On Christmas morning we lost our Bob, a very special day for a beautiful soul.
Growing up in scenic Traverse City, Bob (born 1941) decided early on that he didn't like school and was notorious for playing hooky to go fishing ... so much so that he was held back in second grade. This later proved to his benefit and that of the Traverse City Trojans sports teams, for which he excelled in football (winning state honors) and track. Several football scholarship offers from universities were squashed by a severe knee injury sustained during a sure touchdown run.
Undeterred, Bob worked his way through college, getting his bachelor's degree in landscape architecture at Michigan State, where he met and married Diane Vaughan in 1966. After earning an Master of Landscape Architecture at the University of Oregon he became a landscape architect, working for the Chicago Park District, Superior National Forest, Willamette National Forest (once named WNF Regional Landscape Architect of the Year for his work on recreational planning), and as an assistant professor of landscape architecture at Louisiana State University. He was aesthetically gifted, creating beauty in his home and designs.
In 1976 Diane, working as director of the Big Brother/Sister program in Eugene, Oregon, matched Bob with Little Brother Brandon Cox, then five years old. The relationship is now in its 41st year and Brandon has truly been a wonderful part of our lives.
Bob dedicated his volunteer time to help design plantings for the Wallace M. Ruff Jr. Memorial Park and Magnolia Arboretum, working with dedicated Willamalane Park District staff members and volunteers.
He later took that notorious football knee hiking in Patagonia, Mont Blanc Circuit, Dolomites and the Lake District, and skiing at just about every ski area in the West and Northwest. He also biked 10 century rides. This same strength and determination helped him during his six months of cancer treatment.
Many cats were recipients of Bob's compassionate gentle spirit. There wasn't a cat he didn't seek to pet from Iceland to Patagonia, from Istanbul to Peru. Fortunately, although there were no cats in Antarctica, he still enjoyed that trip.
In that vein, donations to Greenhill Humane Society (Eugene, Oregon) or your favorite local pet organization would be appreciated by Bob.
Survivors include Diane Vaughan Longcore; brothers, Jim and Gary Longcore; sisters, Marilyn Schneider, Lorraine Hominga, Barbara Grosmark and Sally Viskochil; 20 nephews and nieces; and Brandon Cox and his daughter, Vaughan Marie.
Celebration of life ceremonies will be held in Eugene, Oregon, and Traverse City.
Published on January 3, 2018