My sincere condolences to Rita and the whole Rosendahl family on Bob's passing. The suddenness of his death is a jolt to everyone...family, colleagues, friends and woodworking students. It makes it difficult to say Good Bye because he was such a fine man and a good friend to so many.
I first met Bob and Rita at a Toronto Wood Show in 1988 or '89. I was truly amazed at how 'simple, easy, clear and slick' Bob did the live demonstrations. I was skeptical that it really could be that easy. I was more skeptical when I realized it cost about $1100.00 + tax just to get started! So I waited 2 years and 6 show demonstrations before I took the plunge (pardon the pun) for a router, table and early jigs. I've NEVER looked back, thanks to Bob and the entire family who have been so supportive of all of their students for years!
First and foremost Bob liked people, all people. That made him a strong teacher and communicator. He had no bias. He believed that everyone can learn and he made it happen. After router demos at shows he answered everyone's questions, yes everyone's. Bob practiced the principles of 'adult learning' even before they were 'formalized' years later. The results are within his students.
The Winnipeg 'Router Workshop' in '92 and '96 were the most fun learning I ever took. The motto in the workshop was "SEE ONE, DO ONE, TEACH ONE" and this still works today in all teaching. We made loads of mistakes, even more corrections and went home with completed projects galore. Always safety First! We formed great friendships between the fellow students. My wife Janet remembers the Ladies Programs. She also met some friends and corresponded for years. We truly were part of the Rosendahl Family, not just for the week, but long term. Bob and Rita encouraged woodworking friendships.
Bob was a student of the Router and he pioneered the adaptation of the router to 'under table use'. How great has that been! In 1982, some 38 years ago and BEFORE the INTERNET he published "the ROUTER" book. It had 2 printings before the 'Revised' edition in 1986. Now you can buy it on Amazon. It remains the 'Must Read' for all router woodworkers to this day. "Imitation is the finest form of flattery". Bob designed and perfected the FIRST Router Table...mine works just fine 30 years later. How many "Me Too" router table designs are there on the market to day? Too many, and they all copy his basic design. A great accomplishment Bob.
Bob was always a gentleman. Whether at shows, doing demonstrations, or when travelling Bob always had time to say hello, and ask "How are you doing?" He really appreciated everything that his staff did and many a time I saw him say thanks to them for the little things, especially a coffee.
In our life time we remember those who have had a great impact on our lives. Bob Rosendahl was instrumental to getting me back into my workshop and "moving the needle" of my capability to make projects and renovate / build. Bob was a "giant of a true man", who honoured his friends and family with honest and wholesome presence and principles. I will miss him. Respectfully Norman Flett
P.S. I loved his story about his relative in Saskatchewan who found and raised a young moose, and eventually trained it to pull a sleigh in winter. When horses couldn't get through the deep snow, the moose could. Innovation began in his family even before Bob.