history, world religions, evolution of humanity, genetic discovery, mysterious phenomena, koi pond maintenance, and the art of happiness. Above all, he valued family and meaningful connection. He has graduated on to become a beloved ancestor. He will be fondly remembered and deeply missed.

Robert is survived by his wife, Laura Stuart; brother, Chris DeSpain; sister, Merry Chandler; children: Arwen Maas-DeSpain, Luke Warden, April Warden, Kenin Warden, and thousands of others who he considered family. We know Robert will bless and watch over us forever. There will be a celebration of life September 22, 2018 at noon at the Oregon Country Fair MainStage. For more information, or to send condolences, email [email protected]

Arrangements entrusted to Musgrove Family Mortuary. Please access the obituary and you are invited to sign the guestbook at

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Musgrove Family Mortuary
225 S Danebo Ave
Eugene, OR 97402
(541) 686-2818
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Published in Eugene Register-Guard on Sept. 2, 2018