Bob (Frank Robert) Dew, 89, passed peacefully in his sleep on Dec. 9.
Bob was born prematurely in February of 1932 in rural Sublette County after his mother, Elizabeth, cross-country skied from their dude ranch, the Flying A, almost to the road; a distance of over 5 miles. Due to the efforts of a local midwife, Minnie Bloom, and a call to the surrounding ranches for canned milk, Bob was able to gain weight and thrive. This not only saved his life but also began his lifelong love of food, which graduated to pie and fried chicken.
Along with his sister, Betty, Bob was initially home schooled at the Flying A Ranch by his mom. Here, both learned a love of the Gros Ventre Mountain Range and the Upper Green. After this they attended boarding school at Wasatch Academy in Mt. Pleasant, Utah, and wrapped up their secondary education. Bob then worked his way through college by logging with his father and attended Utah State using his hard-earned cash. There he earned a bachelor’s of science in Industrial Engineering and, although he did not directly use this degree, he spoke fondly of his college studies. Returning to Pinedale, he entered business with his father. Together, they officially started Dew Lumber in 1954, a business that thrived for 51 years, and, after being sold, became Pinedale Lumber.
In 1962 he met and married Ellen Elizabeth Royce. During their 39 years together, Bob and Ellen were blessed with three children, Kerry, Dianne and David and building family memories. Bob enjoyed taking his family camping in the wilderness areas where in his youth he hunted, guided, fished and trapped. Any who know Bob know that his heart was always at the Upper Green River and Rock Creek areas.
In addition to raising a family, Bob and Ellen also worked side by side at Dew Lumber. Together they grew Bob’s sawmill and rough lumber business into a successful building supply company for the community. They were quite a pair with Bob finding he loved driving his diesel truck and had a unique talent for loading a diverse amount of goods on a flatbed trailer (“usually” underweight). Anyone who understood Bob could spot his truck miles off just by the interesting shape of his load. Boise Cascade latched onto his talent and it took Bob a while to figure out he was in charge of training the newbie forklift drivers whenever he stopped in for supplies.
Bob was also very involved in the Sublette County community. He served on the Pinedale City Council and also ran for mayor once, a position he lost to his opponent by two votes (one vote may have been Bob’s own as he was out of town, and the other vote his mom’s). Later he served on the Sublette County Rural Health Care District as both a chair and member.
Bob was an accomplished storyteller and a prankster. Bob loved the outdoors especially in winter. The family has fond memories of many winter picnics, feeding elk, ice skating (with Bob using a shovel for balance), as well as cross-country skiing.
Bob is survived by his daughters, Kerry and her husband Eric Despain of Salt Lake City, Utah, Dianne and her husband Mike Horn of Longmont, Colo., his son David of Minneapolis, Minn.; three grandchildren, Samantha Jager, Jesse and Thomas Horn; and his sister, Betty (Elizabeth) Sauer.
A celebration of life will be held Dec. 21 at 11 a.m. at the Pinedale Bible Church.
In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to the Museum of the Mountain Man, PO Box 909 Pinedale, WY 82941.