Harold Robert (Bob) Case

Date of Birth

March 4th, 1929

Date of Death

July 17th, 2014

Memorial Meeting

South Mountain Friends Meeting


Harold Robert Case was born on March 4, 1929 to Harold Claude Case and Phyllis Elizabeth Kirk in Glencoe, Illinois. He was named after his uncle, Bob Kirk, a pacifist. His family moved quite a bit as his father was a prominent Methodist minister who, over time, served churches in Illinois, Kansas, Pennsylvania and California.

“Bob,” as he was known to his friends, was born deaf. His parents advocated for his excellent education and Bob was proud of his remarkable ability to speak and read lips. Starting in his elementary years, he attended mainstream schools, where he had many beloved teachers, some of whom were Quakers. In 1937, the family built a cabin in Allenspark, Colorado, where Bob loved to admire the wildlife and natural beauty. He would return to this cabin throughout his life.

World War II took place during Bob's adolescence, and it had a profound impact on him. Many of his friends were in the service and some died at war. In 1947, the Case family visited post-war Europe. This eye-opening experience made Bob a devoted pacifist and piqued his interest in Quakerism. He would later be an outspoken pacifist during the Vietnam War. In 1949, Bob traveled to Okinawa with three friends on a Heifer Project trip. They succeeded in their mission of caring for 300 milk goats during a sixteen day sea crossing and delivering them safely to Japan.

Bob started his college education at the Whittier College, a Quaker school. He later transferred to Boston University when his father became President there. Bob would go on to earn B.S. and M.S. Degrees in Public Relations and Communication Arts. After graduating, Bob found work as Chief Photographer for Boston University, married Ann, and with her had two daughters, Cheryl and Karin. Bob would later describe the births of his girls as his “most profound experience.” He designed and built a home for his family in Wellesley Hills, Massachusetts. Although Bob was open with his family about his Quaker leanings, he remained very involved in the Methodist Church, raising his girls there and assuming many positions of responsibility. Meanwhile, Bob had great success as a photographer, with his work appearing in The Christian Science Monitor, Newsweek, Time Magazine, the Sunday New York Times, and two World Fairs. Bob's photographic career would span thirty-two countries and forty-nine years.

In 1978, Bob and Ann separated, and he moved to Colorado, where he would live for twenty-two years. He married Carol, and they remained married for the rest of his life. While residing in Colorado, Bob was an avid hiker, an occasional attender of Boulder Friends Meeting, and a dedicated volunteer at Denver International Airport, where he dazzled customers with his ability to comprehend and speak foreign languages.

Bob and Carol moved to Ashland in 2001, and Bob became a member of South Mountain Friends Meeting in 2003. Bob was one who loved to tell stories, and his life was so rich, he was always surprising fellow Quakers with new ones. He also loved to cook and eat gourmet food, watch good television and movies, and to admire planes, trains and automobiles. Bob recently published a collection of his photographs of the abandoned mining towns of Colorado in a book called The Lure of Gold. He challenged South Mountain Friends Meeting to find ways to communicate with him, boldly advocating for his needs as a deaf man. Although he absolutely made the most of his situation, he recently described his deafness as causing "unbelievable frustrations...without ceasing."

Bob was an enthusiastic participant in life, attending Meeting even after his heart became weak, and celebrating at a Meeting wedding a few days before he died on July 17, 2014. Bob will be missed, especially his charm, warmth, intellectual curiosity, exuberance and loving nature.