“We’ll meet again, don’t know where, don’t know when, but I know we’ll meet again some sunny day” - Parker & Charles 1939
Bob was born in Port Townsend on May 16, 1942 to Art and Ethel Blaurock and became “little brother” to Bill and Evelyn Blaurock and Bill’s wife, Donna. Growing up and attending school in Port Townsend, Bob often remarked on how fortunate he was not only to have such a loving family, but also to be surrounded by both the physical beauty of his hometown and the extraordinary love and joy in that community.
Bob never tired of talking to fellow PTHS alumni about his Port Townsend memories – of classmates, people from his neighborhood, and all the happy times they shared. Bob started playing music as a child and was active in chorus and the school band. During high school Bob also played for dances and concerts, and played his first “professional” job in 1960 with Gene Petersen’s mother at the Whistling Oyster. He and Gene were original members of the Brothers Band formed in 1959, which was the first rock and roll dance band on the Olympic Peninsula. After retirement they regularly played at a number of local events, including the Alumni Banquet with John O’Donnell, Mike Lundgren, and Randy Johnson. John, Mike, and Bob played on the road during the early ‘70s in Washington, Canada, and Alaska. Over the years Bob played with a number of groups primarily in Washington, except for a year when he played on ships of the American Hawaii Cruise Lines.
Majoring in music, Bob began attending Western Washington in 1961, as a vocal major and it was at this time he became focused on playing electric bass. In 1965 Bob was inducted into the Army and sent to basic training at Fort Ord, CA. During his second week of training, he was summoned to the day room. Terrified that something had happened at home, he was relieved to find one of his PTHS alumni, George Cadero, waiting for him. George obtained an audition for him with the Army Band and shortly thereafter Bob received orders to Fort Amador, in the Panama Canal Zone, assigned to the 79th Army Band to play trumpet. While in the Army Band, Bob traveled all over South and Central America, playing for numerous dignitaries at state receptions, and playing bass in a quartet at the Officers Club. During this time Bob made close friends with several of his fellow Band members and has treasured those friendships to this day, emailing, and getting together for reunions.
In addition to being an accomplished musician and vocalist, Bob also owned a commercial fishing boat, worked at Port Townsend Paper, and co-owned an antique/second hand store in Hadlock. Bob loved all of his life experiences and never tired of meeting new people, in spite of suffering a major stroke in 2002 during throat cancer treatment. Bob worked diligently on his recovery, relearning to communicate, walking 2 miles a day, joining a bowling league, and playing music regularly.
He and Jeanie Gatlin met at a dance in Port Angeles in 1962 and married in 1969 after what they described as a long distance romance. Always making new friends, they lived in Bellingham, Port Angeles, Port Ludlow, and Sedro Woolley, primarily following Jeanie’s career, and finally settled in Sequim in 1986. Fortunately they moved into a community with so many wonderful neighbors, they never felt the need to move on. However, they did travel the world and enjoyed many cruises with family and friends, often making new friends along the way. One of the highlights of these travels was their visit to Cuba to hear the music and see the vintage cars. Bob also enjoyed the many tours in their vintage cars all over the northwest United States, and the friendships they made in the Sequim Valley Car Club.
Bob passed away at the age of 77 after a year long determined effort to recover from complicated surgery. We would like to thank Olympic Medical Home Health and Risa Denenberg, ARNP, for their encouragement and care, and everyone at Virginia Mason Hospital Compassionate Care Center.
Bob is survived by his wife of 50 years, Jeanie, sister-in-law Donna Blaurock and her children Patty Moody (John), Bill Blaurock (Karyn), David Blaurock (Arloa), and Loreen Kniep (Dave); Bob’s sister Evelyn Coyne, her husband Jack, and their children, Mike Coyne, Joan McDonald (Bruce), and Lisa Wheeler (Fred). Bob is also survived by Jeanie’s brother, Don Gatlin, (Janet) and their children Daniel Gatlin (Marci), and Dionne Borden.
No memorial is planned at this time, however, a celebration of Bob’s life will be held in the spring of 2020.