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Robert Maurice Lake
February 16, 1928 - October 29, 2022
Church Blessed Sacrament Catholic Church
Mass of Christian Burial will be on Saturday, November 12th at 10:30 a.m., at Blessed Sacrament Catholic Church, followed by burial at Mount Calvary Cemetery.
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Robert Maurice Lake, 94, passed away on October 29, 2022, in Tucson, Arizona.
Robert was born in 1928 in Sturgis, South Dakota, firstborn son of Maurice Lake and Marion Lodge Lake of Enning. Bobby and his parents spent his first five years with grandparents Jasper and Grace Lake on the B Ranch near Enning and then moved to Hereford, where they rented and farmed the “Jones Place.” The Great Depression and drought made farming difficult, so the family moved to Sturgis. He attended St. Martin’s Academy and Sturgis High School, working most summers on ranches and farms. In the summer of 1945, Bob worked in the Black Hills National Forest, the beginning of what would become his career with the U.S. Forest Service.
Following graduation, Bob enlisted in the U.S. Navy and served at Naval air stations in New Jersey and Florida and as a Naval Weatherman at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, where he tracked hurricanes in the Caribbean.
Upon discharge from the Navy in 1948, Bob once again worked for the U.S. Forest Service in Wyoming and South Dakota. He then entered the University of Montana in Missoula, where he met Eve Goodwon at a roller-skating rink. They knew on their third date that that they would spend their lives together. On December 22, 1948, Bob and Eve were married in Rapid City, where his parents and siblings lived, at Immaculate Conception Catholic Church. Their son, Michael, was born the next year, later followed by daughters Cindy and Jennifer.
Bob accepted an appointment with the U.S. Forest Service upon graduating with his B.S. in Forestry, beginning in the headquarters office of the Black Hills National Forest in Deadwood. His career of more than 30 years with the Forest Service took the Lake family to Colorado, Wisconsin, Alaska, Washington D.C., California, and back to Washington D.C. He served as Forester, District Ranger, Training Officer, Regional Personnel Officer, National Chief of Training, Assistant Regional Forester, Director of Manpower and Youth Conservation Programs, and Director of Information for the Forest Service.
Wherever the family moved as Bob’s career advanced, he and Eve always made a wonderful home for them. A favorite for all was Juneau, Alaska, where they caught salmon and halibut in the family boat and where Bob, and Mike when he was old enough, hunted and brought home moose in the fall. Upon retirement from the Forest Service, Bob and Eve travelled around the country, staying for extended periods in Florida, South Dakota, Southern California, and Arizona. They returned to Rapid City for several years before moving to Arizona but continued to travel, enjoying cruises to Alaska and Mexico and an annual trip to Rapid City, as well as visits from their children and grandchildren.
Very grateful for the blessing of their dad are his 3 children. Bob’s beloved Eve left this life just 74 days before he did, one day for each of the almost 74 years they had been married. He is also survived by brother Joe Lake, 2 sons-in-law, 8 grandchildren, 2 grand sons-in-law, 1 grand daughter-in-law, 9 great grandchildren, 1 great great-grandchild, and nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his two sisters, Audrae and Sharon, and a brother-in-law.