REDMOND, OR -- A pillar of the Redmond community passed away at his home Tuesday morning, ending his battle with cancer. Bob Eberhard spent several decades as the head of Eberhard’s Dairy, started by his father in the 1950s, and now managed by his nephew, Mark.
Eberhard was a well-known businessman in Central Oregon, at one point serving as President of the Redmond Chamber of Commerce. He talked with The Source Weekly's Brian Jennings, earlier this year, about the rise of his family's company, "On August 15, 1951 we moved to Redmond and he started operating The Cream Station. So then, he would go out four days a week and pick up cream; my mother was in the office and my brother Jack and I were in high school, so we would come down after school and wash the cans by hand. And, that was how we started out."
He majored in business at Oregon State and returned to the dairy in 1964 after working out of the area for a few years. The company continued to grow despite several economic downturns in the region, acquiring competing local dairies in 1969 and 1981. "Well, you know what happened in 1981, the economy started going the wrong way," he told Jennings in March. "And yet, we had to buy it at that time if we were going to buy it. Once again, overnight, we had to double our production, our sales doubled and our accounts receivable doubled and our accounts payable doubled." Bob's wife Kaye passed away last year. He’s survived by his daughter and several grandchildren.
Eberhard's Dairy issued a statement on its Facebook page:
"To our friends, fans, family and community... it's with heavy hearts that we share the news that Bob Eberhard passed away this morning at his Redmond home, ending his fight with cancer. Not only was Bob the family patriarch, as well as the familiar face and voice of Eberhard’s Dairy Products, he was also a big part of our community in many other ways.
Service information will be forthcoming, with Redmond Memorial chapel presiding over arrangements. Thank you for all your support, kindness, and well-wishes to our family at this time."
To listen to the full March 2017 episode of Take Five with Bob Eberhard, visit our Podcast Page.