COMMERCE, Mich. - At the age of 82, Robert Arthur Damp, "Bob" to his friends and family, passed away on Wednesday, Jan. 2, 2013, at the Huron Valley-Sinai Hospital (Michigan) with his family by his side. Bob, who had been battling cancer and ultimately died from respiratory failure, was living with his wife at Penney Retirement Community (Florida) but had been vacationing in Michigan at the time of his death.
Born on March 13, 1930, in Culver City, Calif., Bob was the younger son of Charles Edward and Leah (Wilkins) Damp, and moved to Lake Placid as an infant. During high school, Bob was on the varsity football team and won many races on the ski team which, at that time, required athletes to compete in ski jumping, downhill racing and cross country. After graduating from Lake Placid High School in 1950, Bob continued skiing at State University of New York at Cortland, as the captain and coach of his college ski team. In 1954, Bob received his B.S. in Education.
After serving two years as first lieutenant in the United States Marines, Bob married Barbara C. (Blake) on July 27, 1956, at St. Marks Methodist Church in Rockville Centre. From 1956 to 1968, Bob worked for the Glens Falls Insurance Company before managing his own companies starting in 1968. In 1976, Bob returned to the Olympic region with his family to join his Uncle Jack (Wilkins) and brother, Edward C. Damp, in the family insurance business. One of his proudest moments was writing the insurance program for the Olympic Organizing Committee. Bob was also chief of course referees for the 1980 Olympics, along with various national and state competitions. Until Ed's death in 1995, Bob was the co-owner/partner of Wilkins Insurance Agency and Century 21 Real Estate.
While Bob and his family lived in Saranac Lake from 1976 to 1995, he was "110 percent Lake Placid," from helping his mother run the Corner Grocery Store as a child, to serving on various Lake Placid community committees as an adult. Bob was a member of the Lake Placid Ski Club for 19 years, board member and president for the New York State Ski Education Foundation, board member and chairman for the Mountain House Academy, board member for the Lake Placid Center for the Arts, board member and vice president of the Lake Placid Chamber of Commerce, and traveled throughout New York supervising many different types of ski races as a technical delegate. In addition, Bob served on various church committees and boards of directors in Florida, Illinois, Kentucky, New York and Ohio.
Bob is survived by his wife, Barbara Blake Damp of Penney Farms, Fla.; his sister-in-law Ann Blake Booth and her husband William of Sellersberg, Ind.; two daughters: Linda Damp Bohling and her husband Reinhard of Jacksonville, Fla., and Katie Damp Klossner and her husband David of Commerce Township, Mich.; and one son, Thomas Blake Damp and his wife Kimberly of West Bend, Wis. He is also survived by eight grandchildren: Leah Bohling Kawczak, Bekki Bohling, Nicholas Damp, Benjamin Damp, Logan Klossner, Micah Klossner, Dakota Klossner and Ellie Klossner; along with several nieces, nephews, cousins and other relatives and close friends, primarily in the Lake Placid region.
A memorial service will be held from 2 to 3 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 20, at Penney Memorial Church in the Penney Retirement Community in Florida. A casual Adirondack gathering to celebrate Bob Damp's life will be held late March/early April in Lake Placid.
In lieu of flowers, the family suggests donations be made to the Lake Placid High School Bob Damp Ski Scholarship (www.smartypig.com/loves/DampScholarships), or donations in memory of Bob Damp to the Residence Aid Fund at Penney Retirement Community, in Penney Farms, Fla.