Eastern Sierra as a Brinton Visitor to convenings of these small and widely scattered worship groups between Reno and Las Vegas. Once we all camped out in Death Valley at Stovepipe Wells. It was early May, and quite hot even so early in the spring, and we ended up around the pool at the little motel there. Bob entertained us all, especially the kids, with his little [Sammy the] "flea" [routine].
A couple of years later, the group met here in Bishop. My son was working on a History Day project on conscientious objectors, and it was absolutely fascinating to hear Bob's stories of his days as a CO during WWII. What a fantastic interview opportunity for Eric!
Bob's willingness to come such distances for a relatively small group of people was much appreciated! His warmth, knowledge, and commitment to Quaker principles was a pleasure to behold for us birthright Friends as well as for new attenders still exploring the meaning of a Quaker life. We are very happy to have known him, and know that he will be missed by those who had the privilege of being part of his familiar circle.--Carla Scheidlinger, Bishop Worship Group
Bob Vogel was a friend and colleague of mine. When I came to work in the peace education program of the American Friends Service Committee, Bob and Lyle Tatum introduced me to the Quaker approach to a non-military, nonviolent resolution of the Arab-Israeli-Palestinian Conflict.
In 1975, Bob led a small delegation of AFSC staff and committee members on a study tour of Egypt, Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, Israel, the West Bank, and Gaza. By worldly standards, here was this insignificant, spiritually mis-guided fellow presuming to be a peacemaker and foolishly taking on the most difficult case of violent international conflict. The Quaker approach which he proffered to Arabs, Israelis, and Palestinians was considered, by the real-politik movers and shakers, as simply a joke, if not ill-intentioned drivel. Bob was undeterred. He evinced the humble confidence of one who trusts in the power of truth and in the force of love.
Many years later, Arabs, Israelis, Palestinians and others gathered secretly in Oslo, and, over a period of time, they crafted a peace plan very like that proffered decades before by Bob Vogel and other Friends. When the deal was done, credit was taken at the White House--a place long unfriendly to the Quaker approach--for this brilliant diplomatic feat. Pictures were taken of eminent persons shaking hands. As I looked around the White House lawn during the signing of that historic accord, I did not see Bob Vogel, but his presence was evident by the nature of the day's activity. Bob didn't take credit; rather, he practiced his faith in ways that opened the way for hope to come into the world. We will miss Bob, and we will often be reminded of his presence.--Joe Volk, Friends Committee on National Legislation, Washington, DC
I was grieved and shocked by Bob's untimely death. He was so full of life and of the Spirit that it is hard to believe he has passed on.
Bob was more than a Friend; he was like a spiritual grandfather to me. During times when I was struggling and unsure, I could always count on his kindness, understanding, and wisdom. He was especially important to me when I first became involved with the AFSC/SCQM youth service project. Some members of our Quarter questioned whether spending $3500 a year on our youth was a wise investment. During an agitated threshing session, Bob rose and spoke about the importance of youth work with passion and eloquence that could only have come directly from the Divine Source. As he spoke, he laid his hands on my shoulder and I felt a surge of energy that I have never forgotten, and which sustained me during times of doubt. Bob was clearly a conduit for the Holy Spirit.--Anthony Manousos, Whitleaf Meeting/Whittier First Friends Church