Comments

If you have anything you’d like to share with Bob’s family or friends, please use our contact page/form. It will be moderated before it gets posted to the website.

35 comments to Comments

  • Bob’s Uncle Leon and cousins Jon and Ragnar all have good and memorable experiences with Bob. He added creativity to the simplest of games even in grade school, and he was always fun to be with. If I only had a few words to say about my cousin, I would say that he is a man for all seasons. This world would be a much better place if there were more men and women like my wonderful and thoughtful cousin Bob.

  • Robin Walsh Allison (Jasper)

    I have so many great memories of my dad. He loved to tell one story from 1980, when I was staying with him for awhile, and he took my dog, Joy, to the park one day. Joy is the very furry tan/white dog in the photos. There was a dog club having a show with some contests in the park. Dad & Joy wandered over, and the folks there convinced him to enter Joy in several categories. He ended up winning several prizes, including ‘best dressed’ for her bandana & beads, and ‘best trick’ for her ‘dancing doggie’ act. He couldn’t have been more excited if he’d won the lottery! That was just before he acquired Jake, the black/white dog in the photos, which is a story for another post.

  • Tina Hayes-Siltzer

    This appears to have been a man who contributed a lot of good to the world, including 3 nice children, and who was well loved by those close to him. Though I never had the opportunity to have met him, I believe I would have liked him a lot. Lori and Cameron and the rest of his family and friends are in our thoughts and prayers at this difficult time. With our warmest regards, Tina, Jody, Julia and Kate

  • Sharon Glesmann

    Robin and Lori,
    I have enjoyed reading about your gifted father along with the photographs. I had the pleasure of meeting him once several years ago at “The Tea Table” while he was visiting here in Colorado. You have much to be proud of in your father and I hope your memories of him keep you inspired. What a joy to learn of his contributions to science and perhaps even more so in his volunteer work in retirement. My thoughts are with you and all of your family and I wish you peace.

  • Robin Walsh Allison

    I neglected to describe one major feature of dad’s personality – his sense of humor. He loved wordplay and enjoyed telling jokes and limericks, and was known as the King of Puns. There were jokes and puns written on pieces of paper in every drawer in the house, just in case he needed a reminder. He really kept everyone laughing.

  • Bill Compton

    I have been very fortunate to have known Bob as a colleague and more importantly as a friend. Over the years we’ve spent many pleasant Fridays together sharing jokes, puns, puzzles, a pitcher of beer and stimulating conversations. It was usually I who was stimulated by his wide ranging interests and knowledge.

    One tiny slice of the scientific world that he and I shared as a special interest was the family half-acids. These acids, Moronic, Imbecilic and Idiodic, were periodically reviewed with great delight in our conversations.

    I will miss him greatly and send my heartfelt condolences to Robin, Bob and Lori, his children.

    • Robin Walsh Allison (Jasper)

      Thank you Bill. We really enjoyed spending time with members of the Friday night group (aka “Old Farts Club”) while we were in town. What a great bunch of guys, and great friends for our dad!

  • Lance Hellwig (retired Associate Fellow, MEMC)

    Bob was an engineer you looked up to. What a creative guy he was. Did not have the chance to work directly with him while he was at MEMC but always admired him for his Si polishing contributions to MEMC and the semiconductor industry. Enjoyed seeing him at the Fellows dinner each year in the fall. Will miss him this year.

    Robin, Bob, and Lori, you had a great dad.

  • Wayne Jasper

    Bob always said, we liked each other for the similar sense of humor we shared. But I think he just liked my taste in wine.

  • marlene & dick griffith

    We had the great pleasure to meet your dad on one of his Colorado visits. He was such an interesting person to chat with and his sense of humor was delightful. We can see a side of him in our time spent with both Lori and Robin. Our heartfelt sympathies go out to all of you at this time and know you have many wonderful memories to recall his life.

  • Lori Way

    Robin mentioned Dad’s sense of humor. Here’s a great example that sums it up.

