Robert A. Negaard

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Jacksonville, Fla. - Robert A. Negaard, 89, a chemical engineer of St. Regis Paper Co., and inventor of the wing-rigger for rowing, died Nov. 26, 2012, in Jacksonville, Fla., at his home in Fleet Landing, Fla.

Born in Stillwater, Minn., Jan. 6, 1923, Bob formed his lifelong passions; family, singing, and activities outdoors. During World War II, he earned three stars, was part of the Battle of the Bulge and worked logistics for General Patton's troops, including rebuilding Remagen Bridge as part of the 1262 Army Corp of Engineers. Bob graduated Syracuse University, College of Forestry, with a bachelor of science degree in chemical engineering. This was where he met Shirlee B. Bamforth. They were married July 30, 1949, in Vernon. Bob was fortunate to be the vice president for St. Regis Paper Co., from 1946 until retirement in 1981, as production development and technical services manager for the USA, in the Technical Services Division.

Bob was a 1993 Masters Single Sculling National Champion, 29-year U.S. Rowing Referee Emeritus, creator of the "Wing-It" single that introduced the world to the "Wing-Rigger". Thus he was inducted into the River & Rowing (England) and History of Rowing (USA) Museums. Highest honor, the "The Distinguished Service Award", was given to Bob and family for volunteered time, talent, and treasure to Jacksonville University rowing program. Later, he and his family became the namesake of JU's Negaard Rowing Center. He was also an Eagle Scout, as are his son and two grandsons. Bob was a life member Boy Scouts of America. Singing, a lifelong passion, Bob was member of early school, Barbershop Quartet "Empire Staters", and later church choirs as a bass. He was honored for founding the Westchester Chapter by the SPEBSQA.

Bob joins Shirlee, his fine artist wife of 49 years, and sister, Bonnie of Minneapolis, Minn.

He is survived by a daughter, Kristen, rowing coach and co-op youth leader in Noank, her husband, George, and son, Brad J. Negaard, president of GBN Construction, Inc. of Jacksonville, Fla., his wife, Annette, and their sons, Stefan and Erich; and siblings Margaret Thon of Minnesota and Thomas Leimer of Ohio.

Memorial services will be held from 4 to 6 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 22, 2012, in Arlington Congregational Church, Jacksonville, Fla., and on Saturday, May 25, 2013, at Noank Baptist Church, Noank. Bob Negaard will be interred in Vernon and in Stillwater & Kirkhoven, Minn., family plots.

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be given to the Jacksonville University "Robert A. Negaard Rowing Scholarship", 2800 University Blvd., North Jacksonville, FL 32211.
Published in The Day on Dec. 2, 2012
Robert A Negaard
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