I was forwarded this by Duane White. I did not know Bob Barci, but his creation of the Mnt. Baker Banked Slalom Snowboard Race makes him a legend in my mind. Good turns to you Bob.
Bob passed away at his home in FallCity on Tuesday, April 3, 2007. He
was 60 years old.
Bob was born in 1946 in Everett, Washington, to Robert and Kathleen Barci.
He graduated from Cascade High in 1964 and attended Everett Community
College. Bob grew up in a south Everett neighborhood where the kids
outnumbered the parents. It was an era when kids spent their free time
outside, playing baseball, climbing trees, and building camps and
bicycles. Bob was continually modifying his bike. This early interest
would become a life-long passion as well as providing his livelihood for
most of his life.
As a teenager, Bob was drawn to skate boarding and surfing, and made his
own skate and surf boards. One year, Bob and his buddies tied the
surfboard on top of his '47 Ford and headed south to California; this too
would be part of Bob's life and legacy. As with many Americans, Bob was
influenced by President Kennedy. He took the President's physical fitness
challenge by walking from Everett to the Space Needle and back.
Bob served in the Navy and was ''boots on'' in the Delta during the
Vietnam conflict as a Huey helicopter mechanic. He was also a jet
mechanic and crew chief on the maiden voyage of the John F. Kennedy
After the Navy, Bob and his good friend opened several ''Bikefactory''
stores in the Puget Sound area, on the San Juan Islands, and in Hawaii.
His stores were among the earliest to carry skateboard, BMX, and snowboard
equipment in the northwest and the Bikefactory sponsored many aspiring
young athletes on their skateboard and BMX teams. The surfing bug came
back to Bob in the form of snowboarding. After spending many years
trekking in the wilderness for hours just for one soulful ride, he was
among the few early boarders who convinced ski resorts to allow
snowboarders to use the hills and lifts. Referred to as the ''Grandfather
of Snowboarding in the Northwest,'' Bob did much to help build today's
robust local snowboarding scene. Bob and other local retailers began the
Northwest Snowboard series in the 1980's, a series of snowboard races that
launched many northwest riders into national and international fame.
Another particularly important contribution is the famous Mt Baker Banked
Slalom Snowboard race. Mt Baker has a natural half pipe that Bob thought
was perfect for a banked slalom, and after some persuasion the owners of
the resort allowed Bob and his snowboard buddies to have a race there on
Superbowl Sunday. This event has grown to international status and Bob was
honored for his dedication and perseverance in the movie ''Platinum''
which tells the 20-year history of the Banked Slalom at Mt Baker and
credits Bob as the originator of this event.
Bob joined the Crystal Mountain Volunteer Ski Patrol in 1995, where he met
his wife Nancy, another enthusiastic snowboarder. As one of the first
snowboard patrollers, Bob worked tirelessly to bring more snowboarders
onto patrols in the northwest and train them to be the best patrollers on
the hill. He became the regional and divisional snowboard advisor and also
worked nationally. Bob and Nancy moved to the Hyak Patrol at Snoqualmie
Pass in 2002.
A car enthusiast his whole life, Bob spent many years rebuilding custom
Subarus into hotrods. The proud owner of a Cobra, Bob displayed at many
car shows around the Northwest and was an active member and the recent
past President of the Legends Car Club of Kirkland.
The last Bikefactory store closed in Bellevue in the 90's and Bob became a
faithful and loyal employee of Seattle Bike Supply until his death.
Bob leaves his wife Nancy, mother Kathleen Barci, daughter Kellie Eaton
(Jim), Step daughters Angela Storey, Sarah Storey, Kristin Jones (Mike),
grandchildren Evan and Christine Eaton, brother Dennis Barci(Suzie)
nephews Ryan (Sarah) and Steven Barci and uncle Paul Barci (Anna Marie).
He was preceded in death by his father Robert Barci.
A memorial service for Bob will be held on Saturday April 14th, at 10:30
a.m., at TimberLakeChristian Fellowship, 4505 236th Ave NE, Redmond, WA
(www.tlcf.org for directions).