Bob Wilbur Remembrance
By Joe Warren
On Sunday, July 21, I attended a Celebration of the life of Bob Wilbur.He was remembered by his family and friends.Bob passed away on June 24 at the age of 77. I have many memories of Bob since he was in our fleet for several years.
In order to be more competitive he bought “String Theory” from Jeff Stork several years ago.Bob and I had many close races, and he finished ahead of me more times than I care to remember. On those many occasions where several Lightnings approached a mark close together, I always had confidence that Bob would follow the rules and not take unnecessary risks. And, he kept me sailing.The fiberglass encased wood rudder that came with 14037 when I bought it had been steadily deteriorating from damage due to hitting objects in the water. After several years it became unusable due to water rot.Bob readily agreed to sell an extra one for a very small amount.
I did not realize that Bob had many interests. He skied, windsurfed, and went to many musical presentations—especially Kennedy Center. I learned that in talking with wife Diane and looking through a booklet of comments on his life.Bob used to disappear every Summer; I knew he went to Maine and took the boat with him. But, I didn’t know that sailing was the main part of his life there and also of several grandchildren.Several commented how wonderful it was to sail there and learn racing from him.I asked Diane why she didn’t crew more often with Bob.She didn’t crew more often because he yelled at her.There is a lesson in that for skippers who have their wives crew for them.
In Maine Bob spent lot of time teaching his grandchildren how to sail.One of his children recalled that Bob came to Cape Cod Sea Camp for a parent/child sailing regatta over 30 years ago. He always taught them to do their best.
Although was always busy he didn’t like to be rushed.He took time to enjoy the activity whatever it was.A very fitting comment came from Awynne, another of his children, “He loved to observe beauty and be part of it.”I regret not knowing him better. I certainly miss him.