Robert C. Brumage


(Feb. 3, 2006)

Robert Cassil Brumage of Powell and Seattle died of a heart attack Friday, Feb. 3 in Seattle, Wash., after a long battle with Alzheimer’s disease. He was 91.

He was born Jan. 28, 1915, in Fort Steele, Wyo. He graduated in 1933 from Laramie High School and entered the University of Wyoming the same year, where he joined Sigma Alpha Epsilon Fraternity.

He graduated with a B.S. degree in Civil Engineering in 1937. He received the Sigma Tau award in 1933 and was inducted into Phi Kappa Phi honor society in 1937. Upon graduation, he traveled east to Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute where, as a scholarship student, he received the Master of Civil Engineering degree in 1938.

He worked briefly for the Bureau of Reclamation in Wyoming before joining the Shasta Dam Project in northern California in 1939-40. He joined The Boeing Company as a stress engineer in 1940. In 1942, he was sent to England in a civilian capacity as a company representative for the Boeing B-17 bombers in service during World War II.

He married Jean Brodie Dinning of Motherwell, Scotland, in December of 1943. They returned to Seattle in 1944. Bob’s career at Boeing spanned 44 years with three additional assignments overseas; in Bristol, England (1949-1951) as customer service representative for the Stratocruiser to British Overseas Airways; in Geneva, Switzerland (1957-1962) as sales representative to the European office; and in 1969-1971 where he also served as regional sales representative.

Starting in 1971 he transferred to Contract Administration with a focus on Boeing’s many European airline customers. He retired from The Boeing Company in May, 1985.

Jean Brumage died in 1981. In 1986, Bob married Esther Cowgill Brodrick of Powell, the widow of Gordon Brodrick. Bob and Gordon had known each other since their childhood in Laramie and while studying engineering together at the university. Esther and Bob split their time between Seattle and Powell for a number of years, then settled permanently in Powell. During his retirement, they traveled widely in Europe and the United States.

Bob loved to work with his hands. He was an excellent carpenter, with an engineer’s love of precision and structural soundness. Throughout his career and travels, he studied language as part of his daily routine, mastering a business traveler’s survival skills in French, German, Italian and Spanish. He will be remembered especially for his love of good company and good food and wine, followed by a songfest of oldies and old-time hymns, sung with full-throated joy.

Cremation has taken place. Graveside memorial services will be in Powell at a later date. For those who wish, contributions to the University of Wyoming Foundation, directed to the UW College of Engineering, would be appreciated by the family.

Survivors include his wife, Esther, of Powell; his sister, Ruth Anne Carroll of Fort Collins, Colo.; and his three children with Jean: Elizabeth Hensley of Tucson, Ariz., Jane Kyle of Portland, Ore., and Peter Brumage of Seattle; by a stepson, Mike Brodrick of Red Lodge, Mont.; and two granddaughters, Kate Brumage and Betsy Hensley of Seattle.