Friends Remembered

WE HONOR OUR FRIENDS THAT WE HAVE LOST- No one goes it alone!

Arizona Ammunition, LLC.® loves accuracy and shooting in general and all the people who love it too.  We feel we have a special kinship with all of them.  There are so many that have a passion for the same.  Over the years we have had many friends in the industry and the hunting and shooting world that have inspired us to continue to strive for perfection in shooting and accuracy. There are so many that have helped us get our start and then helped us expand, become more professional, and kept us on the straight and narrow path to perfection.  We do not forget those that helped us in some way with our success and the success of the industry.  We humbly honor them here.  Please take a moment to read the brief comments on these fine people (not in any specific order of importance). All made a difference in the shooting world and to us at Arizona Ammunition, LLC.®

1. Gale McMillan- McMillan Fiberglass stocks and McBros Rifle Company.  Gale was the founder of McMillan Fiberglass stocks.  Starting on his kitchen table Gale built the highest quality fiberglass stock available. It was Gale's idea for Jim and Nancy to start Arizona Ammunition, LLC.® back in 1995.  He told Jim that he (Gale) "made better rifles than he could find ammunition for" and he knew that Jim liked to load his own ammunition (which he found strange too and said so!).  So he (and son Kelly) gave Jim space in his McMillan Fiberglass Stock warehouse to get started and there was no charge for the use of that space all the time he was there. Gale insisted on top quality products from Jim and was often critical of some of the processes (in a positive way-sort of) and thus was the beginning of Arizona Ammunition, LLC.®.  

2. Roger Johnston- NECO-  Roger was an innovator, nice guy, and very creative guy.  He was very in touch with the industry and was always looking for new or improved ideas to improve the firearms industry.  He was a high communicator. Roger single handedly brought bullet coatings to the industry with the introduction of moly coating. He used the highest quality products and methods in all his ideas.  He brought Arizona Ammunition, LLC.® into the bullet coating world back in 1997 and we are still doing it today thanks to Roger.

3. Eunice Berger- Berger Bullets- 

Eunice (and Walt) were responsible for Arizona Ammunition.LLC.® first large order after starting in business in 1996.  She worked with Jim and name dropped Arizona Ammunition, LLC.® to customers that expressed an interest in high quality rifle ammunition. She was always polite, pleasant, and helpful to Jim and his new operations for many years.  We remember her great smile and positive approach to all. Jim Spoke at Eunice's funneral too. A real loss to the industry and as a friend.

4. Paul Hoble- Incredible big game hunter-  

Paul was a Phoenix Fire Captain and an avid big game hunter.  Paul scouted year around and helped so many other hunters in Arizona be successful in their hunts too. Paul visited the Arizona Ammunition, LLC.® shop frequently and always with a smile and a joke.  He had many rifles "tuned" by Arizona Ammunition, LLC.® and gave very valuable feedback to Jim on his use and success of the ammunition.  A true sportsman, gentlemen, and friend to so many was Paul Hoble. He is missed everyday by so many hunters and shooters across Arizona!

Taken from Legacy.com

Hobel, Paul Joseph 
60, of Phoenix, AZ, passed away July 20, 2012. Paul was a retired Phoenix Firefighter after 35 years, US Marine, Vietnam Veteran and avid outdoorsman. He is survived and will be dearly missed by his family, wife Kelly, sisters Mary Gunnell (Jack), Kathy Krum (Mike), brothers; Mike (Barbara) and Peter, Mark, cousin Jason and 9 nieces and nephews. He was preceded by his parents John and Helen, brother Tom and nephew Michael C. Celebration of Life Services will be Friday, July 27, 2012 at 11am with visitation prior from 10 to 11 am at Christ's Church of the Valley, 7007 West Happy Valley Rd, Peoria, AZ. Interment will follow at Greenwood Memory Lawn, 2300 W. Van Buren. In lieu of flowers, Donations can be made to the Phoenix Firefighter's Cancer Fund, 61 E. Columbus, Phoenix, AZ 85012. Please visitwww.hansenmortuary.com to share condolences with family. 

