Dance-O-Rama 2015 in the History Books
For those of us in the trenches it started at 12 noon and never
really slowed down. Dance-O-Rama Chairman (it’s always the VP’s job)
Warren Olson and his pretty wife Doreen already had all the
preliminary work done, and President Terry Pratt was there too, as
were all of us, including Jerry Carmen and Gil Porter doing all the
sound set-ups. It was a little strange not being the single occupants
and with much other activity going on. That is one well-utilized
If there were any issues, they were all solved by two o’clock when the needle went down (now archaic term meaning the music started). In fact, I think we were dancing with one square well before opening time!
I am happy to report for those of you unfortunate enough not to have been there, that until the ceremonies started, it was wall-to-wall fun and merriment right up until quitting time…and not many people left early.
The big news was that Peter and Sally Emmel are now wearing the coveted Daphne-Norma Leadership Award pins, designed by Walt and Sally Baechle way back when this tradition just started. Expect them to be visiting you with the candy dish and plugging for your nominations for next year’s recipient(s).
Sid and Toni Marshall received the prestigious Circle of Service award. Read more about each of these in separate articles on the “AWARDS” page (Click HERE).
The Copy Cats won the hotly contested Club Challenge Award plaque, with close to 90 percent in attendance. Among the accompanying photos is one of new VP’s Rick and Nancy Simmons holding the plaque.
I don’t know who won all of the beautiful baskets, but I’m sure the “Fed” came out a winner. The 50–50, which kept Irma occupied the whole day, sent Paula Schumacher back to the Shirts and Skirts in Fulton $242 richer! It was done in one drawing, not drawn out like last year, and had one very happy winner.
And speaking of Fulton, years ago we were great friends with a couple from Fulton, Eric and Sandy Bombgren. We even went to nationals in Texas with them and danced on the River-walk there. They burned out somehow, but have now discovered the error of their ways, and we reunited at the DOR dance. I just added their picture. Take the ride to Fulton and dance with them.
Pretty much everyone went home richer in terms of fun had at the best dance in the area all year, bar none! Thanks to everyone who came, and especially to all the callers and cuers, and the people who made it happen…which includes all of your efforts with the great baskets!
Mainstream Graduates Welcomed at Dance-O-Rama 2015
One of the many Dance-O-Rama highlights is the annual parade of
graduates. These are our new dancing friends who have completed the
past season of Mainstream Square Dancing classes at clubs in our
Many established dancers already know the new dancers — from serving as class angels or from the season’s many “class/club” dances. But the annual parade is their official welcome into the Rochester-area dancing community.
The June Promenader issue is our opportunity to congratulate this year’s graduates by name.
2015 Square Dance Graduates:
Cindy & Don Dykes
Kim & Larry Dykes
Rose & Kirk Mishrell
Kristopher & Amy Aeckerle
Brenda & Carl Beechner
Donna & Paul Berardicurti
Linda & David Fillers
Kim & Jon Hess
Peggy & Dave Stockmeister
Shirts N Skirts
Square Dancing’s Highest Local Awards Presented at DOR 2015
… At least it was supposed to have happened that way. However,
when the two award-winning couples were to be escorted to the podium
for recognition, Sidney and Toni were not in the house. Sidney
returned later in the evening and was presented with the award, but
Toni is missing from the pictures taken that evening.
Unlike the Daphne-Norma Award, which has a long history of being presented annually at DOR, the Circle of Service Award is presented only rarely and in accordance with strict guidelines. This is a very prestigious award given to a person or couple who has been an active part of square dancing and has unselfishly volunteered their time and talents to the benefit and promotion of square dancing within the Federation.
It happened this year, when the Daphne-Norma Selection Committee, consisting of the three most recent recipients (Irma and me, Barb Green, and Chuck and Sharon Meyer), were faced with a dilemma. Note that Sally Baechle and Betty and Andy Ludwick are permanent, non-voting “advisors” whose insight and long-term perspective always prove very helpful. Note also that Daphne-Norma Award recipients are chosen based on nomination letters received from dancers in the RAF community.
