Join us for a remembrance of Bob Scheelen
Saturday, October 3, 2020 at 9:30 am PDT.
Zoom link is available by sending an email with your name and connection to Bob to email@example.com
Robert John Scheelen (1/11/45 – 8/29/20)
Bob had a powerful connection with all living things. People, animals, and plants thrived under his care. Babies loved him. Everyone knew him for his warm, enthusiastic hugs. He was a wise, caring, intelligent person who lived a life of deep service to others. As he approached death with acceptance and appreciation, he revealed what it means to be a good person having hard things happen.
Robert John Scheelen,75, was born January 11, 1945 to Hans and Alma Scheelen in New York City. An only child, he was left an orphan at 18. His grief led him to a life of helping others. He met the light of his heart, Dolores, at age 31 and received her children as his own. John, Jennifer, and Noelle opened their hearts to him and became his family. His “Little Brother” Marvin became a son by choice. They and their children remained his greatest source of pride.
Bob was exacting but fun, involved but objective. His trip to a concentration camp in Germany during college reinforced in him the desire to do the right thing, whether giving blood (proud to donate 25 gallons) or fighting for the environment. He sought perspective through science but never forgot spirit. Neither personal nor public opinion kept him from saying or doing what he thought best. He expressed his opinions in articulate, carefully crafted letters to the editor on a regular basis.
Bob was a fierce advocate for children, families, and community work. He started his career in Child Welfare as a case worker, became a supervisor, and eventually was Assistant Regional Administrator. In that role Bob flourished, leading the organization to collaborate closely with other groups to provide quality services to the most vulnerable clients. He led a Quality Assurance program that was recognized and emulated across Oregon.
Bob set about peacemaking wherever and whenever he could. He received Conscientious Objector status from his draft board which approved very few applicants. In college and later he protested against the war in Vietnam and was an active member of Beyond War and other groups in the 1980s and 1990s. He valued his participation in his Political Group and other dialogue endeavors which strove to include views across the spectrum.
Bob was a powerful listener, to those who agreed with him and those who had a different view. He was skilled in moving a group forward despite conflicts. He remained steady and clear, able to set firm limits when necessary. He treated everyone with respect, whether met with gratitude or threats.
In 2008 after retirement, Bob and Dolores volunteered with Ummeed Child Development Center in Mumbai, India, for three months a year over a ten-year period. Bob nurtured the young non-profit’s management team as Ummeed grew to be a national force in India. He strengthened organizational practices and mentored many individuals. His input continued during his long illness and his Ummeed connections were a cherished part of his last years.
As a mentor in any setting, Bob made a difference in people’s lives. He helped them to be better than they knew they could be and always gave the credit to them.
Bob was an avid reader on a wide range of topics, and generously shared his knowledge in lively discussions and action groups. He practiced meditation and tai chi. He loved racquetball, cycling, and walking, especially along bodies of water. He and Dolores traveled with their daughters in China, backtracking by train and riding the Trans-Siberian Railway from Beijing to Moscow. They visited son John and his wife Kristina in India, Uganda, and the Dominican Republic.
Bob leaves much love behind in many friends and in his family: John (Kristina), Jennifer (Toby), Noelle (Tom), Marvin (Joyce) and grandchildren (Jack, Olin, Aidan, Lilly, Emma, and Keira).
Contributions may be sent to Ummeed Child Development Center, c/o 218 Harvard Street, Quincy, MA 02170 or Southern Oregon Climate Action Now (SOCAN) at https://socan.eco/donate/ – please mention Bob if you make a donation.
Bob will live in our hearts forever.