Robert Jones McBride: 1936-2019

Jul 17, 2019

Robert Jones McBride left us on April 30, 2019, in Edmonds, WA. He is survived by his adoring family: his wife of 59 years, Roberta Halden McBride; his three children, Heidi McBride Fritts (Steve), Christopher Scott McBride (Stephanie Steelman), and Shaun McBride Prozzo (Marco); and his grandson, Cooper Sterling McBride.

Bob was born on January 30, 1936, in Portland, Maine, and at the age of 7 moved with his sister Ruth and his parents, Harley James McBride and Olive Rae Jones, to the family farm in Saxtons River, Vermont. There he helped with farm chores, raised his own cow, and became a fan of the Red Sox. He attended Vermont Academy and Bellow Falls High School, graduating in 1954. He obtained a degree in psychology from Brown University, and after teaching for one year at the Fenn School in Concord, MA, he attended Naval Officer Candidate School in Newport, R.I.

He married Roberta Eileen Halden in Evanston, Illinois, on July 2, 1960. As Bob served as a Special Weapons Officer aboard the newly commissioned USS Kitty Hawk, the couple followed the ship and lived briefly in Norfolk, Williamsburg, Philadelphia, and San Diego before moving to Seattle in 1962. Bob remained in the Naval Reserves until retiring in 1980 with the rank of Lieutenant Commander.

Bob obtained his teaching certificate in 1963 and a Master’s of Education with Mathematics emphasis in 1974, both from the University of Washington. He soon became a fan of the UW Huskies, Seattle Supersonics, Mariners, and the Seahawks.

He taught math for 30 years in Seattle public schools – 17 years at Thomson Junior High and 13 years at Nathan Hale High School – and was beloved by his students. He was a “numbers guy,” always pointing out number patterns on license plates and clocks, infecting all around him with his enthusiasm.

Upon retirement in July 1993, Bob immersed himself in genealogy research, a long-anticipated hobby. Trips to ancestral homes and graveyards yielded multitudes of ancestors and relatives – some even still alive.

Bob was a loyal supporter of Cascade Symphony, in which both Bobby and Heidi play. In 2000, when the orchestra was reorganized by the musicians, he graciously agreed to manage the box office, a job he masterfully executed for over a decade. He joined the Board of Managing Directors, and on every concert night he was the amiable public face of CSO in the lobby of the Edmonds Center for the Arts.

He enjoyed maintaining his home and garden and was an inveterate puzzle-solver. Devoted and loyal to family and friends, he heartily supported the activities of his children.

Thoughtful, patient, generous, and kind, Bob was unflappable. A quiet man – to all appearances a stereotypical Vermonter – he possessed keen insight and a subtle, good-natured wit. When he chose to speak, laughter and delight often ensued! May his voice forever ring in our hearts.

A gathering of remembrance will be held on Saturday, July 27, from 2 to 5 p.m. at the Edmonds Center for the Arts. Please join us to honor and celebrate Robert McBride.

In lieu of flowers, please consider donating to cancer research or to a nonprofit charity.

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