Tribute to Bob Momyer, 1940 – 2019

Tribute to Bob Momyer
1940 – 2019

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Bob Momyer

With heavy hearts, we share the very sad news of the passing of one of HYS’s great champions, Robert “Bob” Momyer, and offer our deepest condolences to his wife Sandy, the current Moore Archivist here at HYS and our Executive Director from 1986 until 2001. Sandy and Bob made an amazing team, were a great couple, and for some twenty years were the heart and soul of our organization. On behalf of the Board of Directors, and the many others like me who had the pleasure of working with Bob, I offer our deepest respect and gratitude for the unparalleled service he provided our organization.

As my friend and fellow Board Member Mark Ashton wrote, in the flurry of email remembrances we’ve all been sharing since we heard the news, “Bob’s contributions were not derivative of Sandy’s, but stood on their own”. In his day, Bob volunteered for just about every event we had; was a stalwart First Gentleman when Sandy was Executive Director, served on more committees than I can count (including doing our press releases and advertising), was a tour guide, served several terms as a Board Member and as Vice President of our Board. Bob and I created the HYS Halloween event together, in conjunction with fellow Board Member Bob Willson. That was just one of the many roles he played at HYS over many years, but one that is particularly special to me. For five years we haunted the village together, scaring and exciting area children, while sneaking in a little history along the way. I’ll always remember Bob in his tux and make-up, guiding the tours and breathing fire. Or at our annual Jazz Show, when some kids stumbled upon a particularly scary looking snake, the former snake charmer from his circus days at Ringling Brothers picked up the snake and played with it to their amazement. Or dressed as one of the many characters he played for us, including his beloved P.T. Barnum, at the Town Tours and numerous other events.

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Bob Momyer portraying P. T  Barnum and Mary Jo Ashenfelter portraying Jenny Lind in a program presented to our Elderhostel Program.

What a smart and interesting character he was. What a passion filled life he led, and what a force he was for HYS. From art teacher to local school principal, where he met a young lady in the school office who would become his wife, to his time with Ringling Brothers Barnum and Bailey Circus, to safaris in Africa and traveling to the far corners of the world from the Arctic to the Antarctic, India to Peru and more to engage with the wildlife, natural beauty and history they both so cherished, Bob and Sandy lived many lives before and after landing in our village. We are so lucky that their path led them here and that they both dedicated their considerable, diverse and amazing talents to our cause. The work of these two, independently and together, was instrumental in taking a nascent organization in 1974 and putting it on the cultural map of our community.

Bob was one of us and one of the greatest we ever had. Few have done more for HYS. Remembering and telling our story is integral to who we are here at HYS, and for 20 some years Bob played a leading role. He was our Volunteer of the Year in 1994 and received the Board of Directors President’s Award in 2009. His time with us will never be forgotten as he is an important part of our story. We will be forever grateful and will remember him fondly always.

Thank you, Bob, and au revoir.
Steve Cottone