Robert (Bob) Lawrence Haynes

Robert (Bob) Lawrence Haynes. August 8, 1932 – February 1, 2024.

Robert (Bob) Lawrence Haynes

August 8, 1932 – February 1, 2024

It is with great sadness and heavy hearts that we announce the passing of Robert (Bob) Lawrence Haynes, a longtime resident of Homer, Alaska. He passed peacefully at the South Peninsula Hospital in Homer. He was 91.

Bob was born at the height of the “Great Depression” on August 8, 1932, in Thief River Falls, Minnesota, to Rollie and Lillie (Stenseth) Haynes. Bob was one of four boys: Ronald, Walter, Bob, and Frank, and as youngsters, they all resided in a one-room cabin on the family homestead on Cottonwood Creek north of Thermopolis, Wyoming, but eventually came to settle in White Sulphur Springs, Montana, in 1941.

Bob spent his early childhood in Thermopolis, and his latter childhood in White Sulphur Springs where he graduated high school in 1950. He enlisted in the U.S. Navy in 1953 and was assigned to Air Operations on board the aircraft carrier USS Hornet (CV-12). Shortly thereafter, Bob spent eight months on a “world cruise” on the Hornet’s 1954 goodwill/readiness world tour, traveling over 69,000 miles and visiting many nations and over 27 different ports of call.

Bob married Shirley Mae Heggie, of Beltrami, Minnesota, in White Sulphur Springs on January 24, 1957. Three children were born into this union: Robbie, Brian, and Elizabeth. The marriage ended in divorce and Shirley passed away in March 1985.

Bob married Anne Afton Harris on March 22, 1967, in White Sulphur Springs, Montana. This marriage blended a family of five kids, three from Bob’s side (listed above) and two from Anne’s side, Kelly and David, and one faithful red Welch Corgi named “Puppy”.

While in White Sulphur Springs, Bob owned the “Food Basket” grocery store and was not only a very popular member of the community, he was also considered one of the best meat and wild game butchers you could find in the region. Outdoor activities and hunting were a passion of his. Before long, Bob and Anne’s adventurous spirit found them planning to move to Alaska. So they sold everything they had, bought a new 1967 Scout International and a small baby-blue camper trailer, and in late April/early May 1968, with a few kids in tow, they set out. They traveled west to Seattle, then up through British Columbia to Prince Rupert, stopping along the way to camp and experience their new surroundings. In Prince Rupert, they boarded the Alaska ferry M/V Matanuska, taking them first to Ketchikan (for three days), a stop in Juneau (for three days), and on to Haines where they disembarked. From there, they continued their northward trek crossing back into British Columbia, then the Yukon, then back into Alaska, and eventually finding themselves in the Matanuska Valley, a beautiful and flourishing farming and agricultural community north of Anchorage. Annie had felt that settling in the Matanuska Valley would be a good spot, reminding them of their ranching and farming backgrounds, but Bob wanted to proceed to Homer just to see…to the end of the road. As fate would have it, Homer, Alaska, was to become the beginning of the rest of Bob’s colorful life.

His first Homer job was at the Kachemak Food Cache, putting his grocery and butchering skills to work. He then took on a cannery job at the Homer Harbor and eventually became the foreman/supervisor. But the call of the sea and the lure of commercial fishing found him owning and operating the fishing vessel Yahtse, a multipurpose 45 ft. wooden crabber/halibut/salmon workboat. Bob leased other boats and worked with other local fishermen as well, fishing in Prince William Sound, the Gulf of Alaska, Togiak Bay, Kachemak Bay, all of Cook Inlet, and many places in between hit or miss. He commercial fished until he retired in 1993 after suffering injuries from an automobile accident.

Over time, Bob and Anne invested in developing a B&B cottage business. And so began Bob’s adventures of entertaining guests from all across the globe. Bob was a natural jokester and storyteller—generous and hospitable, and naturally overflowing with quirky poems and adventurous stories that guests could relate to the Alaskan experience. Along the way, Bob and Anne purchased a small vacation home in Camp Verde, Arizona, a place he enjoyed immensely, visiting it as often as possible and learning the joys of exploring the desert and rugged Arizona backcountry. He was also an avid golfer and loved playing courses wherever he could. Bob called Alaska home for over 56 years.

Bob was preceded in death by his father and mother; Rollie and Lillie, and his three brothers Ronald, Walter, and Frank. He is survived by his wife of 57 years, Anne, and their combined five children, Kelly, Robbie, David, Brian, and Elizabeth. Bob dearly loved all of his 13 grandchildren and 21 great-grandchildren.

A celebration of life and a cremation memorial service will be planned for late spring/early summer 2024, in a place near and dear to Bob’s heart…where the land, water, and sky meet at the verge.