Vernon "Bob" Hotchkiss
October 24, 1936 – October 20, 2018
HOTCHKISS, Vernon L., Jr. "Bob" Vernon "Bob" L. Hotchkiss, Jr. passed away unexpectedly on October 20, 2018; four days before his 82nd birthday. Born in Colville, WA on October 24, 1936 to Vernon L. Hotchkiss, Sr. and Evelyn (Hoeft) Hotchkiss, the family was joined by five more children, including Billy, who died at four months of age. Bob graduated from Colville High School in 1954 and to pursue his love of electronics continued his education at Coyne Electrical School in Chicago, Illinois (1957-1958). He worked for TV Center in Colville; in 1959 he joined the Army National Guard. Always a diligent worker, Bob started working at age 14 in such jobs as delivering bottled milk for a dairy, making deliveries for a lumber mill, plumbing, setting pins for the bowling alley, etc. Late July, 1959, he met the love of his life, Janice (Buell) at her family's farm in Chewelah, WA. Later the same day, Bob worked up his nerve and asked her if she was "engaged, going steady or anything" and when Janice said she wasn't, he asked her for a date. Within six weeks, they were engaged and then got married March 5, 1960. In January 1960, Bob had moved to Spokane, as Janice was starting secretarial school and he had been offered a job as an Electronics Technician for Northwest Electronics, Inc. (1960-1967). In 1967, Washington Water Power offered him a Communications Technician job in the Radio Shop where he worked until his retirement in 1996, when he was 59 and was "too busy to go to work." Bob then contracted with Avista Utilities to hand build circuit boards at home for a communication system of his design. His love of electronics never wavered, whether building and running sound systems for homes or churches and events to repairing items for family and friends. The last several years, up till the day Bob died, he spent time restoring and preparing to sell many pieces of vintage sound equipment, vacuum tubes, etc. he had collected over the years, amazed that many of his "treasures" were valuable again. Bob was always eager to teach electronics to his children, grandchildren and friends and to mentor other electronics "nerds." The most important event in Bob's life was accepting Jesus as his Lord and Savior while living in Chicago. He and Janice have been very active members of Opportunity Christian Fellowship (Free Methodist) for over 58 years, both serving Jesus with a servant's heart. Bob designed, built, installed and ran the sound system for many, many years, as well as teaching adult Sunday School classes, mid-week grade school groups, singing in choirs and quartets, etc., serving in various leadership positions and on committees, attending and involved pretty much any time the doors were open. Bob's hobbies and volunteer work focused on electronics, music and loving people. He got his Amateur Radio License while in high school, but his main interest was designing and building the equipment. He also had a love of music, designing and building sound systems. As a family, they welcomed many, many foster children over the years, as well as foreign exchange students, often taking in those who were too challenging to "fit in" elsewhere. Another of his great joys was making people smile and laugh, whether with family, friends, at church or with strangers at a store. Having no false pride, and inheriting the great "Hotchkiss storytelling gene" he would do whatever would best make people enjoy themselves and have a good laugh, including for several years dressing up as a pirate, Short John Copper, with a pet chicken, Polly, on his shoulder to raise money for missionaries at the church. He had impeccable timing when telling a story or joke, so was asked to MC many church events, etc. He is survived by his wife and best friend of 58 years, Janice; daughters Jeanette DeAndre (David) of Shelton, WA and Joanne of Spokane Valley, WA; sons Gary of Gresham, OR and Jeffrey (Helen) of Mechanicsburg, PA. Siblings, John "Jack" (Carolyn) of Boise, ID, Shirley Jutila (Mike) of Colville, WA, Sharon Roesler (Jim) of San Ramon, CA, Gary (Jan) of Colville, WA and Kathy Knudson (Gus) of Bismarck, ND.; nine grandchildren: Jenell, Brock, Gavin, Mitchell, Tristan, Mateo, Mercedes, Jada, Jasmine, and one great-granddaughter, Emily Rose, numerous neices and nephews and many loved ones who called him Dad and Grandpa. A celebration of Bob's life will be held at 2pm on November 10th at Opportunity Christian Fellowship, 1313 South Pines Road, Spokane Valley, WA. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations can be made to Eden Reforestation Projects (edenprojects.org) or directed to Opportunity Christian Fellowship (OpportunityChristianFellowship.org).
- Celebration of Life Saturday, November 10, 2018
Vernon "Bob" Hotchkiss
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