    Invitation Replies For a Scientist’s Ball:

    Ampere was worried he wasn’t current.
    Audubon said he’d have to wing it.
    Boyle said he was under too much pressure.
    Darwin waited to see what evolved.
    Descartes said he’d think about it.
    Dr. Jekyll declined — he hadn’t been feeling himself lately.
    Edison thought it would be relatively easy to attend.
    Gauss was asked to attend because of his magnetic personality.
    Hawking tried to string enough time together to make space in his schedule.
    Heisenberg was uncertain whether he could make it.
    Hertz said in the future he planned to attend with greater frequency.
    Mendel said he’d put some things together and see what came out.
    Morse’s reply: “I’ll be there on the dot. Can’t stop now, mush dash.”
    Newton planned to drop in.
    Pavlov was drooling at the thought.
    Pierre and Marie Curie were radiating enthusiasm.
    Schrodinger had to take his cat to the vet, or did he?
    Volta was electrified, and Archimedes buoyant at the thought.
    Watt reckoned it would be a good way to let off steam.
    Wilbur Wright accepted, provided he and Orville could get a flight.

  • Bob was my great teacher when I joined MEMC at 1991. At that time, He was retired and rejoined to develop new process for 6″/8″ CMP process. He was working with Harold Hileman and Dr. Darrel M Harris. These are all great engineers/researchers and older than 60 at that time. Bob was youngest and work for process and I’ve assit him. I was in my late 20s.

    At last year, he sent email “I am still in reasonably good health for my age. I spend most of my time trying to keep up with the latest developments in the world of science. I spend some time doing volunteer work at a local hospital and also helping to produce Braille textbooks for blind students.” And he missed the memories with me, Mr. Hilemann and Dr. Harris. At that time, Mr. Hilemann and Dr. Harris had passed away.

    Bob, Still you are my great teacher, I’ll always remember you.

  • Robin Walsh Allison (Jasper)

    More humor a la Walsh …. I received these from dad in an email not long ago:

    1. A bicycle can’t stand alone; it is two tired.

    2. A will is a dead giveaway.

    3. Time flies like an arrow; fruit flies like a banana.

    4. A backward poet writes inverse.

    5. A chicken crossing the road: poultry in motion.

    6. When a clock is hungry it goes back four seconds.

    7. The guy who fell onto an upholstery machine was fully recovered.

    8. You are stuck with your debt if you can’t budge it.

    9. He broke into song because he couldn’t find the key.

    10. A calendar’s days are numbered.

    11. A boiled egg is hard to beat.

    12. He had a photographic memory which was never developed.

    13. The short fortuneteller who escaped from prison: a small medium at large.

    14. Those who get too big for their britches will be exposed in the end.

    15. When you’ve seen one shopping center you’ve seen a mall.

    16. If you jump off a Paris bridge, you are in Seine.

    17. When she saw her first strands of gray hair, she thought she’d dye.

    18. Santa’s helpers are subordinate clauses.

    19. Acupuncture: a jab well done.

    20. Marathon runners with bad shoes suffer the agony of de feet.

    21. The roundest knight at king Arthur’s round table was Sir Cumference. He acquired his size from too much pi.

    22. I thought I saw an eye doctor on an Alaskan island, but it turned out to be an optical Aleutian.

    23. She was only a whisky maker, but he loved her still.

    24. A rubber band pistol was confiscated from algebra class because it was a weapon of math disruption.

    25. No matter how much you push the envelope, it’ll still be stationery.

    26. A dog gave birth to puppies near the road and was cited for littering.

    27. Two silk worms had a race. They ended up in a tie.

    28. A hole has been found in the nudist camp wall. The police are looking into it.

    29. Atheism is a non-prophet organization.

    30. I wondered why the baseball kept getting bigger. Then it hit me.

    31. A sign on the lawn at a drug rehab center said: ‘Keep off the Grass.’

    32. A small boy swallowed some coins and was taken to a hospital. When his grandmother telephoned to ask how he was, a nurse said, ‘No change yet.’

    33. The soldier who survived mustard gas and pepper spray is now a seasoned veteran.

    34. Don’t join dangerous cults: practice safe sects.

  • DaeHee Suh

    Bob was my great great teacher,also. I met him in 1985 at MEMC(St.Louis). He visited Korea(in 1986 or 1987) to help Korean Silicon plant. I was Polishing process engineer of Korean Silicon Wafer plant at that time. All of Korean plant engineers respected him and liked him. We remember him as a great researcher in Silicon Polishing area. Bye,Dr.Walsh !!! Have a nice trip !!! -from Korea-

  • When Bob renamed our Aunt Agnes, he had the entire Liljequist clan in hilarious stitches: Antagonist.