5. Buddy Clifton- 3 Time FCSA World Champion 50 BMG Long Range Shooter. 

Buddy was a tireless innovator and true perfectionist.  As an engineer at the famous Jet Propulsion Lab (JPL) in California, Buddy's mind was always at work or accuracy.  He collaborated with Jim nearly every week and sometimes daily on ideas, testing ideas, and pushed the search for the perfect rifle and bullet combinations. Buddy discovered the bullet coating ACCULUBE 10-X and tested it tirelessly and helped Jim introduce it to the shooting world. Buddy is directly responsible for many of the processes, tools, and special equipment that Arizona Ammunition, LLC.® uses today. Jim gave the ullage at Buddy's funeral.

6. Buzz Huntington-

The Huntington family were the founders of the now famous RCBS.  Many years ago they sold RCBS but kept the Huntington Die Specialties business going. Buzz and his brother helped Arizona Ammunition, LLC.® get into the business with such an openness and a friendly attitude that Jim felt immediately accepted in the industry and they provided a great deal of advice and industry updates to help Jim keep going.  When every Arizona Ammunition, LLC.® was in a pinch for supplies Buzz would do his best to find them for Jim.  When Jim had a technical issue far off the beaten path Buzz would always help! A world of knowledge was lost with Buzz's passing.  

7. Tom Knapp- The Shooting Star-Pictures courtesy of the Tom Knapp site www.Tomknapp.net

    

Tom Knapp was not involved with Arizona Ammunition, LLC.® in anyway other than having a passion for firearm accuracy and performance like we do.  We have admired Mr. Knapp for many years and had an opportunity to meet and talk with him just prior to his passing.  You may remember him from the History Channel's Extreme Marksman series.  A shooter, spokesman, performer, family man, incredible shot, and really nice guy...that was Tom Knapp.  As all have said in various comments "he will be missed and he never did". The third picture here is of Mr.Knapp holding a golf ball as he is about to shoot it out of the air with a 22 rimfire and he is throwing the golf ball himself! Amazing! The fourth picture is Jim and Mr. Knapp together, two guys who love accuracy.

Taken from The  StarTribune Obituaries-

Tom Knapp, one of the world’s greatest exhibition shooters who for years amazed audiences at Game Fair in Anoka County, has died.

Knapp, 62, of Elk River, died Friday of pulmonary fibrosis at St. Marys Hospital at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester. Among his trick-shooting exploits: He threw and individually shot 10 clay targets with his shotgun. He appeared on numerous TV shows and hosted “Benelli’s American Birdhunter’’ TV show for eight years.

 “He was terrific shot, a great promoter and a nice human being,’’ said Chuck Delaney, Game Fair owner, who knew Knapp for decades.

Knapp traveled the United States and world giving trick-shooting exhibitions for Winchester Olin, Benelli USA, Federal Cartridge and CZ-USA until his health issues forced him to retire in February. He had worked for what was then Hennepin County Parks for 25 years before becoming a sponsored exhibition shooter.

 “He touched so many people,’’ said his wife, Colleen. “I have been fielding texts, e-mails and phone calls from all over the United States, and from good friends overseas.’’

 He enjoyed his life as an exhibition shooter, his wife said. “He totally loved it,’’ she said. His health issues first surfaced about three years ago, she said.

 Knapp grew up in Maple Plaine and Milaca. He and his wife celebrated their 14th anniversary in April. Besides his wife, he is survived by a brother, John, of Montana, two stepchildren and four grandchildren. “His pride and joy were his four grandchildren,’’ Colleen Knapp said.

 There will be no funeral services, per his wishes, she said. Family and friends will gather 1 p.m. May 11 at the Del Tone/Luth Gun Club in St. Cloud to celebrate his life. The family prefers memorials to the Pulmonary Fibrosis Foundation (www.pulmonaryfibrosis.org).

 8. Arthur J. Pejsa-Small Arms Ballistics Expert-

Mr. Pejsa had no connection with Arizona Ammunition, LLC.® directly but he had a great influence over what we did, what we do, and what we continue to do in understand the flight of a bullet.  We study his book on a regular basis and he is in many of our discussions on ballistics. The firearms industry and long range shooting or shooting in general has greatly benefited from his interest in firearms ballistics. As with so many others he will be missed. 

