It is with great sadness that I impart the news of the passing of an amazing human being, a pillar in the collective community and incredible Leathersmith.--from YELP in Phoenix AZ, March 15, 2012
Bob DeJardine, owner of Tuff Stuff Leather in Central Phoenix, passed at 6 pm today.
He leaves his legacy in Leather to all who were fortunate to know him.
He will be missed by many, but will live on in the hearts of friends and family.
A new star in the heavens tonight flies the Leather Pride flag.
Well, when I first spotted Bob as he walked into the 7th grade classroom at St. Mary's, I thought: "That's who I'm going to marry!!" He was tall and handsome and had curly brown hair!
Life, of course, had other plans (per usual). Bob and I dated often in high school (though not exclusively--he went out with Pookie for a while, and as a senior, I went out with Bill, a football player from Detroit Lakes). What I remember most is how he walked me home in the bitter cold on many Friday nights after the dance at St. Mary's or St. Anthony's. But even more than that, I remember how we loved to fly kites together after school at El Zagal golf course in Fargo. El Zagal was just two blocks from my house, and we had a swell time!
After high school, I entered the convent, and he went to college and then started a branch of his family business in Minnesota.
After I left the convent, he came to St. Ben's for the prom (or whatever it was in the spring), and we went tobogganing together. I more or less wrecked my ankle on that excursion, but he came back to Minnesota several times, and we always had fun. No sex, but that was understood in good, Catholic practice.
His parents sent him to, maybe, Africa one summer, and by the time he came back, I had met Don and gotten engaged in very short order.
He got engaged to another girl, but they broke it off....and that's the last I heard of him until maybe 30 years later, when another of my good classmates told me he owned a leather shop in AZ--(NOT suitcases). He did a lot of the sewing himself, and he was something of an authority on PIERCING in the leather/SM community. He had great stature in that community, and his creations won numerous prizes.
Anyway, I'm thinking of you, Bob....So grateful for your friendship at that excruciating teenage time. It was fun being in drama club together, too. (And no, I was never into leather or S&M or any of that. Can't figure it out.) But I love that you developed your own life! Rest in peace, dear Bob!