The Geauga Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD) must say goodbye to their beloved Technician, Bob Griesmer, without hugs or handshakes, much less a well-deserved retirement party. In the final month his 20-year career as the District Technician, the reality of living with COVID-19 has brought our “lives as we knew them” to a screeching halt. Though working remotely, our office doors are now shut and we long to honor our co-worker with the praise and gratitude (and teasing) he so truly deserves! Like so many things in our lives, Bob’s official and face-to-face farewell has been put on hold. Though this week is his last and we aren’t together to share it, no distance nor disease could ever diminish the gratitude, respect, and warmth that we feel for Bob.
Over the past 20 years, Bob has become a Geauga County hero to many. Throughout the years, he has brought relief to thousands of residents in their times of need – offering advice, resources, help, and a listening ear. Bob’s impressive natural resources repertoire includes pond and forest management, property and soils evaluations, site plan reviews, erosion controls, residential and agricultural drainage solutions, conservation easements, stormwater basins, manure and septic systems, trees and timber harvests, wells and watersheds, backyard conservation, and best management practices (BMPs), to name a few!
Perhaps even more appreciated than the assistance he provides is the way that he treats others… with endless respect, patience, and a true desire to help. Bob rarely shows stress or says no. He is open, gentle, generous, kind-spirited, selfless, fun, and nonjudgmental. A natural master of conflict resolution, Bob embodies the spirit of “the golden rule”. His qualities are so rare and refreshing these days! He says so much without saying a word.
Those who know Bob Griesmer are grateful for his service, assistance, and friendship. The staff and board of Geauga SWCD will certainly miss his hard work and dedication, funny quirks, literary quotes, movie recommendations, and unique theories on life. Though we are so sad to part ways while being apart, in some ways it is only appropriate. Throughout his life, Bob Griesmer has always taken the road less traveled.
“Two roads diverged in a wood, and I-
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.”
-excerpt from The Road Not Taken by Robert Frost