Robert Eugene "Bob" Wilber passed away, peacefully and gracefully, surrounded by his family, after a final bout with cancer, at his home in Santa Fe, New Mexico on July 12, 2020 just days after celebrating his 87th birthday. Bob was born on July 2, 1933 in Denton, Texas, the second child of Harold and Florence Wilber, although he grew up and spent his formative years near Carmel, Indiana. He had a self-described "Tom Sawyer" adolescence, spending much of his free time in his boat on the White River hunting, fishing and, running a trap line, with his faithful dog, Thumper by his side. After graduating from Carmel High School in 1950, he received a forestry degree from Purdue University. He then served in the U.S. Army in West Germany, where he met his first wife, Inge "Chris" Goerl, who he later married in 1959, following her immigration to the U.S. They were married for 17 years and raised two sons together. In 1960, Bob embarked on a successful career with the U.S. Bureau of Land Management (BLM), most notably serving as district manager in California and Wyoming. He retired in Santa Fe, New Mexico in 1983, where he met and married Linda Whittenberg, his wife of 35 years. Ever active in his retirement, Bob devoted himself to environmental work, serving for several years on the Executive Committee of the Rio Grande Chapter of the Sierra Club and then the Santa Fe County Open Lands and Trail Committee. In his free time, he enjoyed hiking and riding his horses and mules in the mountains with his Australian cattle dogs (heelers) in tow, and attending concerts and dancing to country swing in local music establishments and on the Santa Fe Plaza, activities he continued to pursue well into his eighties. Bob was a good husband, father, and friend; and dedicated public lands and environmental advocate his entire life. He will be missed. He is survived by his wife, Linda Whittenberg, and sons, Scott Wilber of Santa Fe and Tom Wilber of Albuquerque. A service will be held at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Santa Fe sometime in early September. Memorial gifts can be made to his favorite environmental organization, Natural Resources Defense Council.
The Family of Robert Edgar Wilbur has entrusted the care of their beloved one to Avista Cremation &
Burial Funeral Home "where healing begins".
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