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Bob Pohle, a lifelong Manasquan resident passed away suddenly at the youthful and vibrant age of 70 from a heart attack. While these words are certainly nothing more than the bare truth and may report the harsh facts; they do little to capture the essence of the man who meant so much to so many of us and who touched us profoundly each in his or her own way.
Bob graduated from Manasquan High School in 1965 and went on to earn his degree in electronic engineering from Valparaiso Technical Institute. While Bob always pleaded to have no interest in being publicly noticed; he nevertheless spent most of his high school career supporting the drama club in one fashion or another. He may not have spouted Shakespeare or even Mel Brooks from the stage; but his dramatic flair was keenly felt in his signature lighting and the stage craft that he gave so willingly of himself to ensure the show truly went on in style.
Upon graduation, Bob immediately went to work for General Electric on its military classified ground-based fixed-beam radar system, designed to keep the Soviets on their toes and behaving. GE rewarded his skills, his vision, his experience and his dedication by sending him to one of the most remote, if not THE most remote spot on the earth: Attu Island- a frozen spit of windswept land forming the extreme western end of the Aleutian Islands chain. Bob regaled many of us with his stories of things instantly freezing all around him while experiencing many near death helicopter and other aircraft mishaps on departures and arrivals from this land that the world forgot. His stories of never being warm, of often having to actually chip coffee out of his cup if he left it out too long stick in the mind.
Once having conquered Alaska and proving to his overlords that he was master of his environment-no matter where; GE decided to test him further and sent him back to the 7th Century to an obscure village in the bowels of western Turkey called Diyarbakir for a daunting 14 months. While Bob may no longer have had to worry about freezing parts of himself; he was now faced with having to live among and communicate with individuals he felt were as strange to him as the Apollo Astronauts would be to the Flintstones. One has to stifle a belly laugh to hear Bob tell of the countless times he was forced to bite his tongue and play diplomat in the interest of Turkish-American Cooperation and the progress of his mission in country. His description of lying awake at night listening to the sound of nails on a chalkboard- which passed for Turkish music and the 180 degree switch from extreme cold to now extreme heat without the blessings of American air conditioning only made us aware of the caliber of this man and what he was willing to do for our country once he gave his word and commitment. Of course, then there was his stories of the food..!!!!!
Having truly reigned supreme in his field for America's corporate image abroad; Bob took the step that so very few people can successfully handle. He started his own business and he thrived! He was the Tom Hanks/Brad Pitt/Denzel Washington of the electrical contracting world for an enviable 35 years. As CEO of P.K. Electric; he specialized in custom homes to the sheer delight of his customers and envy of his competitors who admired him nonetheless. It is ironic that this was the very year he was determined to retire or face Heidi's wrath. Fate intervened deciding and demanding that Bob go out on top in true platinum level professional tradition.
Bob was the consummate people person and forged personal connections with people from all walks of life, backgrounds, professions and viewpoints. He had that ethereal charisma that endeared people to him and made them feel as if they had known him for years.
Bob had the ability to make a friend out of everyone he met. He loved the art of conversation and could entertainingly engage anyone on myriad topics. He always had an interesting story to tell, and loved hearing other people's stories. A gentle and kind soul, who would leap out of bed in the morning with a mental list of to-do items. He was full of energy and made a tangible impact on everyone he met. An unkind word never passed his lips. He lived his life as if every moment counted, because to him it did. For many, he was truly an old shoe- comfortable, pleasurable and sought after.
Always eager to lend a helping hand; Bob always had a project to be completed which always involved his creativity and his hands. Starting with just a truck chassis, he and a friend drew up plans and built a motor home. The ultimate purpose behind the motor home was to travel these United States, with a special focus on the American southwest in which he had spent some 14 months spread across several years. He was someone who loved helping other people. When a friend was ill, he helped build them a log cabin. He helped another friend build his house. He ran a renovation business with two partners, and successfully flipped houses. He renovated his own home, adding a master bedroom/bath suite and remodeling the kitchen.
After spending so much time helping others build houses, he found the time to build his own dream home in the Poconos, almost entirely by himself. When a friend's home was damaged in Hurricane Sandy; he kept showing up to help until the house was back together and once again livable. Bob was always there whether or not called upon and always ready to ensure successful completion of the job never asking, expecting or even wanting a single thing in return- just for the sheer joy of helping someone else.
Bob was an insatiable