Robert Francis 'Bob' Ludwig
Robert Francis "Bob" Ludwig passed away at home Wednesday, December 9, 2015 surrounded by family and loving friends. He was born June 28, 1943 in Taft, Ore. to Peter and Ivah "Spook" Ludwig.
Bob packed more than 100 years of living into a 72-year life. He grew up on the Oregon coast in a rough-and-tumble household with five boys. His family owned the Snug Harbor Tavern and later, the Taft Roller Rink, where he and his brothers skated, and worked throughout their teen years. They fished in Schooner Creek and the Siletz River and had pets of all kinds from dogs to ponies, to a tame skunk. As a young man, Bob worked at the Pixie Kitchen, briefly considering becoming a professional chef, despite once causing the unintentional near-poisoning of the Sunday brunch crowd. He left Taft to attend Boise Junior College, and later Portland State before being drafted into military service in 1966.
He traveled the world, first with the U.S. Army, serving in Southeast Asia during the Vietnam War, then as a regional sales manager for Westinghouse/Frigidaire/Electrolux where he worked for 38 years, and finally as an avid tourist. He loved Bali, Alaska, Fiji, Europe, Thailand, Vietnam, the mountains, and the coast. He attended bowl games and even the World Series in 2012. His last international trips were Myanmar in 2013 and a Mediterranean Cruise with three of his brothers, and sisters-in-law in 2014. He was very proud to travel to Vietnam with his son Brandon in 2010 and have adventures together.
He loved golf, and for 26 consecutive years hosted the Bob Ludwig Golf Classic in Bend, Ore. for business associates who attended, coming from all over the Untied States. He also loved to fly, obtaining his private pilot's license in the 1970s and sharing a Beechcraft Bonanza, 9842R, with close friend Philip Stonebrook for many years. He loved sports, especially the Oregon Ducks football team, and was able to simultaneously watch one sport on television, and listen to another game on the radio, all while reading the sports page.
But most of all, Bob loved people and their stories. He made friends everywhere he went and treasured those friendships. His job provided opportunities to meet people from all over Oregon and northern California, and his travels allowed him to make friends all over the world. He became close to families in many towns and loved to turn every sales call in to a social visit. He introduced himself to every waiter and remembered everyone’s names. He devoured non-fiction books, especially World War II histories, true-life adventures, and crime stories. He followed Lisa’s career as a criminal defense attorney closely, and even appeared as a witness in one of her trials. He was a film buff with an incredible memory for great old movies.
Bob was a Type 1 diabetic for over 30 years, but he never let that stop him from partaking in every possible adventure and experience.
Bob is survived by his his son, Brandon; his daughter, Lisa; his son-in-law, Keith Linn; his four brothers and their wives, Rondo and Janet; Stan and Linda; Dennis and Judy; and Bill and Sherry; and his precious grandson, Walter Linn. He is also survived by nieces, nephews, cousins, and three ex-wives, Patti, Helen and Kate, who were "mostly" fond of him, in their own words. In addition, his dog Lucy was a constant companion for the last eight years.
A memorial service to celebrate his life will be held from noon to 3:00 p.m., Saturday, January 9, 2016 at the Elks Club, Ashland, Ore. All are welcome to come and share stories about Bob.
In lieu of flowers, please support the American Diabetes Foundation or the Juvenile Diabetes Research Fund.