A second-generation Olympic Peninsula, Washington-area resident, Bob was born in 1928 to Adlard and Gladys Prill in Chehalis, Wash.
After several moves and schools throughout the Olympic Peninsula area, Bob’s family eventually settled in the Dabob Bay community, where Bob would re-enter school in Quilcene for his senior year in 1946, and meet his future wife, Winona Arlene Butler.
After both graduated in 1947, Bob joined the U.S. Navy, completed his Navy boot camp that following summer in San Diego, California, and then he and Winona got married in October 1948 at the former Riverine Lodge in Brinnon. After fulfilling his first enlistment in January 1950 [staying in the Reserves], he and Winona remained in Quilcene, where he first worked for the U.S. Forest Service planting trees, before being hired at the Crown Zellerbach Corps (Crown Z) Pulp and Paper mill. Subsequently recalled to active duty with the onset of the Korean War, Bob reported to duty after the birth of his first son in February 1951, serving aboard the USS Okanogan, a Haskell-class attack transport that first saw service with the Navy in World War II. After his deployment to Japan, he was honorably discharged in March 1953 as a Machinist Repairman, Seaman (MR3), and returned home and got to meet his second-born son for the first time.
Following his Navy discharge, and after returning to work at Crown Z, Bob and Winona settled in Port Townsend, where they established the family home for the ensuing 30 years; growing the family with two new additions, and during which Bob also achieved “master” status as a Journeyman Machinist. Bob and Winona subsequently moved back “home” to Quilcene full-time about 1982, and after an initial mill retirement, and rehire under new ownership, Bob completed his 45-year machinist career.
An avid outdoorsman, Bob thoroughly enjoyed all the benefits of the Pacific Northwest outdoor life: boating, hiking, hunting, fishing, biking, walks with Winona, and was in his element on their beloved Quilcene Bay, driving the boat and water skiing with family and a countless number of friends; chopping wood for the house stove and campfires; tending to the orchard and garden, feeding the deer apple peelings after making applesauce from the apple harvest; feeding the birds/squirrels/chipmunks; harvesting crabs, clams, and oysters; and enjoying family gatherings on the beach.
A detailed craftsman as well, he was perpetually working on various home improvement projects (all under Winona’s watchful eye!), and by virtue of his handyman skillset and civic-minded volunteer mindset, Bob was a lifetime community activist. Before leaving Crown Z, he was a Port Townsend School Board member for 10 years (having signed all four children’s high school diplomas!), and while “retired,” he remained gainfully employed working a multitude of projects and a host of community causes for family, friends, and organizations through the years, including (in Quilcene): the Food Bank; the Community Fair Association; the Garden Club; the High School Alumni Association; and as a founding member of the Quilcene Historical Museum. He also supported the East Jefferson County Habitat for Humanity, and was a lifelong member of the local chapter of the Veterans of Foreign Wars. Collecting local honors along the way, he and Winona were the grand marshals of the Quilcene Fair parade in 1998; received the Jefferson County Historical Society Founder’s Day award in 2006, and the Jefferson Heart of Service Award in 2012.
Generally a quiet, unassuming, reserved man in demeanor, he is well-remembered for his welcoming full-bodied hugs, quiet humor, kind-hearted nature and his surprising “Be Bop Bob” dancing when the music, especially Zydeco, would get the crowds moving! Before departing Quilcene for New Bern, North Carolina, Bob and Winona were lauded at a community farewell tribute dinner for their “inspirational … kind and caring attitude,” which elicited a sentiment that “The heart and soul of the community is leaving.” At the time, Bob was quoted as saying “You’ve got to be motivated. Other people helped us along the way, and you’ve got to give back. That’s my philosophy: you’ve got to give back.” A loyal patriot, family man, friend, and neighbor, and a loving father, grandfather, and great-grandfather, Bob lived his philosophy to the end.
Bob is survived by his wife Winona; sisters Phyllis Ingalls, Darby, Montana; Glenda MacDonald, Port Townsend, Wash.; and Judy Pelikan, Beaver, Wash.; sons Mark (Susan) of Huntsville, Alabama; Chris (Susie) of Camas, Wash., Rick (LoriAnn) of New Bern, N.C.; and daughter Evelyn, of Kirkland, Wash.; grandsons Dustin (Hilary); Zach (Samantha), Jarrod (Melanie), and Evan: granddaughters Ashley (Tom); Janel (Robert); Lindsay (Brad); and Nicole (Nong); great-grandsons Peyton, Colton, Leo, Milo, Colton and Talon and great-granddaughters Taylar, Audra, and Azalene.
Bob was predeceased by his infant brother, Glen Prill of Quilcene, and three sisters: Joyce McClanahan, Quilcene; Lucille Rogers, Cherry Valley, Calif.; and Gloria Black, Atchison, Kansas.
No visitation or memorial services are planned, with an immediate family-only gathering projected for a future date and time. If so inclined, memorial contributions are suggested to either the Habitat for Humanity, or the Quilcene Historical Museum.