Robert Ray Huskinson was born to Heber and Radia Dayley Huskinson in St. Anthony, Idaho. The Huskinson family moved to Wyoming when Bob was quite young. Bob quickly adapted to his new home and was particularly active in sports and Junior ROTC during his high school years. He graduated as Valedictorian of the Cheyenne High School class of 1953 and was a pre-med student at Yale for a year. As a youngster, Bob and his dad (his brother Hal was serving in WWII) spent a good deal of free time hunting in the antelope-filled open ranges and fishing in the trout-filled streams of Wyoming, instilling in Bob passions he nurtured throughout his life. Later, Alaska and Africa became his playground. He was a man of the West – active, outdoor, and informal – whenever and wherever he could be.
When he reported to West Point on 6 July 1954, “Husky,” as he was inevitably nicknamed, adapted easily to cadet life. His previous experience as a Junior ROTC officer and student at Yale, and his familiarity with "field conditions" helped him fit in quickly. Moreover, his high personal standards and expectations prepared him well for the rigors of cadet life. Bob's innate competitiveness was tempered with a wry sense of humor, a graceful touch in dealing with others, and the extra measure of maturity and perspective derived from his previous college experience. Bob Huskinson loved West Point. He excelled in its academic, athletic, and leadership challenges, witness his service on Battalion Staff as a First Classman and his achievement of “star man” status reflecting his standing in the top 5% of the class.
Husky especially appreciated West Point's emphasis on physical fitness and practiced its ideal of vigorous conditioning throughout his adult life, even after he suffered a debilitating stroke in 2005. No one should infer that Bob relished the restraints and regimentation of cadet life—quite the contrary. Yet Bob Huskinson loved West Point. As a cadet he pursued his lifetime interests in the outdoors and outdoor sports through his involvement with the Cadet Pistol Club, Rifle Club, Skeet Club, Hunting and Fishing Club and Ski Club. After graduation he honed the skills and knowledge he acquired from these activities to an even finer edge.
On graduation, Bob was commissioned Infantry; he completed the Infantry Officer Basic Course in October 1958, followed immediately by the Airborne Course, both at Ft. Benning, Georgia. His first "permanent" duty station was Ft. Lewis, Washington, which afforded him the opportunity to live in Seattle near his brother and sister-in-law. Bob transferred to the Ordnance Corps in 1960, served at the Mount Rainier Ordnance Depot, completed a number of formal training programs, and qualified as an Ordnance Guided Missile Officer.
In June of 1961 Bob resigned from the Army and shortly thereafter was admitted to the extremely prestigious Stanford Law School. He graduated in 1964, passed the notoriously difficult California Bar examination, and immediately moved to Southern California to begin his career as a litigator.
He spent 43 years honing his skills and developing his own style of practice, quickly establishing his own law firm, Robert R. Huskinson & Associates, in Manhattan Beach CA. Drawing on his pre-med experience at Yale, he specialized in medical malpractice defense. In 1994, Bob brought in a young maverick for his partner and changed the firm’s name to Huskinson & Brown, LLP. He enjoyed the parry and thrust, of the courtroom, where he was known as a shrewd negotiator and tactician; he always maneuvered a courtroom battle into an area of the case where he had his greatest strengths. He completed over 100 trials that led to jury verdicts.
Bob was truly a "lawyer’s lawyer." His clients included other attorneys, a testimonial to the high regard in which his legal talents were held by those best able to understand and evaluate them--his attorney peers. His charismatic leadership of the firm and his firm's outstanding reputation afforded him the luxury of accepting only "interesting" cases, a fact that further enhanced his firm's particular success and prominence in the Southern California legal Community. Bob was a member of the American Board of Trial Attorneys and American Board of Trial Advocates.
One of his lifelong passions was hunting, and Bob became a world-class big game hunter with several successful African safaris and the associated trophy heads, including world record book entries to his credit. He was a member of the Safari Club International, Los Angeles Chapter, and wrote of his adventures for SAFARI Magazine. In an extensive 1972 piece of some 4-5000-words, he describes a logistically difficult expedition and the “great spectacle – Oryx, Grant gazelle, Grevy zebra, topi, hartebeest, ostrich, geese, greater bustard, and guinea fowl – all on one landscape, all at one time.” And, he concludes, “I knew I had left a part of me back there along a river full of crocs or under the shade of a flat-topped acacia close to a lion’s home. And already that part that came back to the city and the concrete, longs to go back, back to one of the wildest, most beautiful, and mysterious areas left in all of Africa.” Husky, we knew you were a keen observer; we never knew you were such a romantic!
