Robert Scharnhorst

Robert Joseph Scharnhorst was born 21 May 1920 in Genesee, Idaho. His parents Louis Dedrick Scharnhorst and Mary Josephine (Sprenger), also born in Genesee.

Robert (Bob) married May Elizabeth (Hanson) 14 Feb 1944 at the St James Cathedral in Seattle Washington. They had four sons: Dean Dedrick, Michael James, Dale Patrick, Roger Louis and eight Grandchildren: Elizabeth Bragg, Diane Sires, Crystal Contreras, Kimberly, Kyle, Kelsey, Tamatekapua(Tama), Taiteariki (Tai), and four Great-grandchildren: Jacqueline Bell, Austin and Ashley Bragg and Marisela Contreras.

Bob was drafted by the N.Y. Yankees out of high school. Aspiring to go to the Olympics he turned them down to go to the University of Southern Idaho to play baseball, football and basketball. Two years later he worked for Boeing in Seattle. He was an electrical engineer and a baseball pitcher and catcher for the Matheny and Bacon team. He pitched both right and left hands by just turning his glove over. He went on to play in Ritzville, WA for the Ramblers. Lots of complete games including no/ no’s. During the war he joined the Merchant Marines.

Bob lived on Orcas Island over 40 years. Bob was very involved in the community. He was a devote member of the Catholic Church. He loved to dance. He was the Commodore of the yacht club for many years. Bob was an avid golfer winning many local and Canadian championships. He attended many of the youth sports events in the area. He coached Little League until his late 70’s. Both Bob and May always dressed to the nines. At Dale’s and Roger’s games, kids were in and out of the motorhome getting extra snacks and encouragement from Bob and May. Youngsters were the future they always said. Bob belonged to the gun club for many years and enjoyed trap shooting and did very well. Some members remember Bob and May coming out to shoot after church. Bob shooting and May pulling the birds and scoring. Bob enjoyed hunting and fishing with all of his boys.

Bob managed Orcas Power and Light company from 1963-1982.When he took it over, they were in the red. In a few short years he turned it around. He developed an underground power system for the treed islands of the San Juan’s; this produced a less interruptable power supply for the people. This became the model system for the power companies of the Northwest. Bob even went in a two man submarine to see the cable on the ocean floor. Bob was a conservationist and promoted green before it was popular.

Bob passed away 21 Jan 2011 in Sedona, Arizona where his son Roger and his wife Maryella were caring for him. Bob was recovering from hip surgery when he passed due to complications from a stroke. He was preceded in death by his parents, brothers John, Donald (Dick), sister Anita Babich, his lovely wife May (Hanson) and his son Michael. There will be a memorial service at a later date in Genesee, Idaho. The family expresses thanks to all for your support. Remembrances can be made to St. Francis Catholic Church in Eastsound, WA or any Orcas youth sports program.

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Submitted by Robert Scharnhorst’s family.