This article was taken from StarTribune Obituaries

Arthur J. Pejsa 

 

Pejsa, Arthur J. March 8, 1923 - Feb. 8, 2014 Arthur Pejsa was born and grew up in Custer, Wisconsin. He attended Wisconsin schools through high school and the University, graduating with a masters degree in physics and mathematics from Marquette University. For three decades Art Pejsa was a pioneer aerospace physicist. At the AC Electronics Division of General Motors, he headed the system design and analysis group for Thor and Titan II, the world’s first successful missile guidance systems. At Honeywell Aerospace, Art analyzed systems for Apollo moon missions and personally designed the difficult re-entry guidance system for the Space Shuttles. Later he headed design of a new inertial navigation system, used for decades on most of the world's long range aircraft. Before his aerospace career, Arthur Pejsa was a professor of math and mechanics at the US Naval Academy in Annapolis. During World War II, as a young B-29 Superfortress pilot, he survived thirty combat missions over Japan, involving 400 combat flight hours. He won three Air Medals, a Presidential Citation and the Distinguished Flying Cross. In his later years, Pejsa wrote and published three books on small arms ballistics and a popular ballistics software package. In the realm of small arms precision ballistics, he is indeed the guru. A loyal alumnus of the University of Wisconsin Stevens Point, he has established and endowed the Arthur J. Pejsa Aerospace Scholarship Fund in support of senior students on their way to becoming the next generation of aerospace scientists. A year ago the UWSP faculty, students, and friends together celebrated the naming of the Arthur J. Pejsa Observatory atop the Science Building. Arthur Pejsa was preceded in death by his parents, an infant brother and four sisters, Lucy Pejsa, Eugenia Pejsa, Adeline Pejsa Brunner and Rita Pejsa Christ. He was also preceded in death by his former wife Jeanne Hill Pejsa. He is survived by his wife, Jane Hauser Pejsa; children, James Pejsa (Janice), Anita Pejsa Johnston, Arthur Pejsa Jr., Ilse Gayl, and Franz Gayl (Conchita). He is also survived by grandchildren, Laura Pejsa (Adam Buhr), Matthew Pejsa (Teresa), Gabriella Gayl Malloy (Rob), Joseph Gayl, and five great-grandchildren. Private burial in the St. Mary's Catholic Church cemetery, Custer Wisconsin. Mass of Christian Burial will be on Saturday, February 15th, 10:30 AM at Stanislaus Church in Stevens Point, Wisconsin. A memorial gathering in Minneapolis will be scheduled at a later time. www.Washburn-McReavy.com in Minneapolis;www.shudafuneral.com in Stevens Point. In lieu of flowers, memorials to Arthur J. Pejsa Aerospace Scholarship Fund, UWSP, 54481, or donor's choice.

Published on February 12, 201 

 

9. Carlos Hathcock-

 

The North Vietnamese Army placed a bounty of $30,000 on Hathcock's life for killing so many of their men. Rewards put on US snipers by the NVA typically ranged from $8 to $2,000. Hathcock held the record for highest bounty and killed every Vietnamese marksman who sought it. The Viet Cong and NVA called Hathcock Lông Trắng, translated as "White Feather", because of the white feather he kept in a band on his bush hat. After a platoon of Vietnamese snipers was sent to hunt down "White Feather", many Marines in the same area donned white feathers to deceive the enemy. These Marines were aware of the impact Hathcock's death would have and took it upon themselves to make themselves targets in order to confuse the counter-snipers.Mr. Hathcock did not have any connection with Arizona Ammunition,LLC.® but we have the highest respect for him,his dedication to the United States, accuracy shooting, and all of his fine accomplishments.  Gale McMillan introduced Mr.Hathcock to Jim in 1997 at the SHOT Show in Las Vegas.  He was in a wheel chair and quite frail.  He had his famous smile though and spoke with Jim in a soft voice for a few minutes.  He signed his pictures for Jim and his two sons Kip and Matt.  It was a special moment for Jim that he will never forget.

