Dr. Robert M. Hautala died unexpectedly on December 14th, 2018 at the
age of 70, while visiting family for the holidays in Rhode Island. Bob
was born January 19th, 1948 in Gloucester, Massachusetts. He was
predeceased by his parents Matt Hautala and Winnie (Pistenmaa) and by
his brother Rick Hautala. Bob is survived by his daughter Aili Boyd
(husband Matthew) of Barrington, RI, his son Arno Hautala (wife Erica)
of Tiverton, RI, as well as five grandchildren, Wyatt, Harriet, and
Lily Boyd, Britta and Elin Hautala, his sister Louise Brown (husband
Robert) of Naples, FL, many nephews, great nieces and nephews,
cousins, friends, colleagues, and students.
Bob grew up in Rockport, Massachusetts, graduated from Springfield
College, earned a Master of Arts in Education from The University of
Denver, and earned a doctorate degree in Kinesiology from The
University of Northern Colorado. He taught physical education and
worked as a guidance counselor in Connecticut and New Hampshire public
schools. For a time while caring for his father in Rockport, Bob
worked at the Post Offices in Ipswich and Rockport. He enjoyed the
walking to deliver mail and talking to customers at the post office.
He had a long and successful career as a professor at many
institutions, including Buena Vista College in Iowa, University of
Nebraska at Omaha where he was tenured, University of Vermont,
University of Rhode Island, University of New Hampshire, and he
completed his career this past summer retiring from Western Oregon
University where he worked for 14 years and held tenure.
Bob spent countless hours walking in the athletic center and around
the WOU campus and was passionate about the athletics programs there,
and loved his time holding office hours and mentoring senior thesis
projects, where he was fondly known as "Dr. H.". He also had a great
love for fly-fishing and would make regular trips to rivers and
streams around Oregon. Bob also had a great appreciation for his
Finnish heritage and made yearly trips to Finland where he studied the
language, took educational classes, conducted research, visited close
friends, and of course fly-fished.
Bob's trips to his New England home were always a point of excitement
for friends and family and he loved to see his grandchildren, who knew
him as Vaari. He will be very missed by family, friends, colleagues,
At Bob's wishes there will not be a funeral. A memorial at Western
Oregon University is planned for this winter and a Rockport memorial
will be planned for summer. Donations may be made in his memory to
Western Oregon University's Bob "Dr. H." Hautala Student Success Fund:
Online: Visit wou.edu/give, then select "support WOU" then "other" as
the gift designation. Please include Bob's name in the note line.
Or by Mail: WOU Foundation, 345 Monmouth Ave N., Monmouth OR 97361,
please mention Bob's name in the memo.