Bob Mader was a man of many words—written words that is. I wonder how many articles he wrote throughout his editorial career. He was a fine journalist that knew how to write a fact-based news article, showing the different perspectives of both sides of a topic. He was a quiet person, but no doubt he had the gift of writing.
He definitely enjoyed writing his Editor’s Note every month for CONTRACTOR Magazine. That is where he had the opportunity to give his opinion on what we covered in the magazine that specific month. A very witty writer, he always had something eye-opening to say about the latest events, products, standards, regulations, government policy, or trends in the industry. Bob put a lot of thought into these opinion pieces, with an added splash of his personality.
No doubt, each of Bob’s colleagues will have different memories of him, and I want to share a few memories I have of him. In the office, every morning, Bob would start his day off with a bowl of oatmeal. I learned this wasn’t out of convenience—he would even have oatmeal for breakfast when on the road for trade shows and conferences. I cannot help but think of Bob when I have oatmeal for breakfast. It was a breakfast main staple of his.
Bob was a fan of beer—real beer—not Budweiser or Miller. He always said if he was going to drink that crappy beer he would drink water instead. I believe he particularly liked German craft beer.
Bob was also a music and concert fan too. He knew my favorite bands and I knew his—U2. I found it amusing that he agreed I take work off to go back to Detroit to see some of my favorite bands in concert.
Bob was also a practical joker. One of my coworkers told me how much he enjoyed buying gag gifts for one of my milestone birthdays. I will always remember walking into the office on my birthday to find a cane, Fixodent and reading glasses with a note referring to my milestone birthday as only being five years old in dog years.
I do thank him for hiring me as an associate editor for Contractor magazine in 2008. This put me on a wonderful career path and Chicago adventure. I will also thank Bob for being flexible with me too—when there were family emergencies back in metro-Detroit he never hesitated to let me go back home to be with family for as long as needed. He knew and understood that family is priority.
Speaking of family being a priority, I am sure he is looking down at his family, colleagues and friends right now with a smile on his face, knowing that everyone has their own special memories of him and enjoying each memory about him that is being shared. No doubt he is giving everyone a big hug.