Robert Lee Mahan Sr.
March 29, 1938 - November 28, 2017
Robert Lee Mahan Sr. passed away Nov. 28, 2017, at his home in Scottsdale, Ariz. Bob was born March 29, 1938, in Boise, Idaho, to Roy J. Mahan and Matilda “Tillie” Moser Mahan. As a boy, Bob moved with his family to Hood River, Ore. Bob often fished and explored in and around the Columbia River. As a teen, Bob worked summers in valley orchards. While on basketball and track teams at Wy’east High School, Bob’s predominant sport was football, where he was the team’s quarterback. Bob served as class president and graduated Wy’east High School with honors. After graduating from high school in 1956, Bob married Mary Willetta Perkins, began work with US National Bank in Hood River and joined the US Army Reserves.
Bob and his family moved to Portland, Ore., in 1958 and received an Honorable Discharge from the US Army Reserve in 1962. It was while working in Portland for US National Bank that Bob began his career in computer software systems. For over 61 years, Bob and Mary followed Bob’s career advances across Oregon, Minnesota, Washington, Texas and Arizona.
Moving his family to Minnesota in 1964, Bob began managing software for what is now the Grain Terminal Association. Bob moved his family to Seattle, Wash., in 1966 to work for what became Airborne Freight and became vice president of information systems in 1971 at Airborne, where he was known as an entrepreneur with significant skills on IBM computers.
Bob left Airborne in 1980 to consult with large retail and airline corporations. Bob also formed a software company, ValTech Systems, where he developed computer software systems on Tandem computers for large companies on the West Coast. In 1998, Bob and Mary moved to Fort Worth, Texas, for Bob’s new job at Pier One Imports. In 2000, Bob and Mary moved to Scottsdale, where Bob worked for CVS Caremark until his death. As Bob described it, working for CVS Caremark was his perfect job during “retirement.”
Living in the Seattle area for over 30 years, Bob and Mary raised six children. While work was Bob’s passion, Mary and his family were his world. Bob often mentioned to his children that Mary was the main reason for his success and he proud of Mary’s artistic abilities in painting and drawing. As the children became teenagers, Bob avidly encouraged Mary as she went to college and began a career in accounting.
In 2000, Bob and Mary bought and managed a Metro Phoenix and Tucson Relocation Guide business until 2008. Together, Bob and Mary enjoyed discovering art, movies, music and sports through the years. Bob and Mary cheered each other on as they each played league soccer in their 40s and improved their golf over the decades. Bob and Mary were partners in adventure, commitment, life and love.
Bob and Mary raised their children to be independent, work hard, and have fun. Bob and Mary took their young children camping in and around Oregon. As the kids got older, Bob and Mary took their children fishing and boating in the San Juan Islands over several summers. Even with his busy schedule, Bob coached his sons’ baseball and basketball club teams and attended his children’s sports, music and drama events. Bob was proud of his children and grandchildren and was often a sounding board for them over the years.
Bob loved reading philosophy, history, economics and science fiction. Even while fighting colon cancer over the last few years, Bob continued to read and think about the future.
Bob is survived by his wife Mary; daughter Mary and her husband, Richard Sellers, of Renton, Wash.; daughter Teresa and her husband, Alan Ulrich, of Wenatchee, Wash.; son Robert Jr. and his wife, Judy, of Kent, Wash.; son Richard of Bellevue, Wash.; son Russell and his wife, Stacey, of Bellevue; and son Raymond and his wife, Tracy, of Renton; nine grandchildren and 12 great-grandchildren; brothers Ruben Mahan of Gig Harbor, Wash., and Larry Mahan of Pass Christian, Miss.; and sisters Charlotte Mahan and Jeanette Macarty, both of Vancouver, Wash.
Bob was preceded in death by his parents Roy and Tillie Mahan and brothers Bill Mahan and Norman Mahan.