 

This article was taken from the Los Angeles Times

Carlos Hathcock; Sniper in Vietnam

February 28, 1999|JON THURBER | TIMES STAFF WRITER
 His vanity license plates in Virginia read SNIPER, and during the Vietnam War he was just that, the bearer of a surprising, sudden death to enemy soldiers. But when Marine Gunnery Sgt. Carlos N. Hathcock II died last week at the age of 57, the enemy that ultimately felled him was the slow, patient progression of multiple sclerosis.

No Marine sniper was more effective than Hathcock at killing North Vietnamese and Viet Cong forces. The number 93 reflects his confirmed kills, but his actual total is believed to be well over 100.

As a testament to his effectiveness, North Vietnam once put a bounty of $30,000 on his head.

The Viet Cong knew him as well and called him "Long Trang," the white feather, because he often wore one in his bush hat.

Hathcock remains a legend in the Marines. The Carlos Hathcock Award is presented annually to the Marine who does the most to promote marksmanship. And there is a sniper range named for Hathcock at Camp LeJeune, N.C.

 

Late in his life, he was awarded a Silver Star, the third-highest military honor, for an incident that happened nearly 30 years earlier, when he pulled seven comrades off a burning armored personnel carrier that had struck a mine. That act of bravery left Hathcock badly burned and effectively ended his career as a rifleman.

Hathcock, a native of Arkansas, was a slight, unassuming man with a self-contained temperament that made him perfect for a job that involved infiltrating deep into enemy-held territory and waiting, often for days, to take one shot at his target.

He once said that he survived in his work because of an ability to "get in the bubble," to put himself into a state of "utter, complete, absolute concentration," first on his equipment, then on his environment in which every breeze and every leaf meant something, and finally on his quarry.

His work demanded steady nerves and was exhausting. During one pursuit of an enemy general, he had to cover more than 1,000 meters of open terrain during three days and nights of constant crawling an inch at a time. Enemy patrols came within 20 feet of Hathcock, who lay camouflaged with grass and vegetation in the open.

During two 13-month tours of duty in Vietnam, Hathcock volunteered for so many missions that his commanding officer once had to restrict him to quarters to make him rest. At the time the 5-foot, 10-inch Hathcock weighed only 120 pounds.

"It was the stalk that I enjoyed," he once told a reporter for the Washington Post. "Pitting yourself against another human being. There was no second place in Vietnam--second place was a body bag. Everybody was scared and those that weren't are liars. But you can let that work for you. It makes you more alert, keener, and that's how it got for me. It made me be the best."

Raised outside Little Rock, Hathcock lived with his grandmother after his parents divorced. He loved the outdoors and taught himself to hunt in the woods as a young boy. He knew where the rabbits and squirrels ran. "As a young'n, I'd go sit in the woods and wait a spell," he once said. "I'd just wait for the rabbits and squirrels 'cause sooner or later a squirrel would be in that very tree or a rabbit would be coming by that very log. I just knew it. Don't know why, just did."

By age 10, he was bringing meat home to the table regularly. As soon as he turned 17 in 1959, Hathcock enlisted in the Marines. It didn't take him long to make his mark. He qualified immediately at boot camp in San Diego as an expert shot. 

10. Mr. Jerry Whitmore-

11. Mr. Dick Davis- McMillan Fiberglass Stocks

The shooting industries longtime friend to all, an idea man, an adventurer, a very smart man, a serious firearms enthusiast, professional, true gentlemen, and very strong second amendment supporter, Dick Davis has left the range.   He passed late in the evening of September 12th, 2016 in Phoenix, Arizona shortly after speaking to son Duncan (of McMillan Machine) on the telephone. He was 71. A man of honesty, integrity, resourcefulness, and a serious passion for shooting, Dick Davis will leave a large void in the firearms industry that may be impossible to fill. Anyone who has been in the firearms industry for any length of time likely knew Dick Davis and called him a friend. If they knew him, they only spoke well of him.

