December 2002 Editorial
We lost two good dredging friends in recent months, and both happened to be in Baltimore. Bob Jantzen and Tom Galvin both made great contributions to the dredging industry and both will be sorely missed.
Because Bob Jantzen was a close friend as well as a business colleague, I would like to write my own eulogy for him.
Bob’s death on September 30 was shocking and unexpected. He had found out the first week of September that he had pancreatic cancer, and was gone before most people even knew he was ill.
I first met Bob in 1980, when he was overseeing a ladder conversion and underwater pump installation he had designed for the dredge Hydro Pacific (now the Florida) in Los Angeles. Since then, he has been a generous and reliable source of information on dredging, as well as a good friend. We talked fairly regularly on the phone, and he would ask “What’s the gossip?” But whatever I came up with, he would already have heard. He knew hundreds of people in the dredging industry, and he kept in touch with them all.
He wouldn’t hear any declarations of gratitude, or especially of affection.
“I know, I know, that’s enough of that,” he would say, but with a smile.
Alma Fischbach, who has run his office for the past 32 years and who was his greatest friend, is still running things. She has been heroic. She called several hundred people in the week after Bob’s death, while dealing with her own grief. She took several days for herself, then went back into the office and has been slowly closing down the dredge engineering business and continuing to run Regal Gear, the power transmission arm of the company.
Bob was one of the last of the old dredge engineers, one of his friends said. He leaves no one who can answer the questions.
The article about Bob on page seven of this issue concentrates on his professional accomplishments. It will be up to his hundreds of friends individually to remember his wit, warmth and kindness.