Robert (Bob) Shotwell, obituary

Posted:  Monday, September 17, 2018 - 7:15pm
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Robert (Bob) Shotwell, 97, of Camden, passed away on September 6, 2018 after more than 20 years of an extraordinarily active and enthusiastic life in Midcoast Maine.

Born in 1920 in Los Angeles, California, he had nearly finished studies at the University of Southern California when WWII recruiting officers enlisted his skills as a photographer, leaving him one semester short of graduation.  Almost 60 years later, Bob returned to receive his degree as the oldest graduate in the history of the USC Marshall School of Business. Between the War and his graduation, at 85 years young, he was an entrepreneur in the printing and copier industry, traveling the world selling some of the most innovative technology of the day.

His love for life and drive to succeed never slowed down. In his recent years, his passion for other people’s curiosities and kindness in mentoring their success, led him to share his knowledge of entrepreneurship. He had a deep appreciation of history and was an avid reader and traveler. In 2013,  he drove his mini cooper the entire length of Route 66, solo. In 2014, he drove, round trip, from Maine to Florida visiting historic hotels and learning of the surrounding areas.

Bob made a difference in so many people’s lives.  It was easy to see the connection he felt with people he met in his community. Through these relationships, Bob shared his own humility and lifelong commitment to learning as a steadfast supporter of people and organizations.  He demonstrated that the best source of knowledge and self-exploration is through relationships with others. His wisdom in recognizing and then challenging people to reach their highest potential was remarkable.

It was clear that Bob was masterful in finding and sharing the energy of the people with aspirations. Bob provided the spark and, as some would say, the kick-start that many needed in order to succeed in reaching their goals and dreams. He was always “all in” for participating in the hard work of turning an idea into reality.

Bob always kept moving physically, spiritually, and intellectually. Many wondered how Bob ‘stayed so young.’  He was always on-the-go. In fact, his license plate reads ‘GO RVS.’ He traveled around town, across country and internationally to connect with family, learn more about the world, enjoy the food of every culture and, yes, to even bungee jump!

On the spiritual and intellectual side, he thrived on a persistent, youthful curiosity and a perpetual commitment to growth. Everything he did, he did with zest and with a vigorous regimen of action. From the beginning to the end of Bob’s time in this earthly life, his signature persistence was key.

It’s one thing to live a life until one can be satisfied and settled with the lifetime fortune you have created, but it’s a lesson in longevity to have the persistence and enthusiasm to live in the knowledge that you’ll never be done. Bob gave generously of his time and resources to allow others to carry forward his legacy.

Bob’s wife and partner-in-life, Barbara (Babo), passed away in 2006. Both Bob and Babo were active in the community, working with Pop!Tech, the Camden International Film Festival (CIFF), the Henry Knox Museum, the Camden Public Library and numerous other individuals and organizations.

Bob continued supporting these projects in addition to mentoring many more individuals with ideas that needed an extra nudge or some advice. He was indefatigable and rarely suffered those who just sat on the sidelines. He was all about action, purpose, and gratitude. His family, his community, and anyone fortunate enough to call him their friend, will miss his presence and spunk.

He is survived by his three children, Robyn Metcalfe, of Owls Head, Maine, and Austin, Texas; Jay Shotwell, of Angels Camp, California; and Mike Shotwell of St. Louis, Missouri; and grandchildren Emily Shotwell Boivin, Ben Shotwell, Brian Shotwell, Julia Metcalfe, Max Metcalfe, Drew Shotwell and Mia Darling Ibáñez Risso; and great grandchildren Poppy and Oona.

A celebration of his life will be on Saturday, September 22, at the Rockport Opera House at 1 p.m. The celebration is open to the public.

In lieu of flowers, donations to projects that Bob was passionate about can made by sending a check to “GO RVS Community Fund” at 6 Clary Hill Road, Waldoboro, ME 04572