It is impossible to say the name Dick Davis without attaching “of McMillan’s” to it, but there is a lot more to Dick Davis than that. He was a proud graduate of Brigham Young University with a degree in Geology and after college he worked for U.S. Steel. After moving to Phoenix, he worked at Building Products Company making red clay water pipes before moving into the firearms business working at Earl’s Sporting Goods. He then moved on to manage the sporting goods company, Gunsport Centers and their three stores, also in Phoenix. Along the way, he tried his hand at building car washes before joining McMillan Fiberglass Stocks. The late Gale McMillan acknowledged that he made a very wise decision hiring Dick so long ago. We all know that Dick was a fixture at McMillan Fiberglass Stocks for 30 + years. He was always there helping someone.

Dick’s passion and knowledge of firearms was astounding to anyone that spoke with him. He loved the firearms business and seldom spoke of anything but. All who knew Dick remember that, when invited, he would jump at the chance to help anyone with a need or question in the firearms world. Polite and patient, Dick would listen to a conversation involving firearms of any type or the parts for them and wait. He would wait until invited into the conversation and would then stop everyone in their tracks as he explained, in detail, his points and knowledge about the topic, often reciting that he personally knew the owner of the company, the project engineer, the fabricator, or machinist that made the firearm or parts…and he was not bragging in anyway. It was fact!

Dick was an avid hunter with a passion for bird hunting, elk and deer hunting, and joined in with anyone that wanted to go prairie dog hunting in a flash. Dick was so well known and liked that he was invited many times to attend large and small shoots and hunts by many industry leaders, firearms writers and sportsmen from all over the world. His stories were fascinating and included so many well known names of industry people, it was a ‘who’s who’ for each trip. Although he was a firearms enthusiast, Dick even enjoyed a little archery hunting as well. With his diverse interests, he once had a serious desire to become an Arizona Game and Fish Commissioner. When asked why, his answer was 100% predictable; he felt he could help them!

Dick truly loved shooting. He and son Duncan would travel 250 miles round-trip together to the Tucson, Az. NBRSA 1,000 yard monthly match. Proudly, Dick even set an NBRSA world record in 1000 yard benchrest competition during his time competing. The rifles, the ammunition, the optics, the bullet’s performance, the wind, inside or outside neck turning, what was the perfect stock and more were common topics with Dick. He talked to everyone; he listened to everyone; he learned from everyone and then he always shared his knowledge freely and openly. He joined other shooters in the Chevy Team Challenge, he shot trap and skeet, shot at some FCSA matches, enjoyed shooting machine guns, and basically anything that had a decent trigger and went boom! He helped John Lazzeroni of Lazzeroni Arms bring Sako’s fine rifles to the Lazzeroni line. This was something he was also very proud of. Every shooter that called McMillan’s and spoke to Dick, saw him at a show, or saw him at a shooting match who had a question, needed help, or just wanted to talk firearms and shooting, had a friend with Dick Davis.

Years ago, Dick was determined to help shooting by improving the concrete shooting benches so he convinced a fiberglass fabricator to build him a strong mold to form quality a concrete bench top. It is a great design and many have since used it all across the United States. With his dedication to accurate shooting and helping shooters Dick loaned, at 100% NO CHARGE, his quality mold to any one that needed a good bench top. Dick even had a special metal frame made for the bench top interior too. He had a special shipping crate made and had it ready to go at a moment’s notice to a needy person, team, or range.

Not commonly known in the industry, Dick loved to hike. He was an accomplished high altitude climber and mountain rescue climber. He hiked the Grand Canyon as a guide for different groups several times. He inspired son Duncan to do a one day ‘rim to rim’ hike a few years ago. While it was a brutal hike for Duncan, he accomplished it and promised his dad that he would spread some of his ashes on the trail when he next took on the challenge of the Canyon. Duncan is training now for that eventful and difficult hike in honor of his father.

