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Robert Dale RaischNovember 21, 1926 ~ April 10, 2017 (age 90)
Robert Dale Raisch, 90, of Bradenton, formerly Holmes Beach.
Bob was born in St Louis, MO, November 21, 1926 to Alvin L. and Gertrude (Maschmidt) Raisch. He had one brother, William, all predeceased.
He and Laverne (Daume) met at S.E. MO State College in Sept. 1946, and married in Jennings, Mo, December 21, 1947. They celebrated 69 years of marriage in December of 2016 at Freedom Village, Bradenton, FL.
He is survived by Laverne, his loving wife of 69 year; four children, Nancy Acton (Dick), Steve Raisch (Kay), Janie Hulbert, and Rebecca Smith (Scott); five grandchildren, Emily Steinbraker (George), Holly Acton, Brad Acton, Robert Smith (Michelle), and Amy Smith; and two great grandchildren, Casey and Riley Steinbraker.
He was very proud to have been in the U.S. Navy in WW II, serving in the Pacific. He trained as a radioman and was aboard the U.S.S. Fon du Lac, an attack transport that was on its way to Japan. He would have been in the invasion, but for the dropping of the atomic bomb!
He attended S.E. MO State College and the University of Missouri, Columbia, MO receiving a Bachelor’s Degree in Forestry in 1950. The summer before his senior year, he worked as a forest ranger in the Nez Perce National Forest in Idaho. He lived in an observation fire tower and was responsible for reporting and extinguishing any fires. He once saw lightning strike a tree miles in the distance and he had to go put it out before it spread to other trees.
After graduating from U of MO, he worked for the MO Conservation Commission in Iron and Reynolds Cos., MO as a Farm Forester, helping private or company forest landowners with their timber interests. He bought and managed 80 acres of timber land there.
In 1957, the family moved to Manhattan, Kansas. Bob received a Master’s Degree in Landscape Architecture from Kansas State University while working as an assistant professor and a forester with both the Kansas State Extension Service and the State of Kansas Department of Forestry.
Bob was offered the position of State Forester in charge of the forestry program for the State of Indiana in 1962 and the family moved to Indianapolis. He was the youngest state forester in the country and was responsible for the management of all the personnel and operations of the state forests.
The U. S. Forest Service in Washington, D.C. contacted Bob in 1968 and offered him a position as Director of State and Private Forestry overseeing the Department of Cooperative Forest Management. The family moved, this time, to Springfield, VA. This position required him to travel extensively throughout the country working with the state foresters and their programs. He purchased and managed 26 acres of timber land in southern Virginia.
He was supposed to attend a State Foresters’ meeting in Arizona in 1969, but he had to cancel due to a meeting with a congressman over a problem. Thereby he was given the opportunity to attend the 1970 State Foresters’ meeting, in Hawaii, as the only Forest Service Official to attend.
In the spring of 1972, the U. S. Forest Service transferred Bob to the position of Director of the Northeast Region of the United States. This included another move, this time to Swarthmore, PA, where he worked out of the Philadelphia office. He covered the area from Maine, south to Virginia, and west through Missouri and Minnesota. He continued to support the state foresters and their programs.
In October of this same year, Bob represented the U. S. at the World Forestry Congress in Buenos Aires, ARG. While there, he was fortunate to be able to visit Brazil and Uruguay.
Bob was asked to accept a lateral move to Atlanta in 1980, to assume the position of Director of the South East Region to “straighten things out.” He covered the southeastern US from VA, W VA, KY, west to TX and OK and south to FL and also Puerto Rico. He served for 2 years and retired Dec. 1982.
Upon retirement, he joined with a fellow Forest Service retiree, Jim Sabin, establishing their own Landscape business called “Turf and Tree”. He utilized his landscape architecture degree, designing and planting for personal and commercial clients for 10 years, until his final retirement in 1992.
Prior to his final retirement, he purchased a condominium In Holmes Beach, on Anna Maria Island, where he was a snow bird until 2004 when he sold his Atlanta house and moved to the island. The condo overlooked a canal and the Intercostal Waterway between Anna Marie Island and the mainland of Bradenton. He enjoyed walking the beach, 4 miles up the shore and back, he played golf and tennis, was active in Kiwanis on the island and Roser Community church on the island where he served as a Deacon. He was an active Stephen Minister at Briarcliff United Methodist Church in Atlanta and at Roser. An artist, Bob loved to draw and paint and was a published author with articles in several Gulf Coast Writer’s books.
He moved to Freedom Village in June 2016 and was under Hospice care when he passed on 4/10/17.
A celebration of Bob’s life will be held at 2:00 PM, Friday, April 21, 2017 in the Auditorium of Freedom Village, 6410 21st Ave. W., Bradenton.
The family requests that in lieu of flowers that memorials be made to TideWell Hospice, 5955 Rand Blvd., Sarasota, Fl. 34238 in his memory.
Condolences for the family may be made online at www.shannonfuneralhomes.com.
5955 Rand Blvd., Sarasota FL 34238