Robert ‘Bob’ L. Waterman
September 24, 2008
Bob Waterman was born in Aspen on June 26, 1940, and died on Sept. 19, 2008, in his home by the Roaring Fork River after battling cancer.
He graduated from Aspen High School in 1958 where he enjoyed playing basketball, football, “free ski days,” hiking in the mountains, playing the trumpet in band and playing the trombone in the Wolverines Jazz Band. Bob was an avid fly-fisherman and enjoyed tying flies. He also served on the avalanche control and mountain rescue team.
Bob graduated from Colorado State University with a bachelor’s degree in journalism and continued his education at the Art Center College of Design in Los Angeles, receiving an advanced degree in photography. Bob was a published photojournalist and traveled globally on assignments for Time Life Books and corporate marketing programs.
Bob served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Brazil, and that set him on course to travel the world extensively, including working in Australia for two years. He had an endless enthusiasm for adventure that included exploring off-road trails in Colorado and Mexico, horseback riding, camping and rock climbing. Bob’s lifetime concern for environmental impact was referenced in Edward Abbey’s book “Desert Solitaire” when he and Bob climbed “the Maze” together in Canyonlands, Utah.
In 1975, Bob returned to the Roaring Fork Valley to help his family with their ranch in Basalt. His career turned in a new direction and Bob began making furniture along with collecting and selling antiques. He approached craftsmanship with the eye of an artist and had a natural instinct about building trends in the valley focusing on organic log work, recycled wood materials and historic restoration. He provided decorative log and timber accents, reclaimed timber trusses, barn timbers and materials, custom furniture and doors, historic antiques and structures in many of the outstanding homes and properties in the Roaring Fork Valley. His intrigue with historic building techniques and use of antique tools led his career down a path of historic restoration and preservation of American barns over the past 10 years.
Bob was one of the original custom furniture exhibitors at the Western Design Conference in Cody, Wyo., in 1993. He felt honored to return to Cody in 2007 as a Judge for Cody High Style, a juried craftsman exhibit, held at the Buffalo Bill Historical Center. Bob was a member of the Rocky Mountain Tool Collectors, Friends of Ohio Barns and the Timber Framer’s Guild.
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Bob is survived by his wife Gayle C. Waterman; his sister, Judy Huston and husband Nick; his nephew, Jordan Huston and wife Dede; and mother-in-law, Mrs. Jim Carter of Longview, Texas.
A memorial service was scheduled at the Waterman’s home on Sunday, Sept. 28, 2008, at 4 p.m. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Roaring Fork Conservancy, P. O. Box 3349, Basalt, CO 81621, (970) 927-1290 or via their website at http://www.roaringfork.org in memory of Bob Waterman.