Our dilemma this year was that, of the three finalists, two couples in our agreed judgement warranted recognition this year, and with thoughtful reflection, the answer was clear: The Daphne-Norma Award would go to Peter and Sally Emmel, who had provided the leadership that made our online Promenader “happen,” while the Circle of Service Award would go to Sid and Toni, who provided the computer and web master skills (read “Genius” here) to get it done.
Our thanks, best wishes and congratulations to both couples.
- Dick and Irma Halstead, Roving Reporters
And the Daphne-Norma Recipients for 2015 Are — Peter and Sally Emmel
Well, as it has been every year for many years, the competition for
this award has been “Hot and Heavy,” with some receiving
many nominations over a period of years, and with some always being
edged out by the merest of margins. If this were the Golden Globe
Awards or the Oscars, the contestants would all be
“hawked,” and the runners-up would thereby receive some
measure of acclaim; but here, not! For you backers of other
“worthys:” do not give up, but persist in your
submissions. All are carried forward, but updated nominations carry
much weight; persist!
Like Peter and Sally, there are others who have served as club presidents for many years and have been the driving force behind some of our more successful clubs…all with long lists of community service projects and offices beyond the club level, but quite frankly, what set Peter and Sally apart, just as it did Sid and Toni Marshall for the Circle of Service Award, was the Herculean effort it took to rescue our beloved Promenader.
Peter and Sally Emmel led the charge to keep the Promenader viable. This of course in addition to their continuing work with the Village Squares, and Peter’s full-time work and travel demands. Peter has especially exhibited the leadership qualities of devotion, perseverance, and willingness to do whatever needs to be done. He has recruited when possible the talents of the community, encouraged always, and jumped in to do anything still needing doing.
When an initial group of Promenader supporters met after a square dance demo at the June 2014 Osher picnic, Peter took the helm in brainstorming, organizing, and moving forward. Early on, he recognized the need to get Sidney Marshall on board, and the Emmel-Marshall-Ludwick team began to meet regularly (sometimes several times a week). It was apparent from the start that many logistics problems needed to be solved, and that many hands would need to be involved.
Working with the Federation officers, defining the new processes, and getting a new editor on board were among the challenges. And in true leadership fashion, when a suitable online editor was not yet in place as deadline for the first online issue loomed, Peter agreed to take on the mantle of interim online editor. In this position, he has continued to encourage, smooth feathers, liaison, and communicate. Betty and Andy Ludwick commented, “We know, as past editors, that a person of lesser leadership qualities could not have handled the full scope of the challenge Peter took on. The task is formidable. He has accomplished it with endless effort, determination, and willingness. The Online Promenader exists in large part due to Peter and Sally being part of our square dance community.”
I am sure that I speak for all of us as we wish Peter and Sally well, and especially as they refill the Silver Candy Dish, and take it as they visit other clubs…promoting not only square and round dancing, but also promoting the Daphne-Norma Award itself, as it serves to inspire even greater leadership among us.
For Irma and I, who hand over the reins for this duty, and return to just taking pictures and grinding out copy as “The Roving Reporters,” I point out and apologize for a reduced schedule of “Roving” this past year, as Irma continues the training regimen for her new knee.
Enjoy the many pictures. Take a close look: I may just have captured YOU among our honorees here.
Sidney and Toni Marshall Win Nationally Acclaimed Circle of Service Award
Sidney and Toni Marshall have a long history of service to square
dancing, and especially within the Rochester Area Federation of Square
and Round Dance Clubs. They are long-time hard-working members of the
Callers Co-Op of Rochester and many area clubs, at which Sidney has served as a caller,
and they have both served in various leadership positions, or simply as dancers, always
willing to find someone that needs a partner, and making certain that
“solos” get a chance to dance.
The Shamrock Squares A1 and A2 Club recently presented Sid and Toni with a Lifetime Membership Award, the first ever presented, and well deserved, since having Sid’s Advanced Dancing “Feeder Club” offered FREE, or at very minimal cost as required to cover expenses, has produced an ongoing stream of new dancers at this level.
Sid has been developing his talents over a great number of years. He has attended three Caller Schools and persevered in cultivating these skills to the point that he is now a recognized “Expert” at both the A1 and A2 Advanced Dancing Levels.