  • Tony Estep

    I met Bob at Buder Park in about 1970. I was just back from a job in England and had a junky glider made from parts I bought over there. He, Jeff Naber, and Bob Gill were flying glider and showed me how to use a hi-start and helped me without laughing at my ineptitude. At that time Bob had a Lil T plane. (Bob Jr showed me a picture of its ultimate demise.)

    We started to have a lot of fun flying gliders, and eventually formed the St Louis Eagles, a club which still exists in its present incarnation as the Mississippi Valley Soaring Society. Bob was a master craftsman, and built a beautiful Graupner Cirrus which he flew for years without crashing or even damaging it, while the rest of us went through many planes. We flew together at the club field (Holten Park in Illinois) and at contests all over the Midwest.

    Later Bob built a computer (a Sol-20) from a kit, and I did the same. We used to swap programs and computer tricks. We souped up our machines by adding 16K of memory (yep, that’s 16K, 1/1000 of the memory in the machine I’m using to write this). Storage was on a Radio Shack cassette recorder, until we got fancy and bought 5″ floppy outboard drives. Bob would come to my house for dinner and bring his computer, and we’d play like little boys. Our great triumph was a game of Life that I wrote in 8080 assembly language. You could set up a pattern of cells on the screen and the computer would show the evolving generations — just the sort of thing Bob loved.

    One night at his house he showed me his 3-cushion billiard chops. You have to realize that there were only a handful of people in the world who could even make a single 3-cushion shot. Those who could were regarded as having some sort of pact with the devil. We played a game; I shot for ordinary billiards (cue touches both object balls) and Bob took 3-cushion shots. He beat the hell out of me. He just walked around the table, chatting amiably and chalking his cue, then took that smooth stroke and the balls magically responded to his will.

    Every time I went to visit him he had some new gadget or puzzle to show me, or some shaggy-dog joke, the kind that makes you say “ouch” at the punch line. He was one of the memorable friends of my life, and we’re all better off for having known him, and poorer for having lost him.

    Tony Estep

    • Robin Walsh Allison (Jasper)

      Did he ever show you any of his trick shots on the billiard table? He really was magic with a cue. I used to play ‘bottle billiards’ with him on that antique 3-cushion billiard table in the basement, a fun but simple version of the game for ordinary mortals.

      • Lori Way

        I remember showing Dad a photo of me playing pool with some friends. I was aiming up for my shot. Dad said, “I can tell you’re going to miss.” He was right of course…

  • John, June, and Cindy Troutman

    Our memories of Bob go back to his early days in Dayton. He loved to watch his mother-in-law make bread and asked her just how many times to knead the dough. She laughed and said “I have no idea but you are welcome to count”, and he did. Bob was so far ahead of the rest of us that he created a CB radio for his car at least 25 years before most people had heard of them. Never mind that the antenna went from the back to the front bumper. We were honored to know Bob and so pleased to read of all the lives he touched in wonderful ways.

    • Lori Way

      I’m so glad you reminded me of Dad watching Grandma cook. I’ve heard so many stories of how he would hover behind her offering suggestions! (As if she needed any help!) He was insistent that if she would just measure her ingredients she would get exactly the same result every time — just like in the lab. I’m sure she thought he was a bit nuts. Mom also tells the story of the first time she made fudge, which turned out perfectly, and she was thrilled. Dad inspected it and said, “You’ll never be able to do that again.” And she never did.

  • Tom Walsh

    No relationship that either of us knew of. I was an engineer at Strasbaugh in California in the 1960s and later became the Chief Engineer. The first time I met Bob was approximately 1965 when he visited Strasbaugh while on a business trip to Asia I believe. At that time the company was located in Long Beach, a city on the outskirts of Los Angeles about 30 minutes from Los Angeles Airport. The meeting was short because Bob had to get back to the airport to catch a plane home. We discussed a silicon wafer polishing machine that Bob had sketched out on an envelope. We discussed the concept, made a few changes then Bob left with a request that Strasbaugh formalize the drawings and make a specification to quote against, which I did over the next few weeks.

    The first machine started a relationship between Bob and myself until Bob retired and even then I caught him a time or two back at MEMC in his lab. I always enjoyed working with Bob, “The Father of Silicon Wafer Polishing”, no one I know ever knew more than Bob about the process. Bob, myself, and Harold Hileman are co-inventors on several patents for several different polishing machines. Over time we manufactured perhaps a thousand of the machines we developed together.

