Bobby Cline memorial
“He was a DG guy, all the way.”
Last week, we lost a dear friend and respected colleague in Robert “Bob” Cline.
A graduate of Wentworth Institute in Boston, Bob entered the workforce with an engineering degree before focusing his career trajectory on piping design. While working as a piping designer at Carlson – where he met other DG legends like Earl Coombs, Scott Hurd, Mike Damiano, Karl Landgraf, and Tom Dennis – Bob went through Badger’s piping design training program before eventually coming aboard the fledgling Dennis Group in 1991.
Piping design was more than a job to Bob; it was an art. Even as technologies shifted and computer work became the norm, he could hand-draw a sketch for his processing solutions or piping installations to paint a picture for his teammates and clients.
During those first years of Bob’s tenure at DG, he worked extensively on pizza and salad projects, particularly on the Dole Yuma, Arizona project… trips to which resulted in one of his all-time favorite stories to tell. (It involves Bob, Ken Bonardi, Pablo Cussatti, and Karl Landgraf making their way onto the set of 1994’s Stargate under the assumption from the movie crew that Karl was some sort of big fish on the film.)
He was tenacious in his work; both efficient when necessary and relentless in his pursuit of perfection when time permitted. From ensuring a quick turnaround to secure a bid to polishing his designs to Hope diamond perfection, Bob embodied the DG motto of “always do what’s right for the project.” One phrase in particular comes up over and over again when referring to Bob: “He was a DG guy, all the way.” Despite a 60-minute commute, he was always one of the first people in the office, and never the first to leave at the end of the day.
Although the job and project came first for him in his work life, Bob was a devoted husband, a doting father to his son and daughter, Bobby and Vanessa, and a loving son to his father. A younger Bob would help his father all night, plowing snow in the frigid New England winters, only to get up in the morning and drive to work.
Days off would see him tinkering with his 1973 Corvette, going to car shows, or traveling to Florida to visit old DG colleague and friend, Eric Coombs. And even with illness and a 32-year career behind him, he kept a desk at the Springfield office, coming in for a few hours to provide a little of the Bob Cline touch.
Bob was not only a pillar of DG, but a good friend and mentor to many. He’ll be deeply missed.
A message from Earl Coombs
It was with great sadness that I heard about Bobby’s passing. I met Bobby about 40 years ago, when we worked in several engineering companies in the Boston area. We quickly became friends, and after working together for several years became very close.
A few years after moving to Springfield, MA and starting Dennis Group with Tom, we realized it was time to grow; and to do that it was important to find the right people to help it become the company it is today.
One of the first people I contacted was Bobby. He turned me down, later explaining not really knowing what Dennis Group was.
A few years later I called Bobby again and explained who we were, where we were going, and how he would be important to our growth. He said yes. That was over 30 years ago.
As many of you know, Bobby became an integral part of Dennis Group and its growth. All the engineers and project managers would ask Tom to have Bobby as their piping designer. When you had Bobby on your job, you were confident that his work was correct and complete.
I believe if there was a description of what a Dennis Group employee should be, it would be Bobby Cline. He lived about an hour away but was often the first in the office, and many times the last.
Bobby and I and many others at Dennis Group would become great friends outside of work and got together on many occasions. He and his wife Maggie would join Jan and I in Florida, along with Mark and Cindy Lovejoy, to go to the Barrett Jackson car auction every winter. In the summer we all went to Mike and Donna DeFlumeri’s home in Kennebunkport, ME with many current and ex-Dennis Group friends. These are times I will surely miss.
R.I.P. my friend. I and many others will surely miss you.
Earl and Janet Coombs