Robert Raymond Altenhof
March 2, 1933 - May 3, 2020
Robert Raymond Altenhof died May 3, 2020 at Canterbury Inn in Longview. He was 87 years old. Although a memorial service will be announced and held when it is safe to hold large gatherings, we wanted to share his obituary now in thanksgiving for his long life well-lived.
He was born in Donora, Pennsylvania on March 2, 1933, the only child of Margaret and John Raymond Altenhof. He graduated from Donora High School in 1950.
Bob received his Bachelor of Arts degree, Magna Cum Laude, from the University of Pittsburgh in 1954 and his Master of Library Science degree from Carnegie Institute of Technology (now Carnegie Mellon University), also in Pittsburgh, in 1955. He met Barrie Louise Clarke in San Jose, California, where they both worked in the library system at San Jose State University. They married in 1963. Then, at Barrie's urging, Bob went on to graduate from The University of California Berkeley School of Law with a Juris Doctor degree in 1966.
After moving to Longview and passing the Washington State Bar Association examination, he worked for Borders and Altenhof, then was appointed a Cowlitz County District Court Judge in 1980, from which he retired in 2000. Bob received his 50-year Washington State Bar Association pin in 2017, and was honored with a ceremony in the summer of 2019 for his (and Barrie's) long service to the Longview Library Foundation.
Bob also served (sometimes for decades) on several other boards of directors in the community, including the Columbia Theatre, Longview YMCA, Cowlitz County Historical Museum, Old West Side Neighborhood Association, and Applied Industries. He and his wife Barrie were founding members of the Lower Columbia Deep Thought Society (Deep Thought), which was formed as a study club, and became a close-knit group that still continues today. A "newcomer" to Longview in 1966, Bob was brought into Barrie's family, which gathered often for cocktail parties, lunches, dinners and picnics. Bob was an avid sports fan, from attending his daughters' swim, track and cross country meets and soccer, volleyball and basketball games, to rooting for the Huskies, Seahawks, Mariners and all of the Pittsburgh teams. More recently, he and his family became fans of the Tour de France. He was also well-known in the family for Sunday morning waffles, and especially when his girls were in high school, being their breakfast and lunch cook, as well as their alarm clocks in the mornings, including early-morning vocal ensembles. Speaking of the arts, Bob and Barrie went to dozens of plays and musicals together, and were avid patrons of the arts.
Bob was fortunate to be able to travel with Barrie and his children and grandchildren: including a trip to London in 2008 with his youngest daughter's family, and a trip to France in 2010 with his oldest daughter's family.
He and Barrie celebrated 54 years of marriage together, and both were polio survivors. Bob spent one of his high school years at the D.T. Watson Home for Crippled Children in Sewickley, Pennsylvania.
He is survived by his children, Ellie Slabodnik (Robert) of Sedro-Woolley; Kate Altenhof-Long (Cameron) of Vancouver; his nieces Anna Waters (Jerry) of Portland; and Roz Thompson (Jon) of Olympia, and his nephew Bill Clarke II (Heather), also of Olympia.
He is also survived by his sister-in-law, Linda (Horst) Jeddeloh of Gresham, Oregon and brother-in-law Charlie (Kathy) Clarke of Lacey. He is also survived by his cousin, Janet (Charles) Circle Navarra of Monongahela, Pennsylvania.
Also surviving are his grandchildren: Zoe Slabodnik and Erin, Maggie and James Altenhof-Long. His great-nieces and nephews are Edna and Riley Waters, Owen and Drew Thompson, and Grace and Lucy Clarke.
Bob was preceded in death by his parents, John Raymond and Margaret Altenhof, his wife Barrie Altenhof, as well as his parents-in-law Bill and Edna Clarke, his daughter Molly Altenhof, and his cousin-in-law Katy (Doug) Kjallin.
Remembrances can be made to St. Stephen's Episcopal Church, the Columbia Theatre, Longview Outdoor Gallery, Cowlitz County Historical Society, or Lower Columbia College Foundation.