A 41-year resident in Manhattan Beach, Bob spent the last 10 years living in Palos Verdes, commuting daily to his law office and gym in Manhattan Beach. Bob had a vast circle of friends in the area that he considered and treated as family. Bob died at his home from apparent heart failure and, no doubt, from complications of his earlier stroke. He was 71.
Bob is survived by his brother, Hal (Dede) Huskinson of Issaquah, WA; nephews, Brad (Virginia) Huskinson, Seattle; Bruce (Vivian) Huskinson, Issaquah; great nephew, Cory Ray Huskinson, Fall City, WA; great niece, Kristi M. Huskinson, Bothell, WA; aunts, Elva from Nevada, Lee from Idaho, and Thelan from Montana; his longtime law partner and friend, David Brown of Redondo Beach, CA and friend Steve Curtis of Manhattan Beach, CA. His parents, Heber and Radia Huskinson, preceded him in death.
Robert Ray Huskinson's funeral and interment on 23 July 2007 was attended by many classmates, family, firm members and friends. Well done, “Husky”; be thou at peace.
[Following is the obituary that appeared on the website of White & Day-Rice-McCormick Mortuaries.]
Huskinson, Robert Ray, a 41 year resident of the South Bay, passed away on Sunday, June 17, 2007 in Palos Verdes Estates. Born in St. Anthony, Idaho, Robert was 71 when he died. Robert had served in the Army, and will be interred at West Point.
Robert was a member of the American Board of Trial Attorneys and American Board of Trial Advocates. Robert had over 100 Trials that led to Jury verdicts. He was a game hunter in his younger years and was a member of the Safari Club. Robert loved to work out and it was very important to him to stay fit and active.
He is survived by his Brother, Hal (Dee De) Huskinson of Seattle, WA; Longtime law partner and friend David Brown of Redondo Beach, CA; and friend Steve Curtis of Manhattan Beach, CA. Bob was preceded in death by his parents, Heber and Radia Huskinson.
A gathering of family & friends will be held at White & Day Manhattan Beach Mortuary on Sunday June 24, 2007 at Noon. Burial will follow at West Point Cemetery in West Point, New York. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to The National Rifle Association.
[Mike Dugan wrote this great bio on Husky for the 50th Year Book and posted it to WP-ORG's eulogy page at <http://defender.west-point.org/service/display.mhtml?u=21731&i=40209>.]
Bob Huskinson loved West Point.
"Husky," as he was invariably called, adapted easily to cadet life; high performance expectations at West Point matched those expectations he brought with him; he was innately competitive in all he attempted, had a wry sense of humor, a graceful touch in dealing with others, and that extra patina of maturity that typically flows from a previous year of college experience. He excelled in the academic, athletic and leadership challenges and was a distinguished graduate -- top 5%; he especially appreciated the emphasis on physical fitness and practiced the West Point ideal of vigorous physical activity until he suffered a debilitating stroke in 2005. Do not mistake these words, he did not relish being a cadet, yet Bob Huskinson loved West Point.
As a young man, Bob and his dad spent free time hunting and fishing in Wyoming, leaving Bob with a set of passions for all his adult life. He was a man of the West – active, outdoor and informal whenever and wherever he could be. At West Point he was involved with the Cadet Pistol Club, Rifle Club, Skeet Club, Hunting and Fishing Club and the Ski Club. He became a world class big game hunter with several successful African safaris and the associated trophy heads to his credit.
Upon graduation Bob accepted a commission in Infantry, went through the usual junior officer schools, and, was assigned to Ft. Lewis, details of which remain obscure, until 1961 when he resigned from the Army and entered Stanford Law School, on scholarship, from which he graduated in 1964. He immediately moved to Southern California and began his career as a litigator. In 1994 he founded his own firm, Huskinson & Brown, specializing in medical malpractice cases. His charismatic leadership of that firm and his penchant for taking only "interesting" cases brought his firm legal prominence. On a more personal note he was partial to fast sports cars and beautiful women, not necessarily in that order.
He loved West Point so much that when the rest of the world was learning how to use Ethernets and computers, "Husky" held fast to tradition and cadet training – pen, paper, typewriter and slide rule. He was truly a Luddite when it came to computers, e-mail and today's electronic gadgets.
Bob was born to Heber and Radia Dayley Huskinson in St. Anthony, Idaho 27 June 1935; graduated as Valedictorian from the Cheyenne (Wyoming) High School 1953 before attending Yale for a year and then West Point. He died from apparent heart failure at his home in Palos Verdes, California 17 June 2007 and was interred at West Point 23 July 2007. Well done, "Husky"; be thou at peace.
Bob Huskinson loved West Point.