Robert Paul Inge passed peacefully away on May 1, 2020, at home with his lifelong love Carole, R.N. daughter Stephanie, and beloved cats Smudge and Pearl by his side. Born in Bellingham Jan. 5, 1941, Bob lived his whole life in Whatcom County.
Bob was a son of Bellingham-bred Bill and Margaret Inge (graduates of Fairhaven and Whatcom high schools, respectively) and was raised with his brother Steve on the South Side in the Donovan neighborhood. He spent his first 60 years of life on the south part of town, attending Larrabee and Fairhaven schools and graduating from Bellingham High in 1959.
In 1958 Bob met his dream girl in Pete Elich’s typing class at BHS. They were together from then until his passing. The two had an incredible relationship!
Their two sons, John and Bruce, arrived fast and furious living on 13th Street. Dad worked at the Coca-Cola bottling plant at night, while attending Western Washington University during the day. After graduation in 1966, the family made the big move to 12th Street where daughters (Stephanie and Sunny) began their life.
After graduation, Bob began a career as a juvenile probation officer, later being a caseworker in Child Protective Services at DSHS and management in Aging and Adult Services.
Bob was a pretty fair athlete and played tennis and golf much of his life. He was a crafty southpaw at BHS. Later he was a fleet leadoff man for early slow-pitch teams in town, Arts Tavern and The Tavern. His love of sport, especially high school, included following the local schools in football, basketball, baseball, and especially wrestling and track and field, which to his dismay nary a child or grandchild participated in. Bob was also a longtime Huskies football season ticketholder with his sons.
He coached some of his sons’ teams and refereed basketball. Daughters Stephanie and Sunny, along with niece Andrea Inge, were heavily involved with Job’s Daughters and Bob volunteered many hours helping them and their friends pursuing goals.
His many years of retirement from 1994 on were divided among following his four grandchildren and their pursuits, spending a great deal of time at the Inge Family Beach House at Gooseberry Point, and traveling the U.S. with Carole and Sunny and many family members and friends. He loved nothing more than sitting by the shore with a beer and roaring fire going. The grandkids Marcus Inge (Marco), Victoria Inge (Spike), Courtney Brown (Ruffy), and Collette Brown (Tuffy) all spent many summer nights at the beach and indulged Grandpa’s pyromania.
Bob and Carole moved to Lynden in 2000 and they became very involved community members; he really loved the town. He volunteered at the Community Center and the Lions Club and joined the Camel’s Club. He made many new friends in Lynden while still maintaining close ties with old friends, especially fellow classmates from the 1959 BHS class. Also, he had many friends from years at First Baptist Church in Bellingham, singing in the church choir for 25 years.
He really was a man of varied and passionate interests. He was a glue-guy for the extended Inge family and spent hundreds of hours compiling family heritage.
Bob’s was not a life wasted. He will be sorely missed by wife Carole; son John Inge (wife Lorrie), late son Bruce Inge, daughter Stephanie Janes (husband Bill), daughter Sunny Inge; also brother Steve Inge (wife Terri), brother-in-law Wayne Richter, brother-in-law Don Richter (wife Terry Kaufman); grandchildren Marcus Inge, Victoria Inge (fiancé Gavin Snyder), Courtney Brown and Collette Brown; nephew Sean Inge and niece Andrea Inge, nephew Brad Kaufman and nephew Brian Richter (wife Valentine); aunt Mary Byrnes; and many first and second cousins.
Please share your memories of Bob at www.molesfarewelltributes.com.