Following is the full text of the obituary:
Robert Miles Vassar "Bob", age 72, died at home near Caldwell on Thursday, Oct. 14, 2004. He leaves behind: Lucile Westby of Boise, his first cousin; Rod Simpson of Caldwell, a friend for 40 years; Paul Shoemaker of Caldwell, friend; and Munch, the lovable, impish, faithful family dog. Bob was born on May 20, 1932 at the Werdenhoff Mine in the Idaho Primitive Area of the Payette National Forest. His mother Edith Vassar n?e Tallman and father Harold Vassar "Slim", a ranger at the Big Creek Ranger Station, 5743 elevation, decided on the 19th that the time was getting close for the birth and set out by dog sled, in deep snow, to cross Elk Summit along Big Creek, Smith Creek, Elk Creek, South Fork of the Salmon River and on to McCall, 5031 elevation, where there would be a doctor available for Bob's birth. The stress of the seven miles up the mountain from Big Creek to the Werdenhoff Mine was enough to start Edith's labor pains. They stopped at the mine for the night--and shortly after midnight Bob was born, delivered by a miner named Miles (therefore Bob's middle name in honor of the miner). Bob was the first white child born in the Idaho Primitive Area as several Idaho history books document. His mother Edith, a teacher, was originally from Kalamazoo, Mich. After moving to Idaho, she married Harold Vassar of Caldwell. With her husband, she helped tend Forest Service Camps and Ranger Stations, as cook, and in her motherly spirit, offered mental and physical support to all the miners and hermits living in the "back country." The Big Creek Ranger Station became the social hub of the area where anyone might show up for conversation and a meal at any time. Bob's personality reflected the characteristics of his parents. He was outwardly friendly, his mind was sharp and able to logically interpret information, and he had a genuine feeling for life, freedom and individuality. He was a special person to all who met him. During his childhood, after Big Creek, the family spent life on the road, during World War II, managing Civilian Conservation Corps camps in such places as Riggins, and then they later settled in McCall where his father became chief Ranger in the U.S. Forest Service. When asked, Bob could talk about chasing rattlesnakes in Riggins and the oppressive summer heat, but most important, he could describe how Payette Lake at McCall was all his for swimming in the summers. His description of the slow-paced, vibrant life in very small town McCall in the 1930s and '40s, where any kid had the forest and lake to themselves, helps one to understand and appreciate what once was. Bob graduated from Donnelly-McCall High School in 1949 and immediately went to the College of Idaho (Albertson's College) in Caldwell. After three years, he transferred to the University of California, Berkeley where he majored in astronomy. He graduated in 1954. Under his professors, he made significant finds in the solar system, with the aid of an enormously large new machine called the computer. Upon graduation, he entered the U.S. Coast Guard and served duty on the border between Russia and the United States along the Aleutian Islands. When discharged, he went back to Ketchikan, Alaska, where he taught school and worked as computer programmer with the pulp mill. While there, he married another teacher, Mina Fields from Texas; later they divorced. From Alaska, Bob started work for IBM in 1962 in San Francisco, then in Ibaden and Lagos, Nigeria, where he taught computer science at the University of Ibaden. His students were from all over Africa. During the second Nigerian revolution, 1967, IBM transferred Bob to Cura?ao and Aruba in the Netherlands Antilles, where he worked as a computer instructor, and computer programmer at Royal Dutch Shell and Standard Oil Co. Upon the death of his father in McCall, he moved to Eagle in 1969, to be closer to his mother. He worked with computers at the Idaho First National Bank, Boise State College (University) as instructor and systems analyst, Hewlett-Packard and started his own computer business. During this time, to express his enthusiasm for opera, he helped establish the Eagle Island Opera Company with Rod Simpson, and they produced, in 1979, in the Liberty Grange Hall, the first world performance, since the 18th century, of the opera "Una Cosa Rara" by Martin y Soler. Later the duo collaborated and founded "Initium" dedicated to producing CDs of music from the 18th century in manuscript form. Bob also published three CDs of his own music. In 1991 he developed lung cancer and lost one lung. A short five years was predicted for his life, but he fought on and lasted for 13. An informal memorial service will be held at home near Caldwell at 1:00 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 30. Call for address and directions: 455-8604 or 455-8686. No flowers please. Contributions in lieu of flowers could be sent to: Idaho State Historical Society, 1109 Main Street, Suite 250, Boise, Idaho 83702.