Robert (Bob) Earl Wallingford passed into Heaven on the afternoon of August 28th, 2018 from complications from a major surgery.
Bob was born to C. Earl and Bernice R. Wallingford on November 2nd, 1927. Three years later his sister Bette Wallingford joined the family. Bob attended Yakima schools, graduating early from Yakima High with some of his buddies to enlist in the Navy to fight in the war where he served as a medic. After serving he came back to Yakima and attended YVCC.
He married his sweetheart Geraldine (Jerrie) M. Hogan on August 24th, 1947 at the now Grace of Christ Church. The next year their first daughter, Robin was born followed two years later with their second daughter, Renn.
Bob was many things in his lifetime. A loving husband, father, grandfather and great-grandfather, a caring brother, a loving and devoted son, uncle and friend. He was an accomplished trap shooter, an avid fisherman and of course, golfer. But who he really was to his core was a builder with the mind of an engineer. He started after the service working with his dad building homes. He also worked several years for United Builders. He decided he wanted to have his own business and he started out with Cleo Shelton as Wallingford and Shelton. They tried to raise nutrias as a side business but that turned out as not one of his best accomplishments. He later formed Wallingford and Morrow with Bus Morrow. At some point, Bob and Jerrie decided to venture out on their own and R.E.W. Inc. was formed. REW built many of the schools, office buildings and warehouses in the valley and even into Oregon and California. REW was a respected and trusted force in the Yakima Valley construction community for over 40 years. He employed a great many people over the years. While he was tough and demanding, he was also generous and fair. He cared deeply for the people he employed and their families, several of whom were his own family members. What in his business life he may have lacked in diplomacy, he made up for in honesty and integrity.
Bob and Jerrie were curious travelers, their curiosity took them all over the world, often with good friends. One destination held a special place in their hearts, Kailua-Kona, Hawaii. Soon after discovering this place it became a second home for them where they spent all future winters in the warm sun, playing golf and forming many more close friendships. Bob was a different man when he was in Kona. Gone was the hard-nosed, driven focus of a man obsessed with building. He was relaxed and easy with a laugh or a joke. It was the place he went to decompress and recharge. Kona became a special place for most of the family. So much so that his wife Jerrie and daughter Renn were laid to rest there, which are his final wishes as well.
After 51 years of marriage, his wife Jerrie passed away on September 24th, 1998. Several years later Bob and Yvonne Driver become companions and she enjoyed many years with him in Hawaii and traveling.
Bob was a staunch Republican, a Christian, and loved his community. He was a member of many organizations: Grace of Christ Presbyterian Church, Masonic Lodge 227, Shrine Temple MASADA, Jesters, Yakima Shrine Club, Yakima Elks 318 for 58 years, Yakima Home Builders Association (former President), Washington State Home Builders (former President), Master Builders Association, Association of General Contractors, National Rifle Association, Yakima Lions Club and the American Legion.
Bob was preceded in death by his parents, Earl and Bernice Wallingford, wife Jerrie, sister Bette and daughter Renn Abrams.
He is survived by his daughter Robin (Steve) Eichler, grandchildren, Scott (Nicole) Abrams, Jodi Abrams , Mike (Jesica) Abrams, Lori Eichler, Leah (Jeff) Britz, Seth Eichler, and Jillian Eichler, 17 great grandchildren, 3 great-great grandchildren, nieces, Cindi Hart and Becky Palmer and nephews, Steve Noble and Brad Pierce. He is also survived by his longtime companion, Yvonne Driver and her children Debra Landis and Jim Landis.
The family would like to express our heartfelt thanks to Dr. Andrea Vietch and her staff at Northwest Medical Specialties, PLLC, David Moore and his staff at Moore Family Dental and to Dr. Lascar and his staff for all the wonderful care that Dad received. He truly cared deeply for all of them.
In lieu of flowers, Bob would have liked donations sent to the Shriner hospital for kids and the Junior Golf at the Yakima Elks 318.
Memorial services will be Saturday, September 8th, 2018 at 2:00 PM at Rainier Memorial Center in Terrace Heights.