Tag Archives: Bob Sajdak

Summer Camp Memories: Doug Davies – 1969

Great piece on the summer/fall camps in the Fall 2009 issue of the FRES newsletter.  I read it with a constant grin on my face remembering the summer of 1968 when I attended camp.  I just missed the Alberta experience as it was held on campus that year.

Many of our classes were held in the old Hubbell building.  And yes, we had Gene Hesterberg, Bob Sajdak, Mike Coffman, Norm Sloan, Hammer Steinhilb and others as instructors and Glenn Mroz drove the bus. You’ve come a long way, Glenn!  We also had a couple of women at our camp.  It took Summer Camp  for one of them to realize she was claustrophobic when she went in the bush.  She switched to biology the very next term .

That camp produced some of the very best times I had while at Tech.  I learned more doing those “hands-on” exercises than I would have spending twice the number of hours in a classroom.  The experience of the instructors was invaluable and served me well throughout my entire forestry career.  I had occasion to work with people who had graduated from other forestry schools that didn’t have a camp and I can tell you that their lack of practical knowledge was very obvious.  I had to actually teach a couple of them how to run a compass!!

I can still hear Vern Johnson speaking that famous phrase “C’est la vie” although he pronounced it “Sell a vee” which gave rise to the phrase coined by the students “If you can’t sell a W, sell a V”.  Thanks much for including that piece in the newsletter.

Larry Jokinen – 1991

Larry “Tree Hugger” Jokinen, who was at  Tech in 1979  and finished his Forestry degree in 1991, stopped by the school while visiting the Lake States for a Fall (2010) color tour. Larry commented, ” I miss the Copper Country in the Fall. ”

Regarding Gene Hesterberg, Norm Sloan and Bob Sajdak, he said,  “I had  these men as professor/instructors in college during the early 70’s. These men were all a great inspiration to me in college, especially Gene.

Larry is employed with the Idaho Transportation Department and lives in Stanley, Idaho.

Former Professor Robert L. Sajdak passes away.

Bob Sajdak, 79, a former faculty member of the school, passed away June 10, 2010. Bob was a 1959 alumnus of Michigan Tech’s forestry program.

Dean Peg Gale said, “For those of us who had Bob as a teacher, he was an amazing person. He taught dendrology, genetics and tree improvement courses, and because of his high expectarobert_sajdaktions of students (especially in dendrology), he was fondly nicknamed ‘Black Bob.’ He often had a sly smile on his face when students were trying to negotiate grades or just joking with him on field trips. He was one of the first faculty to receive outside funds for his work in herbicides and tree production.”

Bob was born in Bayfield County, Wis. on July 20, 1930, the youngest of nine children.

On November 4, 1950, he married Betty Boness of Milwaukee. They moved to Alaska where he served in the Army for several years.

In 1956, Bob returned to attend the College of Mining and Technology (Michigan Tech), the first from his family to go to college. He graduated in 1959 and worked as a U.S. Forest Service Ranger in Minnesota and as a forester for the State of Wisconsin. In 1962, Bob was hired as an instructor at Michigan Tech and in 1986, he retired as an Associate Professor of Forestry.

Bob enjoyed being a woodlot owner and working on numerous projects associated with the land.

He leaves behind his wife, Betty, and two sons, Pete and Paul. The 1973 Forester yearbook was dedicated toBob. See the pictures and story on pages 7-8 at forest.mtu.edu/yearbook/1973.pdf