January 10, 2021
Los Osos, California - Robert (Bob, Boxie) Boxberger, at the age of 92, died peacefully on January 10th, 2021, at his paradise home in Los Osos, California. He was the son of Mitchell and Glenda Boxberger and grew up in Ocean Beach, San Diego, California.
He wanted to fly but due to poor eyesight enlisted at age 17 in the U. S. Army Air Corps in 1945, trained as a cryptographer, and served in Saudi Arabia and the Aleutians during the WWII and Korean wars. In the Aleutians he met his lifelong friend, screenwriter and novelist William Kelley, and set out to become a writer himself. He received a bachelor of science degree in journalism at San Diego State University and began working as a reporter and photographer at the Ontario (California) Daily Report in 1956. There he met and married his wife of 54 years, Patricia, and with her began raising her three children, Ricky, Geoffrey, and Ruthie. There, Bob and Pat had a fourth child, Erika. In 1960 he got a job at the Oregon Journal and moved his new family to the Portland vicinity. There, twins were born to them, Ingrid and Karen.
Ultimately Bob was drawn to the Puget Sound area, where his grandfather took him fishing when he was a child. He moved his family to Tacoma and eventually began working for the Tacoma News Tribune. In 1965, he covered the construction of a hospital on Little Diomede, Alaska, in the Bering Strait. Not only did he write articles and take pictures of the event, he also helped the Inuits build the hospital.
Then, in 1966, he moved the family out on Puget Sound, to Vaughn, Washington, which for Bob was the ideal place to raise a family. There was gardening, boating, fishing, clamming, views of the Olympics and, occasionally, orcas. Here, he and his family had found a paradise. During this period Bob succeeded in climbing to the summit of Mt. Rainier with his lifelong friend Kirk Kirkland. Once most of his six kids had left home for their own adventures, he moved his remaining family to Wollochet, Washington, and supported Pat in going back to school. Once she got a job as a prosecuting attorney in Tacoma, they moved across the Narrows Bridge into Tacoma. Bob continued to work for the Tribune until 1987, when he joined his son Rick in Japan for a journey through Thailand, Nepal, and Tibet. He took notes during these travels that, years later, he used to write and publish the book Far Bridge (Pina Press). Pat died from Alzheimer's complications in 2011.
Bob lived as a widower in Tacoma for five years, then moved to Morro Bay, California, returning to his childhood landscapes, seascapes, and climate and, there, met the second love of his life, Anne Tiber. It was with Anne that Bob lived out his "golden years" and Anne saw him through with love to the end.
Bob was full of romance and adventure. He participated actively in life every single day and modeled his approach to life for his six kids. While he encouraged caution, he also taught his kids to test their wings whenever possible. He had an opened-minded curiosity that made him a wonderful friend and father. He was always full of passion, educated himself through experience and reading, and maintained a tight ship. He was a do-it-yourself, project-oriented guy. He was always the first to volunteer to help friends, neighbors, and family. He cooked; took pictures all his life; archived materials for the family; and loved deeply. Nature, literature, and music filled his life with interest and adventure. He was a strong presence in many lives and will be sorely missed.
Surviving Bob are his life companion Anne Tiber, his six children, seven grandchildren, and six great-grandchildren.
Rather than sending flowers, please consider making donations to the American Cancer Society. A celebration of life will be announced at a later date.
Published in & from Jan. 24 to Jan. 28, 2021.