Robert Vancil

Formerly of North Powder, 1939-2021

Robert M. Vancil, 81, a former North Powder resident, died Dec. 29, 2020, after a battle with cancer.

Services for Bob will be announced at a later date.

Bob was born on Aug. 22, 1939, at Walla Walla, Washington, to Marvin and Merna Vancil. Bob is best remembered as someone who approached everything he did with enthusiasm and a positive attitude.

While growing up, Bob lived in various small towns in Eastern Oregon, including Enterprise, Arlington and North Powder. He graduated from Powder Valley High School in North Powder and attended Oregon State College before graduating from Eastern Oregon College with his teaching degree. It was there he met his future wife, Judy, and they were married in August 1961. After a brief sojourn to Maine, they returned to Oregon for him to teach Social Studies in junior high and high school in the Oregon City School District. He remained a teacher in Oregon City until he retired in 1998 and moved to Eagle Crest near Redmond, where he continued to be active for many years.

Church life was a constant for Bob, whether at Oregon City First Presbyterian Church or at Redmond Community Presbyterian Church. He was active in leadership and serving in both locations.

Bob loved to travel. He took many students through the People to People program to several European countries, including some behind the former Iron Curtain. In one instance they went to locations in the USSR, but the next year those same locations were in Russia. Later, he traveled with Judy to many other places, such as Australia, New Zealand, and Croatia, making many friends along the way.

Sports and activities were an important part of Bob’s life, whether playing golf or basketball with his family, sailing on rivers, watching his kids and grandkids perform, or rooting for his Oregon State Beavers. While teaching, he often served as athletic director at the schools, and was a strong advocate for the growth of girls’ sports.

Bob also tried his hand at artistic endeavors, including painting and writing. Bob published his first book in 2019, “April and My Classmates,” which looked back at growing up in small towns in Eastern Oregon. His next book, a novel, is now with the editor and to be published in the future.

Bob will be greatly missed by his family and many friends.

He is survived by his wife of nearly 60 years, Judy; his three children, Michael (Diane), Steve (Linda) and Karen; his four grandchildren, Andrew (Helen), Mason, Anna and Paige; and his sisters, Lynne Adams of La Grande and Dana Copenhaver of Burns.

He was preceded in death by his parents, Marvin and Merna Vancil; and his brother, Donald.

In lieu of flowers, please make donations to the Community Presbyterian Church of Redmond Youth Group ( or the St. Charles (Bend) Hospice Care (

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