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In Memory

Robert Schoff

Robert Young Schoff
April 17, 1942 - A
pril 22, 2020

 

Robert "Bob" Schoff, loving husband and father of five, passed away, at the age of 78, while at his summer home in New London, N.H., with family, friends and his favorite loons nearby.

Bob was born on April 17, 1942, to Jay Forest and Helen (Young) Schoff in Pennsylvania. He married his high school sweetheart, Sandra Mueller Schoff in 1963. He received a degree in mechanical engineering from Lehigh University in 1964. They raised one son, Robert Schoff Jr. of Alaska, and four daughters, Sharon McCann of Massachusetts, Kristin Albee of California, Amy Rabun of California, and Heidi Thomas of Montana. Bob enjoyed being an engineer and spent most of his career in the oil industry. In 1974, he accepted a 3-year job transfer to help design and build the trans-Alaska pipeline which moved Bob and his family from Pennsylvania to Alaska. The transfer turned into a 40-year career with The Alyeska Pipeline Company in Alaska.

Bob had a passion for building and "puttering," which led him to constructing several additions on multiple homes, and endless to-do lists. He built a cabin for his family in Wasilla, spending many weekends over the years enjoying the lake with family and friends. Bob was known for his willingness to help others, officiating swim meets and helping with kid activities, assisting stranded motorists, serving as an Elder in the Presbyterian Church and overseeing a variety of building projects. He was always able to make time to fix and renovate projects for his children, wherever they lived. He loved the outdoors, fishing, camping, traveling and especially spending time with family.

Bob is survived by his wife and best friend of 62 years, Sandy; his five children, Rob (wife Lauri), Sharon (husband Andrew), Kristin (husband Tom), Amy (husband Lance) and Heidi (husband Logan); his brother, Jay Schoff; sister, Susan Reynolds; and his 12 grandchildren: Heather, Amber and Chip Schoff, Megan and Kathryn McCann, Brett and Carly Rabun, Taylor and Chase Albee, and Cade, Trace and Lane Thomas.

A memorial service and celebration of life will be held in Anchorage and will be announced once travel resumes this summer.

From Anchorage Daily News on May 6, 2020

 

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From:  Alyeska Corporate Communications 
Subject: Death Announcement - Bob Schoff

We are sad to announce that retiree Robert “Bob” Schoff passed away last week after a lengthy illness. Bob came to work at Alyeska in June of 1964 as an Engineer and worked on the Engineering Management team until his retirement in December of 1998. 

A memorial service in Anchorage will be planned sometime this summer.

 

Condolences may be sent to: 

   Sandy Schoff
   PO Box 1041
   New London, NH  03257

or email:  sandy.schoff@gmail.com

 

 
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04/28/20 11:46 AM #2    

Joe Riordan

The world lost a truly kind and gifted man when Bob Schoff passed away.  I knew him for almost 40 years starting when I first hired on.  He and Joe Willing were two of my mentors and I felt so privileged to learn from the best.  Bob (and Joe Willing) shared so many stories about TAPS and its' genesis explaining why things were designed as they were.  For example, if it weren't for the poor geotech soils at Anaktuvik Pass TAPS would have gone that direction avoiding PS-4 and 5 as we know them.  In many instances I learned about the formation of our codes and standards and the accidents that gave rise to them which made them memorable and gave them so much more meaning.  Bob was also a great teacher and had an amazing gift of understanding complex things and relate them to everyday things.  He also had a great sense of humor and was always cool under fire or when things looked very difficult to resolve.  Bob knew how to handle hot-headed bosses partly because of his demeanor and partly because they respected him so much.  He was kind and gracious and never boastful although he had every right to be.  Bob was also a role model of a family man- he loved his family and supported them at every opportunity whether it was bringing his youngest daughter to the office on occassion or helping with their sport teams or any construction project.  Those of us who knew him showed him great respect because he earned every bit of it.  I will miss him and his wisdom greatly.  


04/29/20 07:03 AM #3    

Bill Howitt

I certainly agree with Joe Riordan's comments and couldn't have written a tribute to Bob Schoff nearly as well.  I will add that in addition Bob was a kind, gracious and caring personal friend in addition to being a knowledgeable and helpful co-worker.  He was someone that I could always call on and count on at all times. I think we all could.

I first met Bob during start-up at Pump 4 in 1976.  I'm not sure how we would have gotten that place going with out his help along with the wonderful group of extremely knowledgeable petroleum industry engineers including Wes Tonkins, Dennis O'Dea, Joe Willing and others that I've missed. We are forever indebted to them. I last saw Bob when we were both retired and working as consultants on the ad valorem tax case.  He was the same Bob.  Helpful, knowable, eager to share and help, and full of insights. I'll miss him greatly.  I already do.

