Robert Shaffer

Robert at the search conducted in Lapeer

On November 22, 2009, a dark cloud passed over our world. Many people, including our Tri-State family, lost a very wonderful person. Robert Shaffer passed away that day from complications following routine surgery at the young age of 39.

Robert met the Tri-State team through a series of coincidences. Eventually he and his wife Kendra (along with Jacob Allen) brought their talents to the team. It was our lucky day in more ways than one.

To Tri-State members Robert was (among other things) a ground-pounder extraordinaire. He was quick-witted, with a devilish sense of humor, and an easy-going demeanor that just made you wish you could be more like him. He had the capability to make you laugh (or get a song stuck in your head) no matter what the circumstances. He was also a dog lover, with a "never say no" attitude with treats that endeared him to our dogs.

He was one of our techie geniuses (he never could get past his engineering background, even while in the field), even being brave enough to volunteer to take on a couple of technologically-challenged dog handlers, trying to teach us how to use a GPS. He wasn't totally successful, but he was ok with that. As long as you had Robert with you, you knew you'd never get lost in the woods. He would also have you watching for things that you would never think to look for - there was always a "Sasquatch Alert" when you had him as a flanker.

Robert and his dog Zoey

Robert was a truly talented, gifted, and special person. He touched so many people in so many different ways that he will be sorely missed. Those of us fortunate enough to get to know him outside of the "search team" world will miss him that much more. However, we know that our canines that have already crossed the Rainbow Bridge now have Robert there to care for them, bags of jerky strips in hand and a 6-pack of Red Bull for himself in the other, ready to continue sharing. Indeed, my friend, it is an Eminence Front.