Remembering Bob Felix

As we approach the 20th anniversary of his passing, we remember Bob Felix, an icon in the tree care industry and beloved friend, family member, and arborist. After his passing on September 23, 1996, the Tree Care Industry Association (then known as the National Arborist Association, or NAA), published a special commemorative edition of The Reporter to honor Bob’s memory.  

“Bob Felix did so many things for us,” wrote Susan Haupt, NAA president at the time. “He was so strong a leader that we have always looked to him as the person to direct and guide us as an Association. He had such vision for us and such enthusiasm for what we were doing.”

Bob’s dedication to the green industry spanned more than 30 years, and was defined by his contributions to the NAA. Bob served on the NAA Board of Directors and became its president in 1972, and afterward spent 23 years as the association’s executive vice president. In these roles, Bob made such an impact that his legacy continues to resonate today, as Haupt predicted in her commemoration:

“We are going forward with what he helped us to start,” Haupt wrote. “His continuing presence will be felt off to the side where we can’t quite see him. I suspect a time or two he will be scratching his head and wondering what the heck we think we are doing. Don’t worry Bob, we’ll get it done. Thank you for getting us started in the right direction.”

Robert Felix Memorial Golf Tournament

Haupt’s words were prescient. Soon after his passing, the NAA decided to honor Bob’s memory while furthering his legacy with the Robert Felix Memorial Golf Tournament, which was created as a project of the Tree Care Industry Association Foundation (then known as NAF). Traditionally held during TCIA’s annual Winter Management Conference (WMC), this tournament honors the vision of Bob Felix for the next generation of arborists by raising funds for students of arboriculture. Click here to learn more about the tournament.