Keeping it mostly to himself, Dick has dealt with a diagnosis of Congestive Heart Failure for many years. Even with the diagnosis, Dick continued to work supporting McMillan Fiberglass Stocks as he had done for so long. Most of us cannot recall when he was not there either. Upon his passing many, many industry people were contacted with the sad news. No one can be found that can ever remember Dick speaking harshly of anyone…ever.   As a gentlemen, he was known to greet everyone, known or unknown. with a solid handshake, a look in the eye, and a friendly strong, upbeat, and firm voice. He was truly pleased to meet all that were introduced to him and those that met him felt that genuineness and sincerity too. There was no one more professional and polite on the telephone than Dick.

Dick leaves behind countless friends and good memories all across America and the world. He leaves his two sons, Duncan and Tom, and daughter Jana He sadly leaves you and me also. Each one of us has a Dick Davis story that makes us smile. Upon his passing, Dick requested to be returned to his roots in Panguitch, Utah and son Duncan has vowed to do it. Taken too soon, Dick is truly a loss to us all; to his family, his friends, his fellow shooters, fellow workers, to the firearms world in general, and to me. I am proud to say Dick was my friend and I was his. He was always glad to see or speak with me which, looking back, was not often enough. Even if I had just talked with him an hour earlier, he was pleased to hear from me again. We will all remember his laugh, his polite manner, positive attitude, vast firearms knowledge, a few of his wild ideas, and endless desire to help everyone. All of us who were fortunate to know him already miss him a great deal. Share a Dick Davis story with your friends and know he is listening and smiling; thinking of a way to help. Thank you to the Davis family for allowing me to write this tribute. Dick Davis’s proud friend- Jim Schmidt- Arizona Ammunition, LLC.®.

12. Mr. Robert Hocken-

Bob Hocken One definition of a gentlemen is, “someone who always tries to make sure the other people around him or her are as comfortable as possible”. That is 100% a definition of Bob Hocken, “a true gentlemen”. Back in the late 80’s Bob took a chance on me joining Phoenix Transit and a new and special relationship began. Little did I know that I had joined a group of transportation professionals that worked as a huge team. Quite frankly the largest, smoothest team I had ever seen and I had been in 7 other bus systems.. Bob was a leader that absolutely believed in everyone; one person at a time; individually. Bob was a person that made every other person he met so comfortable that it was like Sunday dinner with friends and family when you talked to him.

In those days his opening greeting every time was “Hi… How goes it?” And he really wanted to know. Many times he would look at you and wait for a response. I quickly found out that Bob liked a smooth cohesive operation at all times with few waves. But he tolerated wave makers if they were sincere and honest and had the best interest of Phoenix Transit and American Transit Corporation in mind. I saw him fight when he need to, wait when he needed to, and waited some more when it was the right thing to do to win. Amazingly with all that waiting he still got it done professionally and successfully.

In all the bus operations I had been in around the United States I had never seen the contractor, a city government in this case, trust and respect anyone more than Bob. Bob had a magic about him that made everyone comfortable with anything he presented or supported. Bob introduced me to his near lifelong friend John McFarland and asked me to share my office with him. Bob was someone that you would never say no to either. Not because he was the boss, but he never asked for anything that he did not totally need. You said yes out of respect and friendship. That started another new and fascinating relationship that brought me even closer to Bob. A good thing for sure.

Bob, John, and I had a mutual interest and that was the outdoors. We talked about it and made plans to do things together in the great outdoors. Bob joined 4 of us on the famous “No Wimps Bear Hunt” in the amazing and very rugged Mount Graham area in eastern Arizona. We were 10 days in the field in rough weather, untested terrain, shared a camp with strange and sometimes very dangerous large bugs, snakes, hundreds flies, and more. You can imagine with a smile that Bob was good company in camp and a solid hunter in the field. He told me many times it was a special experience for him. We saw only one bear and had a hell of a good time anyway. Talk around the camp fire at night was special for all of us. While often quite, Bob gave us a story or two at times and always encouraged each of us to bring out a story with a few leading questions to get us started. He sat back and listened with a smile.

