Robert (Bob) Eshelman, 86, of Sunnyside passed away peacefully on Sunday, May 12, 2013, at Chandler House in Yakima.

Bob was born June 29, 1926 in Bloomington, Neb. to Jay and Lois Eshelman. Bob moved to Outlook in 1936 with his parents, where they owned and operated an automobile wrecking yard.

Bob graduated from Sunnyside High School, where he was valedictorian of the class of 1944. After high school, he served two years in the U.S. Army, where he achieved the rank of sergeant and after an honorable discharge he returned to Sunnyside.

On April 18, 1954 he married Shirley Thiel. Bob owned and operated a cattle feedlot on Outlook Road for more than 20 years. After his retirement from the cattle business, he and Shirley moved to Sunnyside. He soon became bored with retirement and embarked on a second career with Sunnyside Valley Irrigation District, where he worked for several years.

After his retirement from SVID, Bob and Shirley enjoyed many trips to countries around the world. His favorite trip was to Africa, where they went on a safari and witnessed the annual migration.

He is survived by his wife, Shirley Eshelman; one sister, Donna Curtis; his children, Michael (Melissa) Eshelman of Austin, Texas, Kathy (Don) Haynes of Seattle, David (Val) Eshelman of Richland and Randy (Anna) Eshelman of Zillah; seven grandchildren; and two great-grandchildren.

He was preceded in death by his parents, Jay and Lois Eshelman.

Graveside services will be held Friday, May 17, 2013, at 11 a.m. at Lower Valley Memorial Gardens in Sunnyside.

In lieu of flowers, those wishing to honor Bob's memory may contribute to the Alzheimer's Association, the Fisher Center for Alzheimer's Research Foundation or your favorite charity benefitting Alzheimer research and treatment.

Those wishing to sign Robert's on-line memorial book may do so at

Smith Funeral Homes Ltd. and Crematory in Sunnyside is in charge of arrangements.


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