American Veteran 01

Robert Edward Tucker

June 8, 1931 ~ April 1, 2020 (age 88)


Robert Edward Tucker (Bob) passed away in his home in Carbondale, CO surrounded by family and love on April 1, 2020. He was 2 months short of his 89th birthday. Bob was born in Hartford, CT on June 8, 1931 to parents who immigrated from Newfoundland. Though Bob's family had little in the way of financial resources or education themselves, Bob found a way to achieve a high level of education in private institutions. He attended Kingswood school in Hartford on a scholarship. He attended Williams College on a scholarship, and graduated in 1953 with a BA in French. He received his MBA in International Management in 1956 from the University of Oslo. He also completed a graduate program at the Centre d'Etudes Industrielles in Geneva, Switzerland. Bob was an Eagle Scout and holds the lessons he learned from Scouts in highest regard.

Skiing was a central focus in Bob's life. Bob was inducted into the Kingswood Athletic Hall of Fame. He was the Captain of the Williams College ski team and during his time there, the ski team was transformed from a club sport to the top tier of the Eastern Intercollegiate Ski League, where it remains today. (he also received letters in cross country running). Bob went on to compete internationally in nordic skiing. He skied in the 1954 FIS Nordic World Ski Championships in Falun, Sweden. He was a member of both the 1956 (Cortina) and 1960 (Squaw Valley) Olympic Training Squads. He managed the US Ski Team for the 1964 Winter Olympic games in Seefeld, Austria, and also the 1966 FIS Nordic World Ski Championships in Oslo. Bob officiated some of the Nordic events at the Olympics in Cortina, Squaw Valley and Seefeld and was Assistant Chief Steward at the 1980 Winter Olympic Games in Lake Placid, N.Y. In 1964 Bob earned the USSA Award of Merit for outstanding service to the sport of skiing. He also played a pivotal role in advancing women's competitive cross country skiing in the US. These experiences allowed Bob to travel the world. He spoke several languages, his favorite being Norwegian, and he knew how to yodel. Bob's was President of the Cleveland Ski Club and in 1959, this is where he met Bobbye Berry, Secretary of the club, and they embarked on a journey of fun, friendship, business partnership and love for the next 61 years.

After his competitive career ended, Bob's passion for skiing continued and led him (along with good friend John Caldwell) to be one of the first full- scale US businesses, Nordic Sports Specialists, dedicated to importing cross-country equipment and wax. He also took a stab at manufacturing Nordic skis under the label of HUSKY. Bob was a pioneer and introduced the sport of cross country skiing to many people. He also was the Nordic ski coach for Kent Denver for a period of time, and involved with the Eskimo ski program at Winter Park. Bob had a very successful 55 year career as a manufacturer's sales rep in the ski industry. He helped many reps, manufacturers and retailers along the way and offered his advice freely. Bob taught "Retail 101" classes for the Ski Mechanics and Managers Workshops from 1981-2001, and he was ahead of his time in encouraging ski shops to utilize POS systems in the mid 80s. Many retailers have credited his classes as helping in their success. In the second half of his rep career, his daughter, Polly, joined his business. In a true example of the circle of life, when Polly came into the world in 1966, Bob was the rep for Fischer skis, and when Bob left the world April 1, Polly is the nordic rep for Fischer.

In addition to loving both alpine and nordic skiing, Bob was an avid outdoorsman who loved to fish, ride horses, hike and hunt. His community at the Ranch at Roaring Fork was his paradise where he could fish and ride to his heart's content. He had a real zest for adventure and life. In the early 70's, Bob was President of the Colorado Dude & Guest Ranch Association which helped unite the voices of Colorado ranches and introduce visitors from across the country to a "city slicker" experience. Bob was a long time member of the Round Up Riders of the Rockies, and Trout Unlimited Cutthroat Chapter. He had many good trips to the Big Horn with TU pals. Bob was a Denver Broncos fan and loved to garden. Bob also enjoyed celebrating the bonds of friendship and family with good food and wine. Bob was a real optimist and reminded others, "only the end of the world is the end of the world." He was also fond of saying, "too much of a good thing is just right".

Bob is survived by his wife of 59 years,Bobbye of Carbondale, daughter Polly (Steve) Tucker of Carbondale, son Jonathan (Hai) Tucker of Denver, grandsons Driscoll and Sumner of Denver, and numerous nieces and nephews. He is preceded in death by his father Robert, mother Edith, and sister Peg.

When the world settles down, a Celebration of Life will be held in Denver, and at the Ranch at Roaring Fork in Carbondale. Details TBD. Contributions in his memory can be made to the Round Up Riders of the Rockies, Trout Unlimited Cutthroat Chapter, the Boy Scouts, or Healthy Aging in Eagle County.


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