Now, the thing that really sets Sidney apart from the rest is his professional expertise as a computer engineer and website developer! It is Sidney, and his “can do” attitude and expertise that have saved the day for the RAF website and the Promenader.
As soon as Peter Emmel, Betty Ludwick, and the rest of the Promenader crew come up with ideas and concepts to save us key strokes in getting the content we want quickly and easily from our new Promenader, if it is at all possible, Sidney soon has it implemented.
Having said this, no matter what level of expertise one brings, there are countless hours of hard work involved, and an on-going commitment that has taken much time away from an always-understanding Toni.
Sidney and Toni bring “Service” to a new level with their actions, and we can imagine no more worthy recipients for The Circle of Service Award. Wear your new dangles proudly.
Dick and Irma Halstead, Roving Reporters and most recent Circle of Service Award recipients.
Let’s All Remember to Thank Barb Green DOR Basket Raffle Chairman … Again !!!
I am losing track of how many years it is now that Barb Green has been
chairing the Basket Raffle Committee, but it seems every year with her
at the helm it gets better and better, and this year with many other
things going on, I neglected to get good picture coverage. Not to
worry! I can go back to any fairly recent year and find a picture of
Barb, doing her thing.
Of course, as one of our most exemplary Daphne-Norma Leadership Award recipients, she knows how to do that and always finds plenty of help. Our thanks to Barb and to everyone who helped make this project a success again this year.
Her report showing all of the winners follows:
The basket raffle once again added a lot to the excitement of Dance-O-Rama! It didn’t seem possible, but the themes were more creative than ever! The clubs seem to have more fun every year thinking of new themes and getting into the spirit. Thanks go to all who joined in the fun of creating the baskets and buying the tickets. Many returned two and three times to buy tickets. The winners are listed below, to let you know who claimed the baskets your clubs so generously donated. Thanks also goes to Marlene Thone, who drew the winning numbers!
See below the 2015 Basket Raffle Winners!
Batavia Silver Stars — Nichol Bolar/Kaitlyn McJilton — Copy Cats
Belles ’N’ Beaus — Sally and Peter Emmel — Village Squares
Cayuga Cut-Ups — Terry Pratt — Copy Cats
Champagne Whirl-A-Ways — Eileen Brock — Cayuga Cut-Ups
Cloverleaf Squares — John and Josie Baccoli — Copy Cats
Copy Cats — Paula Schumacher — Shirts ’N’ Skirts
Dalton Gang — Phyllis and Charlie Meltzer — Copy Cats
Grand Squares — Joe Pratt — Copy Cats
Seneca Silhouettes — David Webster — Copy Cats
Shirts and Skirts — Nichol Bolar/Kaitlyn McJilton — Copy Cats
Village Squares — Bob Schlenker — Village Squares
Waterwheel Squares — Elizabeth Beauter — Copy Cats
You will see two names next to two of the baskets. At the time of departure, the destinations of those baskets had not yet been determined. Jane and Nichol were still trying to agree on where the baskets would permanently reside, each trying to convince the other two of the three to stake their claim! Nichol had given her tickets to Kaitlyn, one of the new graduates, to place in the baskets of her choice. What a great welcome to the dancing community for Kaitlyn! We must remember to ask for “the rest of the story” when we see them.
Barb Green, Basket Raffle Chairman
RAF Cabin Party 2015
The 2015 Rochester Area Federation Annual Cabin Party, always held in
coincidence with the Rochester Callers Co-Op Meeting at Buckland Park
in Henrietta, was another success this year. Everyone enjoyed the
sunny weather and balmy temperatures! Mark this down: Sunday the 12th
of April — the first warm day since last fall!
This is an annual get together for all the Federation Officers; the Federation Reps and the callers and cuers, and is typically a dish-to-pass event with the Federation providing the main course…no one ever goes away hungry, and even thirsts for information are satisfied. This year, as always, we concluded with some fun dancing: rounds and squares.
Because of another commitment, I arrived a little late to take the group picture, so I think a couple or two may have left before I could get there. My apologies for that, so in comparing this year’s pictures with some from the past, you can see who the “Come Early, Stay Laters” are…and sadly, a few who are no longer with us…
Join the team, and make sure your club is represented next year.
