He grew up in Strathmore attending Syracuse Central High School where he lettered in football and track, setting a record in discus throwing. He earned his Eagle Scout Award and worked in the Adirondacks at Boy Scout Camps during the summers, leading many adventure camping and canoe trips, as well as climbing almost all of the peaks. Bob held a life-long love of the Adirondacks and was thrilled to be able to attend the 1980 Winter Olympics in Lake Placid with his family. Many thanks to his wonderful friends from the Chicago area for being a part of that great experience.
He received a track scholarship at Syracuse University based on his record in discus throwing. At SU he was on the track, football, and ski teams and a member of Beta Theta Pi Fraternity where he served as president. Bob received a B.S. in accounting from S.U. after which he entered the United States Air Force. He was Budget Officer, became a First Lieutenant, and an Air Force pilot. His love of adventure lead him to do everything from water skiing behind an air plane on Oneida Lake to traveling all over the US and Canada, pulling a trailer behind his van. He also traveled much of China living there for a while.
Bob worked for Montgomery Ward at the catalog headquarters in Chicago as an accountant/comptroller and later at Dental Network, and finally at Oregon State's Boy Scout headquarters. Bob was a dedicated champion of the Boy Scouts and was a
Boy Scout leader when his three sons were members of troop 16 in Oak Park, IL.
He is survived by his wife Janet Adams Shadle; son Eric (Christine) Cook living in Phoenix, AZ; a daughter Heidi Cook (James Patton) living in Farmington, MI; and another son Timothy Cook living in Berwyn, IL. His son David died in 2011 in Springfield, IL.
Bob is also survived by step-son Timothy (Kimberly) Shadle, living in Skaneateles; his nephew James (Debbie) Cook of Liverpool; and grandchildren Kelly Nelson, Jeffrey and Joshua Cook, and step grandchildren Justin and Allison Shadle.
His family would like to thank the caring staff at The Commons of Auburn for his care. A service will be held at a later date at the Skaneateles Presbyterian Church. Donations can be made to the Alzheimer's Assn. at 441 W. Kirkpatrick St. in Syracuse.
To send condolences, visit robertdgrayfuneralhome.com.