 


04/29/20 10:08 AM #4    

Benton Yue

From an Owner Company representative perspective, Bob was low profile, kind, patient and most of all knowledgeable. He was fun to work with.

A true pipeline's pipeliner.


04/29/20 10:18 AM #5    

Greg Kinney

Bob was a first class guy and an engineer's engineer; he was among the best we ever had.  He would always make time to talk through technical issues and would let you know if you were marching in the wrong direction; he helped show the way for those of us who came later.  I'm grateful to have had the opportunity to work with him, and am sure everyone else who worked with him feels the same.


04/30/20 09:40 AM #6    

Wes Tonkins

I also cannot say enough good things about Bob Schoff.  He was part of a group of engineers that came to Alaska in 1974, including Gary Simmons, UJ Baskurt, Doug Nyman, Larry Johnson, Jim Maple, and myself among others to work for Joe Willing on the design of the pipeline.  We succeeded so well because we didn't know it couldn't be done.  Bob and I both came from owner company refineries with little to no pipeline experience.  But we learned quickly under the mentoring of Joe Willing, who was known as Mr. Pipeline. 

A number of us bought houses with unfinished basements and banded together to help hang sheetrock, texture, and paint.  When one of us needed a hand, Bob was always ready to help.  Bob and his family became close personal friends with my family and we spent many holiday dinners together.  Bob was a valuable source of information for me as we tackled the many issues involved with the early days of design and construction of the pipeline.  Probably because of our refinery backgrounds, Bob and I found many similarities in our approach to problem solving.

Bob was a major player in the design and construction of Pump Stations 2 and 7, which were added in the late 70's after the pipeline was up and running.  Bob was one of the six Alyeska representitives assigned to the Irvine, CA offices of Fluor, who had the contract to design and construct these two pump stations.  Both of these stations were brought on line ahead of schedule and under budget.  We even managed to obtain the use of an air force C5-A cargo plane to fly two plane loads of turbine modules to Deadhorse Airport for Pump Station 2.

Rest in peace Bob.  You leave me with many fond memories.

 

 


04/30/20 11:21 AM #7    

George Heywood

 
 
 
 
Bob was a great friend. What a shock. I agree with all the other comments. One story I remember about Bob is when he came into my office and showed me is new calculator and what it would do. He said he had paid something like $250. This was in the late 70’s or early 80’s. He was like a kid with a new toy. Will miss seeing at the Hawk get together. Will miss him.
 
 
 
 

05/01/20 11:05 AM #8    

Mike Smulski

 

Bob was a gentleman, a good engineer, and a fine human being. He was respected, and to be trusted.

I can't add much to what has already been so well said, except that I agree with every bit of it.

Best wishes to the rest of you fine folks, who I worked with and remember fondly.

 

 

 


05/07/20 09:24 AM #9    

Dave Norton

Bob was a great guy and a respected engineer. I enjoyed very much working with him, as he had quiet authority and a great sense of humor. He worked for Hawk for a time after he retired from Alyeska and I alway enjoyed seeing him at our holiday brunches. Larry Mots told me he was Cuban, but I think Larry was pulling my leg. 


05/07/20 10:23 AM #10    

Laura Meadors

Bob was a gentleman with a gentle soul.  He was quick with a smile, and that smile was always accompanied by a twinkle in his eye, particularly if he was talking about a technical problem he conquered.  He was one of the first people I met when I started at Alyeska as a Facility Engineer.  He gave me some great advice about o-ring material selection for a valve we were planning to replace on the main line take off at the Petro Star Valdez Metering Facility.  He was so generous with information and patient with questions.  From the first time we met, I felt like he was a friend that I could consult on anything, technical or otherwise.  He was just that way.

RIP, my friend.  My heart is heavy with this loss.

 


05/10/20 07:34 AM #11    

Rolland Doubleday, Jr.

Bob Schoff was not only a Mentor of mine, he was a Friend. I shared a 4 person cubicle with him, Steve Schudell, and Joe Riordan. He was such a Kind Soul. Bob could go from being serious to laughing greatly. I loved his hearty laugh because I knew I had made him laugh. Steve and I would often times listen to Bob and Joe discuss very complex engineering concepts. Bob was a Prince. We are very much with a loss without Bob. Miss you, Bob. -Rolland

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