Let’s Re-Purpose the Promenader Dance — Scheduled for 9/26/2015
Dancers in our area have traditionally shown outstanding support for
causes that they believed in. One of these has always been the
Promenader, supported over the years not only by its loyal subscribers,
but by a full floor of squares at the annual Promenader Benefit Dance.
Now, however, with expenses so dramatically reduced in the new electronic format, it’s hard to see why the Promenader needs a fund-raiser. A better idea would be to re-direct that spirit of support toward a different cause — one that needs more help than ever.
Let’s continue to fill the floor at the Promenader dance, but let’s re-direct the proceeds toward helping our clubs recruit new dancers.
What better way to kick off the new dance season than by getting back together with our dancing friends from other clubs to celebrate the activity we love — especially if by doing so we are at the same time contributing to expanding the dancing community!
The RAF is setting up a fund to reimburse costs that individual clubs incur in their new dancer recruitment activities. Proceeds from the next Promenader Dance will be donated to this fund. Recent experience by the Cloverleafs and the Copy Cats has shown that multi-media promotion leads to increased beginner class participation. If clubs could afford more promotion, then we can expect more new dancers. That’s the purpose of this fund, and the Promenader is pleased to be able to contribute to it.
For details on the 2015 Promenader Dance, please click HERE to view the flyer. I almost forgot to mention that this is also a chance for dancers to browse our inventory of square dance fashions. The price is always right: an optional donation.
Peter Emmel, Interim Editor
Cloverleaf Squares 45th Anniversary Dance
On March 15, 2015, the Cloverleaf Squares celebrated their 45th
anniversary at Archangel School with a Saint Patrick’s Day theme
and seven dancing squares, while at least one more was checking out
the fashions or sampling the food choices.
So many skirts, blouses, petticoats, men’s shirts and many other choices were available, that it was hard to pick just one item. Everything was so well displayed on racks or tables that it made it easy to browse. There were many willing hands to make less work for everyone.
The next opportunity to see what you missed and check out new items will be at the Promenader Dance on September 26 at the Archangel School. New dancers will be pleased to find a good selection from which to choose, and the prices can’t be beat. Mark your calendar!
Copy Cats Graduate Largest Class in NY State
I’m not sure where Ron Brown gets his information, but it
certainly sounds plausible to me. On Tuesday evening the 23rd of
April, he and the Copy Cats graduated the largest basic and
mainstream square dance class in New York State!
The good news is, it CAN be done, and on top of that, it looks like it can be a lot of fun doing it! Check out the accompanying pictures! I do not see one pained expression any place!
When Irma and I were “recycled dancers” in 1990, Ron Brown was our teacher/caller. That was a quarter century ago, sports fans! …and Ron had already been teaching two years prior to that.
I know one key to that success is that he lures experienced dancers in as “Angels” by offering a FREE Plus Workshop before the class starts. It is so much easier to learn if you have a good corner who already knows what he or she is doing — or who can demonstrate a call from begining to end so that the new dancers can see how it is done. Remember how much more fun it is when those little frustrations are removed? lt helps remove the mystery of this success year after year. It is also germane that the class gave him gas credit cards as a thank you gift — remembering that even in this past severe winter, driving all the way from Cicero, near North Syracuse, he never missed a class. That breeds its own kind of loyalty.
I have never met a more dedicated group, starting with all of the officers, but with special kudos to Class Coordinators Stephen Barkley and Karen Olmsted. And then, there are the Angels, which typically includes most of the rest of the membershp!
But of course it is fun, it is healthy, and you can’t beat the bargain. Show me another activity that packages all of that for a better price. Happiness Is Right Around Your Corner.
Hey, it was a nice spring night, and the great “duo” of Mike Callahan and Mark Thone were calling and cueing. Check out the pictures — you won’t find an unhappy face on the floor! I danced two tips with Brenda, one of the upcoming graduates, and I have to thank Ron Brown and all of the loyal Copy Cat Angels who have done such a great job with this talented new class.
