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Seattle, WA 98133
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Robert J. Houbregs


1932 - 2014 | Obituary Condolences
Robert J. Houbregs Obituary
Robert J. Houbregs

Robert "Bob" Houbregs was born in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, on March 12, 1932, and passed away on Wednesday, May 28, 2014, in Olympia, Washington. He was 82 years old. He was preceded in death by his parents, Jol and Mary Houbregs, and a sister, Valerie. He is survived by his wife of 60 years, Ardis, his four sons, Robert Jr. and wife Toni, Todd, Jol, and Guy, and grandchildren Tyson, Hannah, and Alex.

Bob moved with his family from Vancouver to Seattle at a young age. He graduated from Queen Anne High School in 1949 and attended the University of Washington on a basketball scholarship where he starred in basketball and baseball. He led the Husky basketball team to three consecutive Pacific Coast Conference championships and, in 1953, led them to the only Final Four appearance in team history. That season Bob was selected a consensus All-American and the Helms Foundation NCAA Player of the Year - the only Husky ever to earn those honors. He was known as "Hooks" because of his deadly hook shot and still holds many records at the University of Washington including the top three single game scoring totals. His number 25 was the first of only two jerseys to be retired by the University.

After his senior season he was chosen third overall in the NBA draft by the Milwaukee Hawks and played five seasons before retiring because of injury. He was inducted into the Husky Hall of Fame (1979), the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame (1987), and the Canadian Basketball Hall of Fame (2000). Bob went on to a long career with Converse and served as general manager of the Seattle Supersonics from 1970 - 1973.

Bob was very proud of his accomplishments on the basketball court but most important to him were his family and friends. He took every opportunity he could to be with them. He loved to laugh and joke around and whether it was golf, poker, table tennis, or a game of Mexican Train with his grandchildren, the same competitive drive that helped him excel on the court was on display. One of Bob's favorite memories was the Bob Houbregs Basketball Camp that he ran at Fort Casey on Whidbey Island in the 1960s and 1970s. Each summer hundreds of high school basketball players came to camp to learn from the best players and coaches in the state. To this day the campers fondly recall their time at camp. The relationships Bob formed with the campers and coaches were a source of great joy for him until the end. He had friends and colleagues across the state and across the country and he stayed in touch with them on a regular basis. He was a man who gave much, asked for little, and always had time to help a friend. He will be remembered as a man of integrity and class and will be greatly missed by all who knew and loved him.

Arrangements are by Evergreen Washelli Funeral Home. There will be a private graveside service. The family asks that remembrances be made to the Shriner's Hospitals for Children or the Seattle Wounded Warrior Project.

A message of condolence or a memory can be left for the family at www.washelli.com.
Published in The Seattle Times from May 31 to June 1, 2014
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