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A life on the farm and for the farm; Bob Flowers dies at age 60
 by SAMANTHA TIPLER, Herald and News 1/22/14
  H&N file photo

   Bob Flowers ran a Century Farm and served on many farm organizations and community organizations.

    The farm was his life.

   That’s what Jason Flowers said of his father, Bob Flowers, who passed away Saturday at the age of 60.

   Flowers, who ran a Century Farm and served on many farm organizations and community groups, always loved the place where he grew up.

   It was the place where his great-grandfather started the farm in the 1890s. Where he and his wife, Christy, built up their operation eventually buying the majority of stock in the family company, Flowers Brothers, Inc. Where he raised his sons, Jason and Larry. Where he grew barley, oats, wheat, alfalfa hay, grass hay and raised cattle off and on.  

   “He was a smart businessman, a hard worker and seemed like he was always willing to help someone get started into farming who wanted to,” Jason said. “He was into helping people.”

   J.W. Cope, with Winema Elevators, often worked with Flowers, but also was his friend. He commended Flowers for his ability to work the land and run a business.

   “He was thoughtful, he was fiscally conservative, he farmed in the Lower Klamath, learned how to maximize return on the properties he leased annually and he knew how to grow oats, he really knew how to grow oats,” Cope said. “He and I developed a friendship. We spent many an hour riding in a combine cab, cussing and discussing the price of grain and why I should pay more.”

   In 2006 health issues forced Flowers to retire from farm work. In 2008 he had a double lung transplant.  

   But he just couldn’t stay away from his farm.

   “Even after the transplant,” Jason said, “he’d drive through the ranch and sit and look at it some days.”

   Still involved

   Even after he could no longer work on the farm, Flowers stayed active in agriculture organizations both in the Klamath Basin and across the country.

   “I guess what he really should be known for is making a success of farming in the Lower Klamath and his political activism,” Cope said.

   Flowers was on the Klamath County Natural Resource Advisory Committee, the Soil and Water Conservation District board and the Klamath Water Users Association. He had been president of the Klamath-Lake County Farm Bureau for about the last 16 years up until his death.

   “He’s a man that has very   strong beliefs but also knows enough to look at the big picture and see what’s good for everybody, even though it may not always agree with his beliefs,” said Tracey Liskey, a friend, neighbor and fellow farm bureau member.

   Jason said his father was initially involved in protecting farmer interests, but over the years his commitment to those groups became stronger.

   “Once you’re involved and go to state meetings and state conventions, you get there long enough it becomes more of a family,” Jason said.

   Water issues

   Flowers also was involved with water issues, living, farming and ranching in the Lower Klamath Lake area. Jason said his father took several trips to Washington, D.C., with the Farm Bureau to lobby for water issues. He also met with heads of the Bureau of Reclamation, the U.S. Department   of Agriculture’s Natural Resource Conservation Service, and congressmen and senators to discuss water.

   “He was never shy about his opinions and never shy about telling anyone what his opinion was and encouraging them to agree with him,” Cope said.

   And at home he was just as active.

   “He was big on the history of what the water was in Lower Klamath,” Jason said.

   When fisherman groups would come to the Basin to learn about water, Flowers was there to tell them the history of the Klamath Project. Even when his health started to fail, Flowers’ commitment to water and history stood strong.

   “He would bring fisherman groups to show them our situation and take them to the top of our gravel pit where there’s a good view of Lower Klamath,” Jason said. “He would give them   a presentation on the history of Lower Klamath and the development. We’ve got one picture of him — before the transplant he was on oxygen — he was up there with oxygen, with pictures from the turn of the century telling the fisherman what we did.”

    stipler@heraldandnews.com  ; @TiplerHN  


Robert Flowers
     Robert George Flowers, a resident of Midland, died peacefully at home with family by his side Jan. 18, 2014, at the age of 60.

   A funeral service will be at 10 a.m. Monday, Jan. 27, in O’Hair Funeral Chapel, followed by interment at Mt. Laki Cemetery.

   Bob was born Jan. 5, 1954, to James M. and Freeda Flowers in Dorris, Calif. He went to school in Keno and then graduated in 1972 from Henley High School. He then pursued further academics at Oregon Technical Institute. All through his childhood he took an active role in working the family farm. After graduating, he worked for Weyerhaeuser for a short time before going back to   farming.

   Bob married Christy Horton July 23, 1977. The couple continued farming, eventually buying part of the original Flowers Brothers, Inc. and some additional land. He was very proud that they were the first ones in the family to completely pay off their “Century” designated ranch.

   He was active in Grange and the Farm Bureau, holding offices in both. He was the Klamath/Lake County Farm Bureau President at the time of his death. He was also on the Soil and Water Conservation Board, the Natural Resource Advisory Committee and a member of the Klamath Water Users Association.

   Bob enjoyed spending time with his family and being on the ranch. He also took pleasure in flying radio-controlled airplanes, hunting, fishing, archery, snowmobile riding and in earlier years, bowling on many leagues.

   He was forced to retire from farming in 2006 due to health issues. He received a double lung transplant in 2008. He was very proud of his sons, who are keeping the family farming enterprise going, especially throughout his health troubles.  

   He is survived by Christy, his wife of 36 years; sons, Jason and Larry; mother-in-law, Mary Horton; brotherin-law, Dave Horton; sisters-in-law and their husbands, Sandy and Jerry Hargrove and Judy and Gary Woods; sister and brother-inlaw, Dorothy and Dale Scull; uncles and aunts, Milton and Lilly Durham, Clara “Teddy” and Bill Goddard, Gladys Durham, Vina Reeder, and Irvie Durham; and many cousins, nieces, nephews, great-nieces and great-nephews; and special friends.  

   He was preceded in death by his parents; brother, James A. Flowers; father-in-law, John Horton and several aunts and uncles.

   Contributions in memory of Robert Flowers may be made to Oregon Farm Bureau Memorial Scholarship, ATTN: Bob Flowers Fund, 3415 Commercial St. SE, Salem, OR 97302. 503-399-1701. (Please write Bob Flowers’ name on the memo line of any checks or money orders). The Memorial Scholarship Project awards funds to college students studying in preparation for a career in agriculture or closely related field.   It is a part of the 501c3 Oregon Agricultural Education Foundation. Contributions are tax deductible.

   Please sign the online guest book at  www.heraldandnews.com/obituaries  .


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