Robert Bruce Houchens 1939-2017
Robert Bruce Houchens (78) a 45-year resident of Chewelah, passed away on September 3, 2017. Robert was born in Springfield, Illinois on July 28, 1939.
Following his high school, Robert enlisted in the Army and served four years at Fort Richardson in Anchorage, AK. Robert was a hard working, play hard man. He was a loyal, dependable man, proud of his service ad grateful for his friends. Following his service, he settled in California with his first wife whom he met while stationed in Alaska and their children Walter and Betty.
Robert’s children knew he loved them, was proud of them and would always be there for them. He was supportive of their interests and career paths. He loved to watch football; whether it was watching the Rams live while living in California or on TV. He raised his children the proper way; to be respectful, responsible, accountable and dependable. Passing on these values, he of course also raised independent children. Robert himself was a fiercely independent man, though many could depend on him, he found reliance in himself first before seeking the help of others. As he grew older and health issues arose, he did all he could to remain as independent as possible.
In 1972 the family moved to Chewelah with his youngest son Todd, his wife Ursula and with a group of close friends. With all of the children raised, Robert and Ursula focused more on themselves and their friendships. Though retired from logging and after putting in another 10 years at Naomi Aggregates Robert began a 7-year career with the Chewelah Casino as a security guard. Together they had enjoyed a very active social life. They had close friends and enjoyed a variety of activities with their group. He and Ursula enjoyed going to the casino and local eateries with friends and occasional trips to New York and Germany to visit family. They enjoyed 29 blessed years together before Ursula passed in 2000.
Friendships formed with Ursula brought Robert comfort in the years following her passing, especially as his friendship with Ann Johnson deepened. This led to marriage in 2002.
They enjoyed making yearly drives to Nevada to visit his son Todd and friends and family in California. They would stay for 2 or 3 weeks at a time and enjoy their family and the many attractions southern and northern Nevada had to offer.
He remained devoted to Ann for the rest of his life. Even as both their health declined and she had to leave the home, he saw her almost daily. Even when his body told him to slow down, he fought against any slowing. He loved his independence and doing what he wanted.
Robert gave greatly of himself to others throughout his life. He has left a legacy of love and a family with strong values. He lived his life to the fullest, never really slowing down the way most others do. He was an excellent provider, both financially and in the values he instilled in his family.
Robert was preceded in death by his parents, siblings and wife Ursula. He his survived by his wife Ann of Chewelah; children Todd (LeeAnn) Houchens, Walter Barr, Betty Fulco, Dan Ashton, Mike Ashton, Erik Johnson and Terri Johnson.
Services for Robert were held at the Danekas Funeral Chapel in Chewelah on Friday, September 8, 2017 at 9:30 in the morning. An ash committal will occur later in the fall at the Valley Cemetery.
Please visit www.danekasfuneralchapel.com and sign the online memorial.
Danekas Funeral Chapel and Crematory has been entrusted with all the arrangements.