Attending a small school near the Quinault Reservation marked Bob Rath forever. Bob’s dedication to Native American, Hispanic, and rural education was evident during his tenure at Education Northwest, then known as Northwest Regional Educational Laboratory (NWREL). Bob made tremendous contributions to the area from his days as the director of NWREL’s Multicultural Reading and Language Development program overseeing the development of the Alaskan Readers, Guam Readers, and the Northwest Indian Reading Series, and then as our executive director for 15 years until his retirement in 1995.
He believed that working directly with children, schools, and communities truly made a difference. Late U.S. Senator Mark O. Hatfield once said, “Bob, your commitment not only to education, but to people, has distinguished you without equal in the education community.”
Bob passed away from natural causes earlier this month. He was 86. “In my five years at Education Northwest, I have often heard veteran staff talk about the deep respect and appreciation they had for Bob’s leadership,” said current CEO Steve Fleischman. “We honor his service and will miss his presence in our organizational life.”
As printed in his Oregonian obituary, a memorial service will be held at 2 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 11 at the Portland Community College Sylvania Campus in the Performing Arts Center. Instead of flowers, donations may be made in Bob’s memory to Feed the Children.