PASSAGES | Robert Iver Cederwall

Bob Cederwall -
Bob Cederwall
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Robert Iver Cederwall

October 20, 1945 - November 18, 2013

Bainbridge Island has lost one of its icons. Early on November 18, Bob Cederwall passed away suddenly. He was a young 68 years of age. This news has saddened our community.

He was “Bainbridge Bob” on the island, whether in a tree, hanging banners, acting at BPA, or just being out and about the island. His ready smile brought sunshine into the lives of everyone he met.

Bob was born in Seattle on October 20, 1945.

After summering on the island for several years, the Cederwall family established year-round residence at Agate Point in 1955.

Bob graduated Bainbridge High School in 1963, and attended Santa Rosa City College. He then enlisted in the Army and served as a Special Forces medic. After the Army, he moved to Denver where he worked in landscape maintenance.

Bob returned to Bainbridge Island in 1979. He established his tree service and became a sought-after tree climber for handling dangerous trees after wind storms.

His love of acting brought him into the local theatre scene where he acted, and helped backstage (even designing the way to fly kids in Peter Pan). He loved working with kids in theatre – he was always a kid at heart. He met his wife, Denise Harris, in local theatre and they were married in 1983.

Bob offered his knowledge and passion to many island activities. He was a long-standing member of the BPA Board. He acted in more than 25 plays, most recently in "Shrek." He served on the Community Forestry Commission. With equipment from his tree service, he volunteered for such jobs as hanging banners and lights in downtown, handling logs for Camp Yeomalt, aerial photography of Strawberry Cannery Cove, and his favorite – the Christmas star high in the fir tree at Denise’s studio near the ferry terminal. He was always willing to lend a helping hand. Bob loved this community, and was deeply loved in return.

He was a shining light for many, and there is sadness at knowing that he isn’t just around the corner to brighten the day. Yet, there are so many wonderful stories and memories of his life lived to the fullest.

Bob is survived by his wife Denise Harris, brother Ric Cederwall, and cousin Eric Cederwall, all on Bainbridge Island, and children Sean and Rebecca Whitney of Denver, Colo., and Lyla Englehorn of Pacific Grove, Calif., as well as seven grandchildren and dear cousins. He was predeceased by his father Roy Cederwall, mother Gene Moseley, stepfather Bert Moseley, and sister Judy Medler.

A celebration of Bob’s life will be at BPA at 2 p.m. Friday, Jan. 11.

Donations may be made in Bob’s memory to Bainbridge Performing Arts, 200 Madison Ave. N., Bainbridge Island, WA 98110.

Please sign the online guest book at

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