Robert Norman (Bob) Ehmann
Robert Norman Ehmann,age 73, died Sunday, April 23,2023 at Saint Anthony’s Hospital in Pendleton,Oregon. He was the oldest son of Norman Robert Thomas Ehmann and Fay Skipwith Ehmann.
He was born April1,1950 in Los Angeles, California. His “Nana” wouldn’t believe her son, Norm, when he called to announce Bob’s birth because she thought it was just another “April Fool’s Day” joke.
He attended Occidental College in Los Angeles, California where he received a BS in Economics.
He next attended Lewis and Clark Law School in Portland,Oregon where he got his J.D. degree. He later attended BMCC,PSU,PCC,OHSU(where got a Certificate in Healthcare Management),and OIT as he pursued his IT/Computer training.
He practiced law in Pendleton, OR for 25 years. At the age of 50, he returned to school to pursue becoming an Internet Technology(IT)/Computer Specialist which he was doing at the time of his death.
He was married to the “true love of his life” Kathleen(Kate) Mace on September 10th ,1977 in Astoria, Oregon.
He is survived by his wife and his sister Peggy(Ben)Nelson, his brothers Carl(Kathy) and John(Lain) and his little sister Janet Ehmann. His Mace brothers are Richard(Iva)and Jeffrey and sister, Rebecca. He was predeceased by his parents,Mace brother Douglas,and his grandparents Cecil Skipwith, May Turner Skipwith, Robert Norman Thomas Ehmann andJulia Loesch Ehmann. His nieces are Megan Phillips-Mace ,Anna Nelson-Moseke(Doug),Elyse Mace Ezra(Thomas),Alexis Warren(Shay), Kayla Decker(K.C.),Kinsey Ehmann,and Callie Ehmann.His nephews are Jess Mace(Allie),Nick Speece,David Nelson(Nicole), Paul Ehmann,Ryan Ixtlahuac(Inae), and Ben Ehmann. His grandnephew is Andrew Moseke and his grandnieces are Emma Moseke,Elizabeth Mace,Mirai Decker,and Arlo Mei Nelson.
A “Celebration of his Life” will be Saturday, June 3rd at Pendleton Presbyterian Church at 201 SW Dorian Avenue in Pendleton at 10AM with a reception to follow. (Please don’t wearblack—Bob loved color). Service will be livestreamed at “Facebook.com/Pendleton Presbyterian”
Pendleton Pioneer Chapel is tending to his final arrangements. You may check their website(www.pioneerchapel.com) for information.
The cause of his death was complications of metastatic pancreatic cancer. He was determined to put the cancer in remission but after a valiant effort for 7 months, the cancer proved to be a dragon too powerful for him to slay.
Bob came to Pendleton in 1975 fresh out of law school to work as a Vista Volunteer for the Legal Aid Society. Later he was hired as a staff attorney for Oregon Legal Services (whichtook over Legal Aid) and became the director after that. He set up his private practice in 1980 and closed that to return to school in 2000. He was working for Interpath Laboratory/Adaugeo until he started his chemotherapy and finally had to quit.
Bob was an active member of the Pendleton Kiwanis Club where he held may positions from club president to Lt. Governor(3times) for District 80. He received many awards from the group for his enthusiastic and tireless dedication.
He served his church (Pendleton Presbyterian) as a deacon, an elder and many committees and commissions.
Bob was an Eagle Scout and served the Boy Scouts of America for many years in many capacities. He was the District Chair for several years where he organized adult training and leadership. Plus, he was a Merit Badge counselor and participated in Eagle Scout Boards of Review. He was awarded the “Silver Beaver Award” by the Blue Mountain Council in 1996 for his “distinguished service to youth”; one of the honors he most cherished.
He was active on many city and community councils and boards like the Watershed Council, Tonya’s House, Habitat for Humanity, Community Action Program, Pendleton Farmer’s Market and the Umatilla County Democratic Central Committee and the list goes on.
His service to the city of Pendleton started with the Budget Committee and later the Planning Commission. He was elected to the City Council in 1992 and served two terms(he believed in term limits) until 2000. He was “very involved in the initiation of the city Water Recharge Program that basically guarantees a safe and adequate water supply for years to come” per Larry Lehman, past city manager.
Bob and his wife, Kate, consciously chose not to be parents. He was none- the-less a willing and active supporter of local youth organizations. He didn’t buy Girl Scout or Campfire Kids cookies by the box but by the cases. He then proceeded to distribute them all over town and took them to every meeting he attended. He stored them in the trunk of his car and was on order not to bring them inside their home (except maybe a box or two of Thin Mints).
Bob provided the seed money to the Arts Council of Pendleton as they were exploring the possibility of starting an arts center. And, through the efforts of the ACP and the community, Pendleton now has a beautiful and thriving one.
When he was the director of Oregon Legal Services, he provided office space and support for the Domestic Violence Services’(DVS) first coordinator. Also, he supported the organization for many years doing what he could, when he could to provide help for women and children in crisis.
He always wanted a motorcycle (which his wife actively discouraged) but he finally got one and immediately joined a “gang”. Their motto was “We Ride to Eat” and they would gather on a weekend day to drive to a restaurant to have a meal; often, his wife joined in—she liked to eat, too.
His first passion was his wife of 45 years,6 months, and 13 days whom he met when he visited the archaeological dig in Mimbres, New Mexico in 1975 where she was working with his sister, Peggy.
His second passion was “Dungeons and Dragons(D&D). He started playing with friends here in Pendleton and eventually branched out to Portland, Tri-Cities, and Seattle. He went on to help plan and organize gaming conventions in the Northwest and the big one “Gen Con” in Indianapolis. He and his friend, Eric Gorman, wrote scenarios for D & D and one was published. It’s in its 5th edition. They were working on others at the time of his death.
Bob had a deep hatred for injustice and detested bigotry especially racial bigotry. He was a great admirer of Martin Luther King Jr. He kept a framed copy of the speech “I Had a Dream” above his desk. He truly felt the sentiment of that speech where Dr. King said that he hoped one day we will live in a nation where all people will “not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character”.
The family would like to thank the staff at St. Anthony’s for their care and concern in his last days on earth especially Heather in the Intensive Care Unit.
Memorial contributions can be made in Bob’s name to PAWS (Pendleton Animal Welfare Shelter) at PO Box 1876, Pendleton, OR 97801 (where he and his wife adopted their beloved cats, Turtle and later Tiggie) or to the Kiwanis Doernbecher Children’s Cancer Program (KDCCP) at 2870 NE Hogan Drive, Ste.E, Gresham,OR 97030 or to a charity of your choice.