Bob was born on April 9, 1947 in Burlington, WA to Gilbert and Shirley Arthur. He was raised in Sedro Woolley, WA graduating from SWHS in 1965. He went on to get his BS degree in Plant Science at Washington State University in 1969. Later that year he joined the Peace Corps where he volunteered in Brazil and became fluent in Portuguese. Here he taught subsistence farming to families in rural Brazil. During his last year in the Peace Corps he volunteered for the Ministry of Agriculture researching beans and soybeans. It was in Brazil where he met a lovely Brazilian girl by the name of Marly DeSousa in 1970. Marly says that it was love at first sight. They were married 2 years later in Brazil on July 1, 1972.
When the two returned to the states to begin what became 46 years of marriage Bob started a career as a research director and plant breeder at Crites Moscow Growers in Moscow, ID. He did this while simultaneously working on his MS degree in Agronomy at the U of I. He graduated in 1981. He dedicated his career to 36 years of plant breeding for Crites. He was dedicated to his work, developing numerous patents of pea seed varieties over the years.
Bob shared his love and passion for plants, gardening, and the outdoors with everyone he met. Every year he grew and gave an abundance of fruits and vegetables to friends and neighbors. He would start plants from seed and give the started plants away to neighbors, coworkers, and fellow church members. He spent endless hours tending to his beautiful and expansive garden. When he wasn’t gardening he found time to take his family fishing, camping, hiking and/or backpacking. Some of his kid’s favorite memories are of backpacking with their dad in the Seven Devils Wilderness, Kelly Creek, and along the rivers of northeastern Oregon. His favorite fishing holes were Elk River, the Skagit River, and Spring Valley. His best fishing buddies were his mother Shirley and his brother-in-law Ed Alskog. Together they went on several fish outings every year.
While his son was growing up he played an active role as a Scout leader participating in many camping, backpacking, and cycling trips in Idaho, Washington, and Oregon. Bob was also an avid sports fan, he followed nearly every sport. He played on several Parks & Rec softball and basketball teams. He was a runner, participating in several fun runs in the area. Growing up he played football, basketball, and baseball. Horses were a big part of his life while growing up. He would ride into the backcountry of the North Cascades with his family to camp, explore, and hunt. With his father he loved bird and deer hunting. He also competed in many horse shows winning many trophies and prize winning ribbons. As his 5 year old granddaughter declared “Vovo” (grandpa in Portuguese) was good at everything!
Bob is survived by his wife Marly, daughter Milena Arthur, son and daughter-in-law Michael and Daphne Arthur, two grandchildren Sloan and Reid, mother Shirley and sister Cathy Arthur, Uncle Dick McClure, brother-in-law Ed Alskog, niece Monica James and niece Jamie Alskog.
He was preceded in death by his father Gilbert Arthur, a sister Penny Alskog, uncle Lyle McClure and aunt Jeanne Gilbert.
A memorial mass will be held this Friday, September 8 at 11:00 am at St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Moscow. A reception will follow at St. Mary’s Family Center.
Memorials are suggested to the University of Idaho Arboretum and Botanical Garden, St. Mary’s School Foundation, or to St. Mary’s Catholic Church in lieu of flowers.
Arrangements have been entrusted to Short’s Funeral Chapel, Moscow, and online condolences may be sent to www.shortsfuneralchapel.net.