Dr. Robert (Bob) Paul Lisensky passed away on January 12, 2019 in Boulder, Colorado. A husband, father of three children, grandfather of seven and great-grandfather of three, Bob lived a full life of learning, teaching, volunteering in his community, golfing, and spending time with the ones he loved.
Bob was born in Millvale, Pennsylvania on December 5, 1928, the son of Gertrude Wittlinger and Albert Lisensky. He graduated from Millvale High School in 1946. After working 15 months for Standard Oil repairing and building gasoline stations, Bob attended West Virginia Wesleyan College where he graduated Cum Laude in 1951.
Bob and Mary Herrick met in college and married in August of 1951. After finishing school, Bob and Mary moved to Boston, where Bob decided to attend Boston University School of Theology. He graduated Magna Cum Laude and received a Bachelor of Sacred Theology in 1954. On May 23, 1954 Bob was ordained an Elder in the Methodist Church by the Pittsburgh Annual Conference. While continuing his studies, Bob served as Pastor of the Methodist Church in Bryantville, Massachusetts. He received a doctorate in sociology from Boston University in 1960.
Bob and Mary had three children, George, Joan and Carol.
Bob had a passion for learning and working in the field of academics. As Bob was completing his dissertation at Boston University, he was appointed to his first teaching position at MacMurray College in Illinois, where he served as an Assistant Professor in Sociology from 1958 to 1964. He started his work as an administrator when he was hired as the Vice President for Academic Affairs at Albion College (Michigan) from 1964 to 1967. He went on to serve as the Vice President for Academic Affairs at Ohio Wesleyan from 1967 to 1973. The family then moved to Salem, Oregon, where Bob was named President of Willamette University in August 1973.
Wherever his work took him, Bob was deeply involved in his community. He served as the North Central Association of Colleges and Secondary Schools Examiner and Chairperson of Accrediting Teams from 1967 to 1975; on the Oregon Education Coordinating Commission's State Planning Committee from 1978 to 1979; on the Commission on Oregon State Management and Organization as the Governor's appointed Chairperson in 1980; on the National Association of Schools and Colleges of the United Methodist Church Board of Directors from 1976 to 1980, as the President in 1979; and on the National Center for Higher Education Management Systems Board of Directors from 1976 to 1982, as Chairperson in 1980.
In 1980, Bob resigned as President of Willamette University. In 1981, Mary and Bob were divorced. Bob moved to Nashville, Tennessee, where he became Consultant and Acting Associate General Secretary of the United Methodist Church. Bob made a significant impact in this role, most notably revamping the University Senate, the accrediting body for Methodist Colleges and Universities.
In June 1981, Bob married Patricia Ann Long, a former Willamette University librarian. Bob and Patricia lived in Nashville together before moving to Washington, D.C., where Bob was named Executive Vice President of the Council of Independent Colleges (CIC). In this position, Bob developed projects in Technology and the Liberal Arts, and the Faculty and the Academic Workplace.
In 1985, Bob and Patricia moved to Boulder, Colorado. Bob became President of NCHEMS Management Services, an organization that provides consulting and instructional services to colleges and universities.
Bob retired in 1995 and dedicated his time to serving the Boulder community. He volunteered five years at the Boulder County Aging Services Division in the Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program and 20 years on the Wednesday Crew building homes for Flatirons Habitat for Humanity. Bob was also an active member of the Rotary Club of Boulder. Bob was a moving force behind Crayons to Calculators, a program sponsored by the Rotary Club that works to send all children to school with the supplies they need to be successful. Of all the (many) awards he received during his career, the two he cherished most are the honors of Service Above Self (2000-2001) and Rotarian of the Year (2005-2006).
In his free time, Bob enjoyed reading, golfing, and spending time with his family. He worked to maintain a lush garden and found humor as he battled the bunnies and other critters who thought of his yard as an all-you-can-eat salad bar.
Bob is survived by his wife, Patricia; his three children, George, Joan and Carol; seven grandchildren, Laura, Diana, Tova, Joseph, Emily, Lindsay and Ryan; and three great-grandchildren, Abby, Tessa, and Liam.
To honor Bob's commitment to serving his community and helping others, any donations in his memory can be made to:
Crayons to Calculators, Impact on Education
Flatirons Habitat for Humanity
or any organization that works in the spirit of lending a helping hand.