Bob served in the Air Force from October 14, 1942 until February 5, 1946 as a physical education instructor to enlisted men and officers and was a Remote Control B29 Turret Mechanic gunner. He met his wife Petronilla "Pet" Denny at Brooks Air force base in San Antonio, Texas and they were married April 5, 1946 in Dragerton, Utah. He and Pet moved to Loveland later that year.
Bob was an accomplished ski jumper and performed in the American and Canadian traveling Outdoor Sportsman Show from 1946-47. He would ski down a huge straw ramp, jump, and fly through the air for sizable distances before having to land perfectly on another man-made ramp.
He and Pet had two children, Jim Jackson and his wife Cindy of San Jose, California; Anne Dittmar and her husband Matt Snook of Loveland; two grandchildren Justin Dittmar of Loveland, Kate Jennings with her husband Nick of Johnstown and a great-granddaughter Jordan Jennings. He also has two nieces and a nephew, Sue Haugen of Bend, Oregon and Mary and Rick Haugen of Anchorage, Alaska.
He worked in the construction trade as a brick mason from 1947 until his retirement in 1984 and was actively involved in forming the Brick Layers Union in Northern Colorado in 1950. He worked on the county court house in Ft. Collins, Loveland municipal buildings and Fire station #1. He was the brick mason on numerous commercial buildings in Loveland including the Murray Clark building on Cleveland Avenue, the Depot renovation, schools, churches and numerous homes in the Loveland/Fort Collins area.
Bob entered into community life in 1956. He organized the first ski instruction program in Northern Colorado thru the auspices of the Loveland Recreation department. The program offered free classes for seven years at the old Hidden Valley Ski area near Estes Park. He and Pet were both instructors during that time. He also built several ski jumps in the area and participated in competitions.
Bob was always concerned about the quality of life in Loveland and was active in politics and current events. He and Pet were named as "People Who Make a Difference" by the Reporter Herald in 1984.
He was a Boy Scout leader for four years, while his son Jim was in scouting, and was a member of the Elks club.
Bob joined the Loveland Volunteer Fire Department in 1958 and retired after serving for 20 years. He was secretary for many years and was elected Fireman of the Year in 1965. He was very involved in rescue and recover after the Big Thompson flood.
He loved the Rocky Mountains enjoying the skiing, hunting and fishing and shared this love with his children and grandchildren for many years. It is his desire to have his cremains scattered near Horsetooth Mountain as it was the pillar of hope and a spiritual symbol during the most troubled days and also a symbol to look upon when he gave thanks for his many worldly blessings. His wife's cremains were scattered there after her death. This will be fulfilled by his family at a later date.
Bob loved his family and friends as they loved him. He was kind, didn't judge others but allowed those around him to grow as he participated in their lives and enriched those who knew him. He will be greatly missed by so many whose lives he has touched.
Preceding him in death were his beloved wife in 1995, his parents, a brother, brother-in-law Alf Haugen and sister-in-law Teresa Haugen.
To gather, to grieve, to celebrate, to praise, to mourn, to love. There will be a viewing for family and friends on Wednesday, January 28th from 5:00-8:00 p.m. at Kibbey-Fishburn Funeral Home. Cremation will be conducted after this viewing.
Memorial contributions can be made to Hospice of Larimer County in care of Kibbey-Fishburn, 1102 No. Lincoln, Loveland 80537.