Profiles at Londonderry: Bob Welte


Londonderry has started a new series of “Resident Profiles” highlighting a Londonderry resident with an interesting and compelling story. We often hear, “you never know who your neighbors are” within the Londonderry and greater Easton community, and offer these profiles as a way to highlight some of our very talented, accomplished and interesting friends and neighbors.

His Londonderry friends and neighbors may know him best as their witty and competitive bridge teacher, but Bob Welte’s story spans 86 years and both coasts of the United States.

Photo Caption: Following a satisfying career in engineering and physics spanning both coasts of the U.S., Bob Welte has made his home in Easton at Londonderry.

Bob Welte was born in 1932 in what would later become Silicon Valley, CA, and was part of the region’s transformation from fruit orchards to the hub of technological innovation for the country. He attended the University of Santa Clara, and then Stanford University for graduate school, where he studied electrical engineering and physics.

He married his wife, Diane, and together they had six children in five years. Described by Bob as “some kind of babe,” he also lauded her patience, kindness and skill as a “superb organizer” to manage their full, yet hectic, life making a home for their growing and active family.

Bob spent his early career in California’s Bay Area working on military contracts supporting the design and development of fighter jets used by the United States Navy and Air Force during the Cold War period.

After their children were grown, Bob continued his career in military defense and accepted a new position based in Manhattan. He and Diane relocated to New York while the children stayed in California. In reflecting on the move, Bob commented that “getting the kids out of the house” was the best thing he and Diane could have done for them, as it forced them to finally be on their own.

After 25 years in New York, Bob and Diane began considering retirement and had planned to return to California until they received an invitation to Easton’s storied Waterfowl Festival. They had been to the Shore previously when Bob’s work brought him to Washington, D.C., but had never considered retiring here. After a fun Festival weekend with friends, the decision was made. Easton would be their new home.

For the next 25 years, Bob and Diane lived on five acres on the Ratcliff Manor property in Easton. They were active members of the community and Bob gladly played the role of “Mr. Gopher” to support Diane’s volunteer work.

In 2014, Bob’s beloved Diane passed away. After selling their home at Ratcliff Manor, Bob joined the Londonderry Community where he has made a name for himself as a formidable bridge player. His mother, who Bob says, “was a little old woman who would beat the pants off you,” taught him to play. He now shares the family bridge playing secrets four times a week when he teaches lessons to his friends and neighbors.

Bob enjoys the Londonderry community and appreciates his neighbors and his ability to create a balance between activity and time alone. Bob remains close with his children and grandchildren and returns to California several times a year to visit.

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