President Warren Olson even snuck in a quick business meeting by calling for a vote on their up-coming slate of officers, which include Rick Simmons and Dave Lense as co-presidents, and with Rick and Donna LaDonna as vice presidents. Predictably, with this great slate, there were no objections. The “inside skinny” is that Warren will be moving up to the RAF president’s slot shortly, moving Irma and me out of the “Past Presidents” slot, and we’ll turn over these prestigious pins to Terry and Joe Pratt.
Our thanks to Terry and Joe for their three-year stint as Presidents. Our best wishes to all of these new leaders, and our thanks for the on-going leadership I am certain all will continue providing.
Move-Up Night For Sid and Toni’s Latest “A” Dancing Class
Tuesday the 19th of May was “Move-Up Night” for Sid and
Toni’s latest Advanced Dancers, and they were welcomed with open
arms by all the Shamrock Squares — Mike and Wanda
Callahan’s Historic “Bread and Butter” Club. I
don’t know if Sid and Toni bought it or if they made it
themselves but everyone enjoyed eating the celebratory cake
especially after being made just to admire it for the first three or
Actually Toni cut the cake just after we got all of Sid’s class members and “Angels,” from our club together for the picture, which appropriately also includes Mike and Wanda, and Sid and Toni. I am not one hundred percent certain exactly where the cross-over point is between new members and Angels. However, I do know that Gerry Schwartz, and Paul and Jan Weitz are numbered among “Newbies.”
Although several members were missing, we still rounded out at five squares, with only three or four people cycling through the sidelines.
There is always more to learn, but my take is that Sid has done another great job of bringing folks up to speed … and Mike, as usual, was a careful nurturer, cueing them through the toughies.
Our thanks again to Sid and Toni for all that they do.
Area Top Caller Hires Tuscon Arizona Top Caller
Things must be going well for Mike and Wanda Callahan, they used to
call their “Shamrock Squares” their “Bread and
Butter Club.” That is because we danced year around so in the
summer months, when dancing slowed down and clubs took a vacation, we
could be relied on to feed the Callahans.
Now they winter in Arizona!
OK, so it’s just for a month, it is still a nice vacation … and in addition to some neat new twists to his calling, he has now brought back a guest caller from Tucson, AZ, and, judging by the accent, via New Jersey!
Our thanks to Mike and Wanda for treating us to Rick Gittelman and in the process, giving themselves a chance to dance — and to show their appreciation. Our four plus squares included several callers: Gil Porter, Sid Marshall, and Harry Slocum.
Sidney’s most recent “Graduating Class,” due to join us next week on May 19, should swell our numbers to five squares, possibly even six when all the stars get aligned right. The good news for Gil Porter is that Gerry Schwarz is one of that number, and he will finally have a regular dance partner. Not to worry, we have several ladies capable of wearing “BOY” signs … and happily that number now includes pretty Nancy Platt, a great person and dancer.
I don’t know when Sidney will be starting another class, but if I were you, I would be keeping an eye and an ear out for that golden opportunity. Many dancers have to drive great distances for an opportunity to learn “A” Dancing, or as is more often the case, have NO OPPORTUNITY!
We are a fun club, and similar to round dancing, advanced dancing is not “INSTEAD OF” regular dancing, it is “IN ADDITION TO.”
Check out the pictures, there may just be some people you would like to dance more often with … and we would love to have you.
Dick Halstead, Roving Reporter
CCR Dance 2015
There were four lively squares at the CCR “Beginners Ball”
dance on March 14, 2015. The callers, Jim Gotta, Ray Tompkins, Gil
Porter, Ron Brown, Sid Marshall and joint caller/cuers, Mike Callahan,
Jerry Carmen and Chuck Meyer, put the dancers through their
paces. These dances help the CCR by serving as workshops for the
callers and cuers. Your help in supporting these dances is
Since dancers also like to eat, there was no lack of delicious snacks to munch on.
The next dance will be August 22, at the Henrietta Fire Hall. Bring all your new graduates and let them share in all the fun.
Eileen Webster Continues to Receive Recognition for Selfless Leadership Roles
There is an old saying in Scouting: “Once an Eagle Scout, Always
an Eagle Scout”! This truism, it seems, can also
be said for Daphne-Norma Award recipients, as Ron Brown, another recipient of this award, was recently recogized
in the last issue of the Promenader.
