Dedicated to the citizens of Mason County, Washington since 1886

Robert Duncan Chamberlain

Robert Duncan Chamberlain passed away in Shelton, WA, on March 18, 2024, at the age of 93. He was born May 4th, 1930, in Tenino, WA, to Robert and Bertha (Godfrey) Chamberlain, who had moved there from Alberta, Canada. Bob was the fifth of seven children. In the mid-thirties, the family moved to a rustic property between Tenino and Tumwater. Bob attended the one-room Plumb Station School, which fostered fond memories. He graduated from Tenino High School.

Bob was drafted into the U.S. Army in 1951. Before then, during school years and after, he worked in farm work, logging, sign painting, and other jobs. He served during the Korean War, but because he showed special skill in taking Morse Code, he was stationed in Germany. After Honorable Discharge in 1953, he studied commercial art at Edison Technical School in Seattle. He made several life-long friendships from that experience. After completing school, he immediately began work in his profession.

In Seattle, he met Margaret Weideman, his wife of 65 years, and there they married and started a family. Over their years together, they enjoyed picnics, long drives, gardening, yard work, and traveling to visit family and friends.

In 1959, they moved to the Olympia area so that Bob could run his own commercial art business, landing several big accounts right away. Bob and Margaret's first two children, David and Rebecca, were born in Seattle, and the third, Richard, in Olympia. For most of Bob's working years, he ran his own business, "Chamberlain Graphics," including contracts with the Olympia Brewery, Simpsons, the State of Washington, and a number of other businesses and government entities in Mason, Lewis, Thurston, and Grays Harbor Counties.

Bob also pursued a life-long interest in fine art, especially water color. His paintings and prints grace many offices and private homes. He participated in numerous showings, including one-man shows, winning numerous awards. In 1989, his 75-piece watercolor series Timber! was displayed at the Washington State Historical Museum, and at other sites around Washington and Oregon. He painted several large outdoor murals, some still in place. In about 2000, he was commissioned to do eight large educational paintings portraying historical panoramas of downtown Olympia, entitled Sylvester's Window; the originals now hang permanently at Olympia Timberland Library. After retirement, his art classes became a staple at the Shelton Senior Center. In recent years, he assembled a collection of 30 maritime paintings and toured with a well-received lecture and slide-show to a dozen regional venues.

Bob designed and built several homes, including Bob and Margaret's final home of 40 years at Kamilche Point. He built a 16-foot boat, which the family enjoyed. At family reunions, picnics, and parties, Bob often played his guitar or mandolin to help lead sing-alongs. He also made a hobby of writing – perhaps best remembered is his humorous memoir of childhood, A Little Out of Plumb.

Maggie passed away in January, 2021. With help from family and friends, Bob retained his independent life at home until his final illness struck in February. He is survived by his youngest sister Jessie, sister-in-law Charlene and her family, his three children and four grandchildren – Chris (and wife Shelly) Zoe, Tove, and Anna, and their families – many nieces and nephews and their families, and close friends, including some of many years.

Many folks are now fondly expressing condolences, and gratitude for so many cherished, colorful memories. No memorial is scheduled at this time.


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