In Memory

Robert Dieleman - Class Of 1966

Robert Dieleman

Robert "Bob" Dieleman passed away October 31, 2021 after a brief battle with pancreatic cancer at 73 years old.

Bob will best be remembered as a legendary crane man with a penchant for suspenders. He saw the sensibility in his trademark uniform early on as they allowed him to "work with both hands" on a jobsite more securely than a tool belt alone. Bob was an innovator and inventor, always interested in the latest technology. With a keen engineering mind, he organized, funded and spearheaded multiple significant and forward-thinking heavy lift and heavy haul projects. Most notable are the JXS, a Cal-Trans compliant heavy haul trailer with a 700,000 lb hauling capacity that won 13 patents and the SC&RA; project of the year in 1990; and the SL 400, nicknamed the "Crystal May," a street-legal 400-ton lattice boom truck crane. The groundbreaking crane doubled the capacity of road-worthy cranes at the time and rewrote the potential for future innovations in crane mobilization. Always looking towards the future, he pioneered the development of a hydrogas suspension system in the 1990's, a technology more common in Europe and "in its infancy" in America, as he would say. Although Bob was retired, his last work was to receive 3 patents on a manufacturer-friendly schnabel transport system, with pivoting goosenecks for rapid deployment.

Bob was a man of the world, always travelling to exotic places for some crane or another, making so many friends along the way. He would fondly recall the treacherous conditions from his years spent operating at the TransAlaska pipeline. He shared stories of hard work growing up at, and later running, Jake's Crane & Rigging- from round tripping San Francisco twice in a day, to late night tower crane jumps at any of the Las Vegas strip resorts. During his working years, he never missed a Bauma tradeshow, including the year the Icelandic volcano eruption kept most Americans at home, Bob found his way to Munich. Bob was raised to work hard and "burn rubber." If you ever had the luxury of driving somewhere with him, it may have left you pale and white-knuckled, but you always arrived quickly, and in one piece.

So many people have a story to share about him that includes a crane, a German beer, or a kind gesture. His generosity and pure heart attracted people like a magnet. Bob would go out of his way to help people and "nice try" to anyone who attempted to pick up the tab when you were out with him. Bob was a compassionate pacifist, always there to help, but quick to remind you to be the bigger person. He believed enlightenment was the ultimate pursuit; he meditated, practiced qi gong, and devoured books about spirituality.

Bob is survived by his wife, Kay, children, Crystal Dieleman and Jacob Dieleman; grandson, Jacob Johnson, sister Kathie Coon, brother Dick, and several nieces and nephews. Bob is the youngest of 4, he is preceded in death by his parents, Jake and Ruth; brother, Roger; and niece, Kristi Coon. Bob was born in Boulder City, NV and would say that it was a "really special place" to grow up. He would reminisce about riding horses through the desert with his sister, whom he loved very much. He attended the University of Nevada Reno and served as president of the Sundowners, a notorious social drinking club, while enrolled.

In lieu of flowers, please do as Bob would have done and perform a random act of kindness.

Published on November 6, 2021

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Note on Facebook by  Steve Gettler 11/1/2021

Received word today that classmate Bob Dieleman class of 1966 passed away on November 1.  Rest In Peace Bob and condolences to the family.

 From: Gary Klann

> I send this e-mail with a heavy heart. I got an e-mail from Kay Dieleman today that our good friend Bob Dieleman passed away this morning from pancreatic cancer that he has been suffering with since January. All the wonderful memories growing up together in BC, the time we spent at UNR and our occasional get togethers just flashed through my head (memories I will never forget). I will really miss him!


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11/01/21 03:35 PM #1    

Jim Widner (1958)

Oh I am so sorry to hear about Bobby  ..  He was such a delight to talk to in recent years.  The Widners and Dielemans  have a long and close history.    These pics will attest to that.     The Christmas card below shows the  happy Dieleman kids.  







11/01/21 03:44 PM #2    

Jim Widner (1958)

Here is pic from 1945 +-   when the Widners and Dielemans went to Pahrump to explore and swim in the irrigation canals.       It   does not include Bobby ,   Also included is a Chrismas card from the 50s, I'd say.

Betty W, Jimmy W., Ruth D., Jake D., Kathy D., Dick D.

11/11/21 03:09 PM #3    

Jim Thompson Luz (1966)

From: Jim Luz (Thompson)

Bob was a friend to many and one whose friendship you could count on. 

My deepest condolences to Kay, Kathy, Crystal, Jake and Richard. 

Bobby's life among us left us with many lasting great memories and a true appreciation for the meaning of Friendship!

He will be Missed.

                      Safe Travels Bobby !


05/07/22 05:29 PM #4    

James Robeson (1960)

Bob, served under me when I commanded the reserve unit in Vegas.  Jim Robeson

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