Now the beat goes on as Eileen Webster has just received the SPOHNC-Rochester Champion Award at their recent Annual Celebration Dinner. The long acronym translates: Support for People with Oral, Head and Neck Cancer.
Eileen was recognized for the many ways that she has given back to the group…including arranging three square dance demonstrations, and — with her promoting dancing as one of the most significant factors in her personal survival — maintaining a positive attitude throughout, with the loving support of her whole square dance family … which are many and certainly include Irma and me.
More details are included in the article below from Wilmot and, to refresh your memories, I include some pictures from DOR 2008.
Congratulations again Eileen, we share in your pride…and perhaps we should be thinking of an RAF’s Most Outstanding Quarterly Emissary Award, to accompany these recognitions.
Wilmot Cancer Institute
April 16 at 8:44 p.m.
Eileen Webster, a throat cancer survivor who lives in Geneva, received the SPOHNC-Rochester Champion Award at the SPOHNC (Support for People with Oral, Head and Neck Cancer) Annual Celebration Dinner this evening. She was recognized for the many ways she’s given back to the group, including volunteering on a survivor panel for the group, helping with past SPOHNC-Rochester Celebration Dinners, donating raffle items for the group and arranging three square dance demonstrations for the group. In fact, she credits square dancing with helping her get through cancer treatment.
Her friends and family attended tonight’s event where she received her award. “This group is part of my joy. My joy is also the people who support me. Many aren’t here tonight but it was so good to have a wonderful support system when I was going through my treatments,” Eileen told the audience at the event.
Eileen shared that she wanted to get involved with the support group to be able to help other people who are diagnosed with cancer and she encouraged group members to continue supporting other survivors of oral, head and neck cancers. “I can’t get to the group as often as I’d like anymore now that I live a little farther away but I hope all of you will continue to come, continue to bring new members who need the support and keep this great group going as long as possible,” she said.
WASCA Report 2015
Rochester was once again well represented at the 2015 WASCA Festival
in Alexandria, Virginia. Our photo shows 26 people (Two might not be
from our area, but someone waved them in!) for the Rochester Area
group, with four of them also being Callers/Cuers. We know there were
a few more that did not make it for the photo, but it is so difficult
to get everyone together at one moment.
This year I noticed that a large percentage of the Rochester dancers were dancing in the Advanced and Challenge level dance halls. We really ARE a talented group!! If you have not attended this wonderful festival, try to put it on your calendar for next year. It is one of the best dance experiences in the Northeast. I talked with people that drove all the way from Florida to attend this festival, and they were not on their way back north. They were returning to Florida, some making a 14-hour drive back to their homes. The drive is worth it! We are just lucky that it is only a 6-1/2 hour drive from Rochester.
If you need a little encouragement to help you make the decision to go to the WASCA Festival, let me see what I can do … there are always four or more halls dancing at any given time. They have a basket raffle that would amaze you (over 20 baskets available). Baskets included sporting event seats and other items, wine baskets, a Disney Hopper basket (four passes in the basket), gift cards to many chain restaurants, etc., and a large assortment of other wonderful baskets. There are meals served right in the area that serves as the social area, and many options in or out of the hotel. There are also many small areas to sit and just relax, as well as areas to gather with friends to play cards or whatever else you might choose to do. And last, but not least, they have ice cream available each night at 9 p.m.!! One scoop or two, and all the toppings you can imagine! So there you have a small list of reasons that should try to attend WASCA 2016. I have brought back many flyers with all of the information that you would need to register and will be passing them out to our area clubs, so be looking. I hope next year our group photo will include YOU!!!
Terry Pratt, President
Rochester Area Federation
In Memoriam: Bob Pearson, April 16, 2015
Bob and Jeannen had just returned from visiting their daughter in
Austin, Texas, and Bob had decided to walk the quarter mile or so from
their beautiful year-round home on Cayuga Lake, just below Union
Springs, to check mail and get the paper. A neighbor passed him,
wondering why he was sitting under a tree. A short time later the
neighbor returned and found Bob lying there with his indomitable
spirit having left his body.
