Remembering Bob Cratty

by Terry Minks

Bob was a dear friend to all his acquaintances in Sun City, Oro Valley and to my wife and me ever since we came to live in Arizona 18 years ago. Bob delighted in introducing newcomers to his favorite places throughout Arizona. He was a history buff and was the first person to give us a tour of many historical sites in the state. As a native Arizonan growing up in Ajo, he took us on a fascinating tour of his home town, telling stories of John Greenway’s influence and adding first-hand historical tidbits all along the way. He also led many historical hikes for our Sun City Hiking Club, founded an astronomy program for 5th graders in Catalina that gave each student a telescope, and befriended countless others with his generous spirit. During our many bike rides throughout the Tucson area, always with a food destination, he would customarily leave an extra-generous tip and encourage us to do likewise.

In about 2006 he was instrumental in getting our SCOV board to buy several wildlife cameras to photograph wildlife in our neighborhood. By 2008 he became aware of the UofA Wild Cat study led by Lisa Haynes and arranged for several of us to be trained in wildlife tracking and camera monitoring with Jessica Moreno. We started with Sky Island Alliance and continued later with the CSDP until the present.

He was full of original ideas which he implemented in service to others. He never uttered a harsh word even against those with whom he disagreed and never argued, only presented his own views which were always based on deep reading and thinking on his part. He had a quick wit and was a master storyteller. Many of us recall his deeply researched stories of ants, which he often shared on our hikes and bike rides together.

Bob was certainly a gift to our entire community and will be deeply missed by all of us.

Bob passed away on December 20, 2020. The new CRATTY wildlife camera is named in his memory.

Bob acts like a bobcat to test a camera’s settings for the UA Wild Cat research study in 2008

 

Bob impersonating an early Tucson historical figure for a New Year’s Eve hiking trip in the Tortolita mountains.

 

Bob leading a history hike for a local hiking club.

 

Desert Monitor teammates Bob Cratty and Margie O’Hare check the DEER camera in Oro Valley.

 

All photos provided by Terry Minks. 

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