Bob Eastwood, age 61, passed away due to various medical complications on Thursday, March 18, 2021.
He was born in Bellingham, WA on September 18, 1959 and was a lifetime resident of Whatcom County.
He was blessed with two children and their spouses; Bryan (Chelsi) Eastwood and Christina (Matt) Monaghan. He was preceded in death by his mother Jean Eastwood. He is survived by his two children, two grandchildren, his father George Eastwood, and his siblings Jim (Mary) Eastwood, David Eastwood, Steve (Sandy) Eastwood, and Maryanne (Steve) Van Allen.
Bob was a logger who became a skilled line-shovel (log loader) operator, one of the very best back in the day. He had a unique ability to get the most out the heavy equipment that he operated. Many a log truck driver commented they liked loading out with Bob. Early on, Bob earned the nickname “Buffalo Bob”, later shortened to “Buffy”, largely because of his large scruffy black hair and his toughness. Bob’s logging career was cut short in 1990 when it was discovered that he had a seizure disorder and other ailments that prevented him from driving, much less operate heavy equipment.
Bob was active in the Deming Logging Show both as a participant and foreman for the choker setting event for as long as his health allowed. From 1974 through 1989 Bob competed in Speed Climbing, Loggers Relay, Cable Splicing, and Best Load of Logs; the highlight being Best Load of Logs in 1986 and Best Load of Logs Double in 1989.
Bob’s hobbies included working on small engines and gardening. He was particularly handy at fixing anything powered by a 2-cycle engine or small 4-cycle engine. He was also an avid gardener and was particularly talented at growing Brugmansia (Angel trumpet) plants. These plants are not native to Whatcom county and prefer a more temperate climate like southern California, but Bob found a way to grow them in the summers and preserve them over the winter for the next season.
Despite a rough appearance, Bob had a loving heart. He cared deeply for his children and grandchildren. He also loved to stay connected with his siblings. His brothers noted that it was best to set aside an hour when you called Bob. He loved to visit and carry on about recent and past events with his siblings. His sister noted that he rarely let more than two weeks pass before calling to check on her and he was always there for holiday/family gatherings.
Bob was both physically strong and had a very strong will to live. When he was diagnosed with multiple medical issues in 1990, he first did everything he could to get back to work. Unfortunately, that was not meant to be and Bob had to accept the fact that he could no longer operate a motor vehicle or operate heavy equipment. Bob outlived his original prognosis by over 20 years, despite being diagnosed with further medical issues and suffering from the side effects of the plethora of medications he was prescribed. Bob lived over half of his life battling these issues and still managed to maintain a relatively positive outlook and stayed productive mowing lawns, working on small engines, gardening, and of course staying connected with family and friends.
During the past four months, Bob’s medical issues continued to mount. Even after three weeks in the hospital with the odds of recovery stacked against him, when given the choice of rehab with unpleasant medical restrictions for life or hospice care, Bob looked his brother in the eye and said “You got to fight, you got to fight.” That he did until he took his last breath.
Bob (Buffy) had a unique combination of talent, strength, passion for life, and most of all a big heart. He will forever be remembered in the hearts of those who knew him. God bless you Buffy!
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the United Leukodystrophy Foundation, the Antiphospholipid Syndrome (APS) Foundation of America, or the Deming Logging Show.