Robert Raymond Boggs
1946 - 2020
Robert Raymond Boggs

September 29, 1946 - September 20, 2020

Robert Raymond Boggs died suddenly on September 20, 2020, while splitting logs at his cabin home in Skykomish, Washington. He was 73.

Bob was born September 29, 1946, in Grand Junction, Colorado, to Raymond Joseph Boggs and Etta Ruth Ellis Boggs. He lived his young life in Grand Junction, active as an Eagle Scout (awarded the Order of the Arrow), GJHS 1964 Class President, and in First Methodist Church youth activities. At Colorado College, he was an Economics major, was in Army ROTC, and broadcast a clandestine radio station called WRSD (Womb Radio for Super Dorm).

After CC graduation, Bob served on active military duty for five years (1968-1973) in the US Army Signal Corps, serving at the Presidio in the United States, and in Vietnam and Germany. Captain Boggs was awarded the Bronze Star for valor in Vietnam. His loyalty and dedication to his country and his concerns for his fellow Veterans remained with him his entire life.

While serving in the Army in Germany, Bob began his "love affair" (as he called it) with motorcycles, a rare indulgence in his preferred simple lifestyle. One late night returning to post, he dumped his bike in a mud-filled "spargle" (asparagus) field, thus earning the enduring nickname "Spargle Bob." After his Army discharge, he rode throughout Europe and then across the United States, back home to Colorado and then to Nevada. After his kids were grown, he returned to riding with a Harley, and rode throughout the Western United States. He also participated as a Vietnam Vet in a memorable Rolling Thunder Memorial Day ride in Washington, D.C.

Bob completed a Masters Degree in Public Administration from the University of Nevada, Reno, and worked in public administration for Washoe County, Nevada. He then worked 34 years in public finance administration for the University of Washington, Seattle. After retiring from full-time positions, Bob worked part-time for the UW Department of Global Health.

While living in Seattle, Bob was active in volunteer activities, including University Food Bank Board, MST emergency radio, initiating and naming Early Christians services at University Methodist Church, and supporting LGBTQ activities.

Bob enjoyed, and was dedicated to the conservation of the Pacific Northwest outdoors. When his daughters were young, the family did much hiking and camping in their favorite locations along Hwy 2 in the Skykomish Valley, which then led to acquiring the cabin on the Foss River in Skykomish, Washington. Bob and JoAnne were married in the community church in Index, Washington. The cabin became the gathering place for extended family Fourth of July camping, where Bob cooked brats, organized the annual "tank and turtle" fireworks races, and blessed grandchildren in the river.

Following retirement from the UW, Bob and JoAnne lived full-time in their cabin in the woods on the river in the Cascade Mountains. The river place was a sanctuary for Bob where he embraced a simple life in harmony with nature. He had a gift for building and maintaining the cabin's operating systems, including water, power and computers, contending with November floods and downed trees, and ensuring the winter wood heat supply and generator operation. He was always installing more outdoor lighting.

Bob loved the Town of Skykomish and all the people in it. He was active on the Board of the Skykomish Historical Society, and with Sky Food Bank, Emergency Planning and Ham Radio Service (he knew - and was infamous in the family for speaking in - Morse Code), measuring water data and monitoring salmon runs for the Maloney Creek Restoration Project and Skykomish Environmental Institute, marrying friends at outdoor weddings, providing support and transportation for fellow Veterans, playing piano at the Whistling Post, and delivering his home baked molasses cookies to thank public service workers.

Bob was a devoted Dad and Grandpa whose family, as children and as adults, always knew him to be patient and accepting, giving unconditional parental love. He was always available, whether in person or by phone or FaceTime, to listen, to offer emotional support and a hug, and to help in any way he could. He also helped with "projects," whether it was an electrical problem, a computer glitch, or moving furniture. And he was fun! He traveled to visit the kids in Japan, Morocco, Peru, and from coast to coast across the United States. He loved folk, rock, country, and bluegrass music, and played guitar and piano with a "noteworthy" ear. One Thanksgiving holiday he delighted family members by directing them all in a full rendition of Arlo Guthrie's "Alice's Restaurant."

Bob was smart, humorous (a champion of puns), principled, respectful, humble, and caring. But most of all, he was kind - to people, animals, and trees.

As those who love him remember him, Bob now would share with us his favorite Buddhist Blessing:

May you be happy,

May you be healthy,

May you be safe,

May you be at Peace.

We will miss his Goodness.

Bob was preceded in death by his father, Raymond, and mother, Ruth. He is survived by his wife of 31 years, JoAnne Menard; children, Amy Boggs Richards (Bob), Elizabeth Boggs Kumagai (Eiji), Johanna Menard, Brian Menard (Audrey), and Vernon "VJ" Menard (Michelle); grandchildren, Dylan, Bree, Torakado, Kogetsu, Margaret, Charlotte (Zakaria), and Maxine; great-grandchild, Adam; siblings, Barbara Boggs Sprecher, and Don Boggs, and niece and nephews, Dawn Sprecher, Mark Sprecher, and Nathaniel Boggs.

A memorial gathering will be held later this year. Remembrances may be sent to Wounded Warriors, Doctors Without Borders, or Skykomish Historical Society.
Published by The Daily Sentinel on Oct. 17, 2021.
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