Bob Bright Blaine passed away in Albuquerque, New Mexico on April 3, 2019 at the age of 88.
Bob was born in Richmond, Ray Co., Missouri on April 26, 1930 to Robert Melvin and Ida Glen (Bright) Blaine. He spent time in various places from the Kansas City area to the Rocky Mountains while his father worked for Greyhound Bus Lines. He enjoyed many of his summers working on both of his grandparents farms in the Richmond area.
He attended high school in Raton, NM from 1943-1946. Bob played all sports, was in the Jr. play and speech. In January 1946, he met Rita Rae Haner at the Fireman’s Ball. In June 1946, Bob, as a Senior, moved back to Missouri and graduated from Central HS. Rita and Bob continued to date over the distance and time. He attended Central Missouri State College on a football scholarship, until losing his leg in November 1947 in a hunting accident. Rita helped in Bob’s recovery as she attended Stephen’s College only 70 miles away. Bob’s family moved to Denver in 1948 and he earned his Associates Degree from the University of Denver (1948-50).
Bob proposed to Rita in 1949 and were married 1 year later in September of 1950. They were inseparable for the next 65 years until Rita’s passing in April 2015. Bob and Rita were proud to raise their family in Raton, NM and did things close to home like hunting, fishing, swimming, sledding, skiing, picnicking, and camping in Red River. The family stayed busy attending practices, sports games, school events for their 3 active boys. Bob recalled attending 27 basketball games in 1 week between all 3 boys game schedules!
Bob was an active and respected member of the Raton community as a business owner and partner in Colfax County Abstract Co., Blaine-Dial & Co. Insurance, Park Ave Insurance, and Gate City Building and Loan from 1950 to 1992. He served on the Board of Education for the Raton School System for 12 years. He was also active in the Masonic Lodge, Elks Club and Rotary Club. He coached Little League Baseball for 8 years. Bob served as the PA announcer for the Raton HS Football games at Tiger Field from 1955-1990 and announced on KRTN radio for out-of-town football and basketball games from 1968-78. Bob and Rita spent weekends/summers working at the La Mesa Racetrack and enjoyed golfing together.
Bob was proud of his three boys, watching them graduate from college, become active in the military, raise their own families and build successful lives based on the solid values he practiced. He liked family reunions, holidays gatherings, opportunities to watch his grandkids play ball and teach them in his own quiet way.
Both Bob and Rita were avid golfers and played together all over the country. They enjoyed retirement and friends in the golfing community of Green Valley, AZ from 1993 to 2015. They spent many summers in Buffalo, WY and always looked forward to traveling to be with family & friends.
The last 4 years Bob was comfortable at the Montebello in Albuquerque and enjoyed playing dominoes.
Bob had an incredible memory and everywhere he went he had a personal connection to someone! We will all miss his love of family, family stories, wit and passion for sports.
Bob is survived by sons, Randy (Mary) Blaine of Buffalo, WY, Bruce (Melissa) Blaine of Albuquerque, NM, Rex (Julie) Blaine of Lewistown, MT, and sister Bette (Jim) Sullivan of Vandalia, OH; 6 grandchildren, 8 great-grandchildren, and many nieces and nephews. He is preceded in death by his beloved wife, Rita.
At Bob’s request, there will be no memorial services. A ceremony for family and friends will be held for both Bob and Rita at Fairmont Cemetery, Raton, NM at a future date.