Having lived in Arizona for over 30 years, Bob is the only person I know that had a very large extremely heavy SaguaroCactus fall on his car! Only Bob! He took it all in stride too and it was kind of humorous to many of us. He once showed his tolerance and humor when about 25 of us in management played a trick on him. Bob had a firm opinion on facial hair on the men. He disapproved. He accepted a well groomed mustache with reluctance but beyond that it was…NO! Well we all respected Bob a great deal but a modern update in policy was due. The Phoenix Transit team always celebrated his birthday with a fun party/lunch. Once at the Phoenix Spaghetti Company birthday lunch we had for Bob, all of us, some 25 people, put on fake beards and waited for Bob to enter the room for the celebration. Even the women went along with the gag and wore fake beards!

Well Bob walked in last, by design, after all were seated and waiting and the crowd greeted him with a big smile with all wearing fake beards! Bob stopped and starred briefly at the seated group before starting to laugh and said “alright you made your point” and from then on well groomed beards were accepted by Bob! It was a great time for all of us. And Bob had his limits of fun too when I was called in by his assistant Ron Norton, per Bob’s instructions I am sure, to have a serious talk with me about having a squirt gun battle with a bus driver/Special Event team member in my office and out in the hall at the South Maintenance and Operations Facility. Rather than discipline me he just asked me to stop the horseplay. A true professional in every way. After that I respected him even more…and stopped the horse play too. I followed that example in my management after that experience from Bob.

In our adventures hunting I was proud to be setting with Bob when he got his first wild Arizona turkey. We were near the Mogollon Rim in Arizona getting up at 4am in the cold and heading into the dark silent timber. Bob was a trouper and was up on time, full of excited energy, and raring to go! We hunted hard and Bob made a perfect shot and scrambled to retrieve the downed turkey proudly. I never saw him so proud except went he spoke of his family who I was honored to meet and work with on some of our adventures. All are polite and professional as Bob too. I often felt that Bob was a man that had everything going his way! I still believe that he did too!

Of course we know that Bob had a plan for everything. Bob survived Korea, he and friend John survived Viet Nam and they retired. Then he and John worked for the Phoenix School System and retired, then he and John worked for Phoenix Transit and retired. ‘Triple dippers’ I called them and bragged on their life plan many times. I was proud of them! I still am!

When I left Phoenix Transit and American Transit Corporation (ATC) to work for a competitor in the bus business it all had to be negotiated. I had never done anything like that before but I felt safe because Bob was there to lead the negotiations and make sure I was well taken care of.   Bob looked out for me even though I was moving to a major competitor, Bob made the transition smooth and successful for everyone in the room. I will never forget his honest concern about me and that my deal was a good one for me. While he was still loyal to Phoenix Transit and ATC he was loyal and honest to me too.

Off on my many adventures I did not see or communicate with Bob for a few years. I missed his retirement from Phoenix Transit when I was at the Olympics in Atlanta. I missed his many adventures with friend John McFarland fishing and traveling together. I missed when Bob and John purchased a small private airplane together too. But once I returned and caught up with them it was like I had never left. We picked right up and off we went meeting for lunch in Tempe, telling stories, sharing Christmas cards, and likes. That was Bob!

This small airplane Bob and John shared was a curiosity to me and I asked questions about it finding out that they flew together around Arizona seeing the sights. It was explained to me that they were a great team and always flew together, not because of a near lifelong friendship but because they needed each other. You see one of them did not see so well and had trouble with takeoffs and the other did not hear so well and did not do well with landings! So they could only fly if each did his part. One listened and the other watched as they flew around Arizona! A perfect match and perfect team! Of course no one on the ground or in the tower knew any of this!

Bobs comment on his Christmas card to me each year was “good memories”! That is right Bob I have good memories of adventures with you too! I cannot help but smile every single time I think of the No Wimps Bear Hunt, the Javelina hunts in the rain, the cold Turkey hunts, and so much more! I remember the chewing out I got when I ran charter busses through the bus drivers’ Union picket line when they were on strike. Yep you chewed me out over the telephone to satisfy the City Officials but did not call the busses, the drivers, or me back and allowed us to get the job done for Phoenix International Raceway! What a guy! What a leader!

You are missed by so many already and by me every day with a smile and my positive thoughts!

 

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