His Life

Robert "Bob" Harold Thornburg

January 22, 1933 - June 6, 2016

83 Years Young

In remembering Bob, so many feelings come into our hearts.  The void will always be one of the most difficult to manage.  For those who knew him, he lived well, laughed often, loved much and gained the respect of intelligent men and the love of his family.  He filled his niche, accomplished his tasks and left the world a better place then he found it.  He never lacked appreciation of earth’s beauty or failed to express it.  He looked for the best in others and gave the best he had.  He was a success in life. 

Bob passed very peacefully in the hospital with all his close family around him.  He died of pneumonia, which entered his bloodstream undetected.  The staff took gentle, loving care of him during the short stay.

There are faults in all human kind.  In his life, while certainly not faultless, he had an amazingly short list.  A God loving and faithful man, he always lived with the mindset of treating people with kindness and respect, as if it were the last day of his life, and he did this until the day he died.

Second born into a phenomenal family with nine siblings. In their early years they were raised on a farm, think of the stories he had to tell!  Amazing stories.  Bless them all. 

Being the consummate Salesman he would say, “Salesmanship is a conversation and it’s dependent on good listening and navigating topics carefully.  Before you make your pitch you have to get to know someone.”  He was respected in his work at Salem Equipment and developed a successful 39 year career in the wood products industry.  We know he traveled many miles and met a lot of people on the way.  Along with others, he was at the forefront of introducing new technology in the industry where he sold a lot of equipment, made a significant difference and touched so many lives along the way. 

We want to acknowledge his special friend and business associate Jeff Franklin, who recently passed leaving us feeling really alone.  We loved Jeffery, an unbelievably special man.  Jeff helped Bob immensely when he was starting out in the computer world.   And not to forget all the other outstanding family, friends, and business associates that passed away before him.  We were blessed by these people as well as the ones still with us.

Throughout his life he enjoyed boating and ocean fishing with family and friends.   Over the years he went on many ocean fishing trips …always looking to catch “the big one”.  Sometimes, if “it was the one that got away”, Bob still enjoyed the challenge.

In the few months before his passing, Bob was losing a slow battle and was eventually unable to carry on with some of the physical activities he’d been enjoying these past few years.  He enjoyed his three-times-a-week visits to exercise at the Aquatic Center.  He religiously showed up for his “pool time”; sometimes participating in a water aerobics class, completing circuits around the river pool, socializing with acquaintances and friends and, especially, looked forward to playing in the Friday water-volleyball game. 

He was tenacious when it came to managing his computer activities or his volunteer work on the Landscape Committee. He was laughing until the end too, exchanging comical emails with family and friends (Come on everyone, you know you’ll miss all of Bob’s emails!).   Sending and receiving emails kept Bob happy and allowed him to stay fully engaged with the world.  

In the end, in perfect “Bob” style, he remained patient with himself and with all of us.  Patience really was his virtue!  We pray for the guidance and grace that he always seemed to carry throughout his life and we are grateful that his struggling is eased now that he is resting in the arms of angels and God.  

Rest Peacefully!

To View the Obituary Published in the Oregon Statesman Journal:

A private family military tribute will be held at a later time.