Robert Joseph Seidl
August 15, 1915 – September 19, 2009
Robert Joseph (Bob) Seidl died on September 19, 2009 at the age of 94 after a short struggle with pneumonia. At the time of his death he lived at Horizon House in Seattle, WA.
Bob was born August 15, 1915, in Menominee, MI, the 5th of 10 children. He graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1937 with a degree in chemical engineering. He worked briefly for several private companies before joining, in 1944, the United States Forest Products Laboratory in Madison, WI, where he worked as a research scientist and later manager. In 1946 Bob served the Supreme Allied Commander in Japan, assessing the rebuilding of the pulp, paper and rayon industries. In 1957, Bob moved to Seattle and began a 23 year association with the Simpson Timber Company and its affiliates. Beginning as director, and later vice-president for research, he later moved into paper manufacturing, ultimately serving as President of the Simpson Paper Company. He retired in 1980, but remained a director until 1997. Following retirement, he accepted an appointment as Affiliate Professor in the College of Forest Resources at University of Washington, where he served for ten years.
During his professional career Bob authored many reports and papers and was an articulate spokesperson for his profession. He was a person who encouraged cooperation between researchers and industry and he was instrumental in the adoption by industry of many innovative technologies. He was an active member and officer in many professional organizations, including particularly the Technical Association of the Pulp and Paper Industry where he was honored as a "Fellow". He also served 25 years on the College of Engineering and Architecture Advisory Board at Washington State University in Pullman, WA. Upon his retirement, a scholarship in his name was established at the University of Washington for students studying the pulp, paper and forest resource industries.
Bob married Gwen Bryce Seidl in 1941, and they enjoyed a loving and productive marriage for 68 years. They had three children: Lynn Whitford (Bill) of Madison, WI, Bryce (Chris) of Seattle, WA, and David of Walla Walla, WA. He was a great lover of family which was a primary passion throughout his long married life. He was a kind and caring man who was known as a vibrant conversationalist with a good wit who enjoyed many warm friendships.
Bob was a keen admirer and patron of the arts. For 23 years he was a member of the Board of Directors of the Pilchuck Glass School, including two years during which was Board President. He also served as a trustee of Cornish College of the Arts. He was a friend and supporter of many excellent artists, but his wife Gwen, a painter and poet, was his favorite. The last 14 years of his life were totally dedicated to Gwen as she was stricken with Alzheimer's.
Bob is survived by his wife Gwen; sister Irene Johnson of Milwaukee, WI; three children, 6 grandchildren, and 4 great grandchildren and numerous nieces and nephews.
Robert Joseph Seidl
Christine und Lutz Langhans
October 1, 2009
We enjoyed a long and wonderful frienship with Bob. We will miss his kindness and love.
Christine and Lutz
Kacy, Cormac and Daegan Acevedo
September 22, 2009
My heart goes out to your family and to your loss. Take this time to remember the extraordinary life of a great man, and to celebrate the fact that we were all touched by his wisdom, humor, and experiences.
Our sincerest condolences
Kacy, Cormac and Daegan