    Bob was a wonderful teacher and a good friend.

  • Lori Way

    Dad was a big fan of evolutionary biologist Richard Dawkins. Here is a quotation by Dawkins I think Dad would appreciate:

    “We are going to die, and that makes us the lucky ones. Most people are never going to die because they are never going to be born. The potential people who could have been here in my place but who will in fact never see the light of day outnumber the sand grains of Sahara. Certainly those unborn ghosts include greater poets than Keats, scientists greater than Newton. We know this because the set of possible people allowed by our DNA so massively outnumbers the set of actual people. In the teeth of these stupefying odds it is you and I, in our ordinariness, that are here. We privileged few, who won the lottery of birth against all odds, how dare we whine at our inevitable return to that prior state from which the vast majority have never stirred?”

    From “Unweaving the Rainbow”

  • Lori Way

    We’ve been so impressed by the number of people who have come forward with their fond memories of Dad. We always knew Dad was brilliant, but it has been great to hear his co-workers and other professional associates describe how they admired his mind and his accomplishments. But I have to say, there is one unusual response that keeps coming to mind. There was a phone message that Dad had a prescription ready to pick up at his pharmacy. So I called the pharmacy to explain. The young lady who answered the phone started to cry when I told her Dad had died. I said, “Oh did you know him?” She could barely manage a “yes.” Honestly, it blew me away. I can’t imagine having that kind of effect on my pharmacist. It seems everywhere Dad went he made friends and people instantly liked him, even people who had no idea how smart he was or that he had contributed so much to the scientific world. He was such a genuinely pleasant and happy person. Dad’s brains have always made me want to be a smarter person, but this side of him makes me want to be a better person.

  • Robin Walsh Allison (Jasper)

    Saw this quote, and thought of dad:

    1. You want a physicist to speak at your funeral. You want the physicist to talk to your grieving family about the conservation of energy, so they will understand that your energy has not died. You want the physicist to remind your sobbing mother about the first law of thermodynamics; that no energy gets created in the universe, and none is destroyed. You want your mother to know that all your energy…, every vibration, every Btu of heat, every wave of every particle that was her beloved child remains with her in this world. You want the physicist to tell your weeping father that amid energies of the cosmos, you gave as good as you got.

    And at one point you’d hope that the physicist would step down from the pulpit and walk to your brokenhearted spouse there in the pew and tell him that all the photons that ever bounced off your face, all the particles whose paths were interrupted by your smile, by the touch of your hair, hundreds of trillions of particles, have raced off like children, their ways forever changed by you. And as your widow rocks in the arms of a loving family, may the physicist let her know that all the photons that bounced from you were gathered in the particle detectors that are her eyes, that those photons created within her constellations of electromagnetically charged neurons whose energy will go on forever.

    And the physicist will remind the congregation of how much of all our energy is given off as heat. There may be a few fanning themselves with their programs as he says it. And he will tell them that the warmth that flowed through you in life is still here, still part of all that we are, even as we who mourn continue the heat of our own lives.

    And you’ll want the physicist to explain to those who loved you that they need not have faith; indeed, they should not have faith. Let them know that they can measure, that scientists have measured precisely the conservation of energy and found it accurate, verifiable and consistent across space and time. You can hope your family will examine the evidence and satisfy themselves that the science is sound and that they’ll be comforted to know your energy’s still around. According to the law of the conservation of energy, not a bit of you is gone; you’re just less orderly. Amen.

    -Aaron Freeman.

  • Robin Walsh Allison (Jasper)

    Another good one for dad:
    A photon checks into a hotel. The bellhop asks, “Can I help you with your luggage?” The photon replies, “I don’t have any. I’m traveling light.”

  • Lori Way

    The only funny Uranus joke (according to Phil Plait), and one Dad would like.

    From Futurama, when they invent the ”smelloscope” (a telescope that allows you to smell whatever you’re looking at):

    FRY: This is a great, as long as you don’t make me smell Uranus. Heh heh.
    LEELA: I don’t get it.
    PROFESSOR FARNSWORTH: I’m sorry, Fry, but astronomers renamed Uranus in 2620 to end that stupid joke once and for all.
    FRY: Oh. What’s it called now?
    PROFESSOR FARNSWORTH: Urectum.

Leave a Reply