Many of you reading this will perhaps remember Bob and Jeannen as the loyal Club Reps for the Cayuga Cut-Ups at Federation meetings, or perhaps you may have danced with them at DOR, or any of the other big dances locally. Living in the Auburn area, they danced frequently in Penn Yan and Fulton, and never missed the now-annual Elaine Eno ALS benefit dance. While they served as club presidents, Bob and Jeannen did much to restore this club to premier status, attracting visitors with many big dances and a warm welcoming atmosphere.
Born in Auburn, he was the son of the late Henry J. and Rena Stott Pearson. He leaves his wife of 56 years, Jeannen Warn Pearson; his daughter, Cynthia (John) Duchala; his daughter, Linda (Randy) Brink; grandchildren, Adelyn and Patrick Duchala; and stepgrandson, Mitchell Brink. Also surviving are a niece, Jackie Hale; and a nephew, Henry J. Pearson III.
Bob was a proud veteran, and a retired mechanical engineer with IBM who enjoyed annual Outer Banks fishing trips with his old work pals. If you ever visited his home, it would soon be obvious, however, that the things he loved most were his family and providing a happy retreat for all of them where they could be together on the lake, enjoying every kind of sporting water-craft imaginable…and with Bob, probably petting his dog and smiling…pretty much content and at peace with himself and his Creator.
God speed, Bob, you leave many in your wake who love you, and a heritage like few others ever so humbly attain.
Until we meet again…
Dick Halstead, Your Friend
In Memoriam: Bob Stevens, April 21, 2015
Recalling that Bob’s wife, Lou, preceded him in
death in a tragic accident in Florida several years ago, it is still
difficult to think of one without the other. Now there is no longer
You may also recall that that same accident almost took Bob’s life, but with rehabilitation he did return to us, and in typical form, was returning as best he could to our square dance community.
Bob’s square dancing “history” began with the Triggers, but also included the Cloverleaf Squares, where he met Lou in 1988. They were Vice Presidents and then Presidents of the Belles ’N’ Beaus in 2000, 2001, and in 2002; and simultaneously Vice Presidents of the Rochester Area Federation from 2000 to 2002, followed immediately by wearing Federation Presidents badges from 2002 through 2004.
With this performance history, it was not surprising that they were the 2005 recipients of the Daphne-Norma Leadership Award.
Their leadership accomplishments included setting many precedents that have gone on to benefit all of us. One thing I recall specifically that they did was to visit every club in the Federation, to assess personally every club’s needs, ambitions, and opinions.
Some of the notable actions that they brought to fruition were the establishment of the first Promotion and Development Team; a Back to Basics program; and successful sponsorship of a bill to have Square Dancing declared as our “National Folk Dance”!
When I pray, for every single thing I ask for…if I ask for anything at all…I like to mention at least ten things that I am “Grateful For.” You might well consider being grateful for the life of Bob Stevens, as am I.
Dick Halstead, Roving Reporter
The following from his published obituary…
Stevens, Robert E., Esquire Greece: April 21, 2015 at the age of 84. He was predeceased by wife, Louise; his brother, William Stevens. Survived by his children, Dr. William Stevens, PhD., James (Sharon) Stevens, Debra (Terry) Lindsey and Joy (Tom) Bucella; sister, June (Ron) Parker; sisters-in-law, Carroll Stevens & Gerry Souders; grandchildren, Forrest, Carl, Alex, Alison Louise, Emily, Peter Martin (Kristie) and Kiel; loving caregiver, Cynthia Kokangul; and many loved nieces, nephews and friends. Robert was a veteran of the U.S. Air Force. He received a degree in Labor Relations from Cornell University as well as his Juris Doctorate from the University of Buffalo. Robert spent most of his career in private practice in Rochester, NY and also served on the National Board of Arbitrators. Bob was Past Master of Clio Lodge #779 F. & A.M. He was an avid reader whose loves included his family, golf, Ireland, his Saturday morning breakfast group, Belles ’N’ Beaus, the lake, and oysters on the half-shell. He will be remembered as a wise, generous, and loving presence.