Bob Stout died on March 6 at home in Siesta Key, FL, at the age of 94. Jake and Mac and Bob Stout were all with him, as was Nancy, and his beloved little black Scottie Callie was by his side until the end.
It is nearly impossible to imagine Big Wolf Lake without Bob. He spent 90 of his 94 summers at Santa Clara, fishing, rowing, tinkering in the shop, and passing his love for this place to the next generations. The shop, where everything from farm equipment repair to horseshoeing took place when there was an operational farm on Meigs' Point, was Bob’s domain. Many beautiful boats took shape there, along with ingenious fixes for all of the things that can and do break in the north woods.
The children could always find Bob (Pop to the Louries/Bop to the Underhills) and his latest Scottie in the Shop. He was a patient craftsman willing to make their dreams of go-carts, slingshots, and any other contraptions in their imaginations come to life.
According to Bob, he never made any mistakes on his projects. They just had “studied imperfections.”
He loved to fish and share his skills; but if you asked him where he caught the latest big one he’d always answer, “Right about here,” miming a hook in the mouth of an unsuspecting walleye, bass, or pike.
For 50 years, a group of his childhood friends from Bronxville kindergarten days joined him in June for a week of tall tales, scotch, and fishing. Last summer Bob and the two remaining stalwarts reunited for the last time at Clara.
For many years Bob was chair of the Firearms Committee. He felt morally obligated to resign from this post after encouraging his underage great-nephew Sam to shoot a pesky porcupine out of a tree, and penned a priceless letter to the Association describing the incident. He relished a good prank and the resulting good story.
Bob loved nothing more than a scotch on the terrace or by the fire at Santa at Big Wolf cocktail hour (6p.m. sharp!) and teasing his sons and nephews. They gave as good as they got, and Bob and Hugh would lift Bob off the ground by his elbows so he could see them “eye to eye.”
Bob was born on Christmas Day, 1924, and the Stouts, Louries, and Underhills celebrated his 90th with “Christmas in July” – complete with twinkle lights, stockings, and caretaker and friend Will Howard in full Santa suit handing out gifts.
Until a very few years ago, Bob began his Big Wolf mornings with a long row through the rising mist in his hand-made scull, and often ended his day in the yellow canoe, paddling with Nancy and the latest Scottie and a fishing line trailing from the stern.
There will be a private family celebration at the Meigs Point Hill Garden on Friday, July 5, and a cocktail party for all members of the Big Wolf Lake Association at the Club at 6 p.m. that evening, so we can share stories and raise a glass together.
Donations in Bob’s honor may be made to The Wild Center, Tupper Lake, NY 12986, (518) 359-7800,