Robert Stewart Minnich died June 14, 2017 after a short fight with cancer. He was born on June 27, 1950 at Tripler Hospital in Honolulu, HI. The son of Colonel E.S. Minnich (USAF pilot and later mayor of Puyallup) and Laurienne Stewart Minnich, Bob moved frequently, growing up in multiple stations in the U.S. and Europe. However, Puyallup, WA, was considered ‘home base’ because Laurienne was a Puyallup native.
Bob graduated from W.T. Woodson High School (Fairfax, VA) in 1968 as a National Merit Scholar. He began his collegiate career at the Naval Academy in 1968, transferred to the University of Puget Sound in 1969, transferred to Washington State University in 1970 where he helped found the WSU crew team, and graduated from the University of Washington in 1973. Bob moved to Puyallup that year to care for his aging grandmother, Lillian Stewart.
Over the ensuing years Bob became a mainstay for community services in Puyallup, offering his time and energy to Friends of the Library (past president), the Rhododendron Society, and he was a Paul Harris Fellow of Rotary International. He served as president of the Ezra Meeker Historical Society (now the Puyallup Historical Society at Meeker Mansion), was a 25th district leader of the Republican Party, and one-time manager of Puyallup’s Main Street. Bob was passionate about tree planting, so many of the trees that line Puyallup city streets were planted by Bob’s efforts. He had a deep love for all history, and especially the local history of the Puyallup Valley. He led many school groups over the years on history tours of downtown, as well as through the Meeker Mansion.
In tight times, Bob’s sense of humor always came to the rescue. Family members and friends recruited to clear trees after windstorms were dubbed the ‘Hardly Able Logging Company’. Anticipating a bad decision, Bob’s little brother warning of “Iceberg ahead!” could be heard and too often followed by “Cling to the wreckage!” Bob is survived by his mother Laurienne, his sister Elizabeth C. Anderson (Duvall, WA), his brother, Scott A. Minnich (Moscow, ID), and his beloved Border collie, Troon, the international peacock-herding champion. A private interment will be held on July 15 at the Tacoma Cemetery. A community Celebration of Life service for Bob will be held on the grounds of the Meeker Mansion at 12:30 p.m. on Sunday, July 16.