Robert M. Blumenthal

Robert M Blumenthal

Robert M. Blumenthal, born February 7, 1931 in Evanston IL, passed away peacefully on November 8, at the age of 81, after several years of dementia. Bob was an accomplished violinist in high school before focusing on tennis, captaining his college tennis team, and winning the Ohio Conference singles title. He graduated from Oberlin in 1952 with a BA in Mathematics, married Sarah Whelpton, and began doctoral studies at Cornell. Upon receiving his PhD in 1956, Bob accepted a position with the UW Math Department, where he was active in researching, teaching and mentoring until his retirement in 1997. He discovered the world of mountaineering in 1957 through the Seattle Mountaineers Climbing Course and their summer outing to the Glacier Peak area. After years of climbing in the Cascades, Bob not only learned to ski with his two sons but eventually obtained his professional instructor certification and taught skiing for Ski Laufers at Stevens Pass, where he spent almost every winter weekend. Later outdoor activities and adventures included salmon fishing from kayaks in Puget Sound, trekking to Makalu base camp in Nepal, and hiking in Ireland. Bob's love of the mountains was matched by his commitment to service. He worked for levy campaigns in the Shoreline School District, chaired the UW Math department from 1972 to 1975, and volunteered to help senior citizens unravel the mysteries of the Medicare and Social Security systems, all while making breakfast for his kids every school day and never missing one of their swim meets or ski races. Bob was a truly lovely human being - gracious, thoughtful, patient and kind - and we are lucky to have shared his life. He is survived by his wife Sarah, sons Joel and Jabe, daughters-in-law Kathy and Julie, and two grandchildren. The family thanks Sai Vaudreu, Paul Adomah, and the staff at Rosewood Courte for all the love and care they gave Bob during his illness. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to the of Washington ( or The Mountaineers ( A memorial service date will be determined soon.

Published in The Seattle Times from Nov. 15 to Nov. 18, 2012