Robert Leland (Bob) Page
August 5, 1924 ~ October 26, 2013
Robert leleand (Bob) Page
Professor Emeritus W.O.U.
Robert Leland Page was born to John Allen Page and Nellie Irene Moore Page in Vancouver, WA on Aug 5, 1924. His early years were spent in Onalaska, Washington. The family later moved to nearby Longview, where his dad worked as a lumberjack and Bob received his secondary education. After graduating from Longview High in 1943, Bob enlisted in the Navy. He served as Yeoman 2nd Class on a naval minesweeper in the South Pacific war zone and honed his natural communication skills. Upon discharge in January 1946, he worked for a short time as a printer and became proficient as a pressman. Spurred on by a thirst for knowledge and the veteran's education benefits, he enrolled at the University of Portland, where his love for classical music and opera motivated him to select theater as his major. In 1960, with MFA in hand, he became the one and only male instructor at Holy Names College, a women's college in Spokane, Washington. A year later he married Geri Christie Kendall and became an instant father to her teen-age daughter, Gayle, and pre-teen son Robert, both of whom he later adopted. On April 27, 1962, John Patrick Page made his debut and was joined by brother, Michael Murray Page, on December 5, 1963. Bob, Rob and Patrick spent the summers of 1964 and 1965 in Ashland Oregon where Bob was member of the Oregon Shakespeare Festival cast, and Patrick attended rehearsals hanging on Bob's shirt tails. In 1965 the family moved off-campus into a home of their own in nearby Cheney, Washington. The opportunity to earn a doctorate prompted a move to Eugene, Oregon in the fall of 1968, and by spring of 1970, his residency requirement having been met, an intensive job hunt brought him Oregon College of Education (now Western Oregon University) in Monmouth, Oregon. The job was his, and he never stopped loving it! His communication skills were utilized to the utmost in teaching speech; many students learned to share his love for the theater; elementary school students were given the opportunity to experience theater because his dedication led him to apply for and receive a grant for a college-sponsored touring children's theater, which he called the Apple Box Theater and which he resurrected for a period of two years after his retirement in 1998 at the age of 74. During those 28 years, he directed more than 75 shows, 29 of which were children's theater main musicals; 14 Broadway musicals. He performed as Scrooge in "A Christmas Carol" at OCE/WOU every fall season for several years. He did Theater for the Deaf; served as advisor to countless students; did make-up for all shows; video-taped hundreds of shows and kept a vast library of these tapes. In the course of his career, he received numerous honors, which he outwardly dismissed as meaningless, until old age and infirmity set in and he humbled himself to admit how much he valued them. He played the accordion; sang folk songs; embraced technology of any kind; loved to walk, even in the rain; was quick to admonish poor diction but failed to commend good diction; he'd take a man-sized cookie over pecan pie any day; what "hobbies' he had were all drama-related. But all-in-all, he was a true artist. In many ways, he was a loner, but at the same time he was a fine teacher. He will be sorely missed. Bob was the last Page of his birth family, predeceased by his father, mother, three brothers, one sister and daughter, Gayle. He is survived by his wife Geri, three sons, 10 grandchildren and 11 great-grandchildren. A private service with military honors will be held at RestLawn Funeral Home 201 Oak Grove Rd., NW Salem Oregon. Memorial service to be later. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to VFW, 406 W 34th St., Kansas City, MO 64111
Published in The Statesman Journal on Oct. 31, 2013.