Robert Llewellyn Parlette (Bob), 76, of Wenatchee, passed away of acute myeloid leukemia at his home on Sept. 26. He was surrounded by his loving family while looking out his window towards the sunset.
Bob was born in Toledo, Ohio, on Aug. 11, 1941, to William and Althea (Hopf) Parlette. Bob is survived by his wife of 31 years Linda (O’Neal) Evans Parlette; children Brooke Parlette Lucy (Sam), Peter and Andrew Parlette, Guy and Lucas Evans; grandchildren Larkin and Mariah Lucy, and Jessie Evans. Bob was preceded in death by his parents and his brother William Parlette. He is survived by siblings Willathea (Parlette) Patzer, Carl (Jim) Parlette and several nieces and nephews.
Bob Parlette is a 1959 graduate of DeVilbiss High School, Toledo, Ohio. He graduated from the U.S. Air Force Academy, Colorado Springs, Colorado, in 1963. He was assigned pilot training at Williams AFB, Arizona, and awarded his wings in 1964.
After a short stint at Larson AFB in Moses Lake, Washington, Bob moved stations to Fairchild AFB in Spokane, flying the KC-135 air refuelling tanker in the Strategic Air Command. He served temporary duty assignments in Southeast Asia at U Tapao AFB, Thailand, CCK Air Base, Taiwan, Kadena AB, Okinawa, Clark AFB, Philippines and Andersen AFB, Guam.
Bob married Elizabeth Ambrose of Seattle in 1967 and resigned from the U.S. Air Force as a captain in 1968. He entered the University of Washington Law School in 1969, graduating in 1972 in the top 10 percent of his class. He moved to Wenatchee and began work at the Davis, Arneil Law Firm where he remained for 44 years specializing in mediation, civil litigation and consumer law.
During those years he bought a cherry orchard on Wenatchee Heights and began building his home and raising his family. From that time forward, Bob was involved in numerous community activities and projects. Of these, he was most proud of the completion of the Apple Capital Loop Trail. And more recently, the acquisition of the Peshastin Mill property, which preserves public access to a beautiful river corridor and invites all to envision his ultimate dream of a trail linking Leavenworth to Wenatchee.
Bob served as interim president of Wenatchee Valley College and served nine years on the Washington State Interagency Committee for Outdoor Recreation. In 1989, with his wife, Linda, he organized the Washington State Centennial Winter Games. He went on to spearhead many other community activities and philanthropic organizations including the Young Adult Consumer Education Trust and Consumer Jungle website promoting financial literacy in young adults.
The reason Bob was often late was because he was always trying to finish something. He was universally known as a “doer” — never compromised by bureaucracy — and he loved flying because it helped him accomplish more in a shorter time frame!
Bob truly enjoyed people and their stories. Young, old, rich, poor, no matter the race, Bob was always interested in people’s lives. His ability to study and appreciate people made him an effective attorney and advocate because he knew most accounts had at least two sides. More than once, Bob chose to support the less predictable one.
Besides his family, what Bob loved most of all was the outdoors. He loved cross country skiing, hiking, horseback riding, whitewater rafting and biking. His passion for adventure fit well with a love of flying and one of his great joys was heading north to Canada each summer along with other pilot friends (“The Coldfish Squadron”) in their small airplanes. He flew to a number of remote areas over the years, always returning home — not always safely! — to his own alfalfa strip on Wenatchee Heights (“The Abandon Airforce!”). A big part of Bob’s legacy is his advocacy for the environment, protection of the wild places he so enjoyed, and tenacious support of public access to nature so that everyone can enjoy the great outdoors and beauty of the Wenatchee Valley.
Bob was an avid reader, an accomplished photographer, painter and most of all, a great gatherer of people. Throughout his life and final days, he brought people together with ideas and humor, instilling meaning and hope for the future.
In lieu of flowers please send donations in Bob Parlette’s name to www.completetheloopcoalition.org (P.O. Box 1192, Wenatchee 98807); or www.evergreenmtb.org (25 N. Wenatchee Ave., Suite 109, Wenatchee, 98801).