Robert Bledsaw, Founder of Judges Guild, Has Died
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Post Posted: Sat Apr 19, 2008 11:11 pm 
 

It is with great sadness that I must pass on the news that Robert Bledsaw, founder of Judges Guild, creator of the Wilderlands of High Fantasy, died this morning in Decatur, Illinois.

Bob was at his son's home, surrounded by family and loved ones, and passed on to the Great Adventure peacefully.

Bob was a good man, a creator of worlds, and a great friend.

I will have more details on services and memorials in the morning.


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Post Posted: Sat Apr 19, 2008 11:20 pm 
 

:cry:
This hits hard, real hard.

May he and Gygax roll some dice together.

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Post Posted: Sat Apr 19, 2008 11:24 pm 
 

Plaag wrote:May he and Gygax roll some dice together.


I expect about now the discussion between the two is over who gets to DM, and in which world, and with which set of house rules!

That would be some table to game at.

I think they'll end up alternating. After all, they have a ton of boardgames to play with Sid Sackson, not to mention plenty of miniature battles with H.G. Wells himself!


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Post Posted: Sat Apr 19, 2008 11:27 pm 
 

Well at least they can agree on what type of map..they both seemed to favor the hex maps. (Outdoor Survival, Known World, Greyhawk, Wilderlands)

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Post Posted: Sun Apr 20, 2008 12:38 am 
 

Two of the greats both passing in the same year....

This Gencon really needs to be a tribute to both these fine gentlemen!

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Post Posted: Sun Apr 20, 2008 12:39 am 
 

Sad news.  I was hoping he would live to see Tegel re-released.

Yes, he and Gary must be having some time together.

His creation lives on!!!

  


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Post Posted: Sun Apr 20, 2008 12:48 am 
 

Our little niche of a niche is really beginning to lose some of its pioneers. Not a huge surprise, I guess, given the years that have passed since the glory days, but it's still a shock.

Go in peace, Bob.

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Post Posted: Sun Apr 20, 2008 1:17 am 
 

Very sad news. My sympathies go out to his friends and family. Thanks for your immense contribution to the greatest gaming genre!!!

  

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Post Posted: Sun Apr 20, 2008 3:50 am 
 

I suspect this news won't reach beyond our niche group, but I think Bob's impact on early RPGs and their success is difficult to quantify. I look back at all of the games I played back in the day and they all had some Judge's Guild materials along side them. CSIO was the backbone of one of our longest running campaigns.

This is a sad day indeed.

My best wishes to his friends and family.

  

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Post Posted: Sun Apr 20, 2008 5:58 am 
 

a very sad moment indeed.

i am happier for the fact that he provided me with some of my most favorite gaming material. without him, i would never have had that, so i am glad for that and at least he got to see the resurgence of judges guild too.

my thoughts are to his family.

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Post Posted: Sun Apr 20, 2008 7:48 am 
 

And so it goes, those that inspired our youth begin to pass on.

Two giants within months of each other.

Goodbye Bob Bledsaw, you will live on through your remarkable works.


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Post Posted: Sun Apr 20, 2008 8:25 am 
 

I'd love any Illinois obituary scans when they become available, if not the actual paper itself.
Sadly I don't think there will be as much told about Bob Bledsaw, but he impacted my life about as much as Gygax.

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Post Posted: Sun Apr 20, 2008 8:52 am 
 

My condolences to you, James, and to others who knew him.

  

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Post Posted: Sun Apr 20, 2008 5:34 pm 
 

Badmike wrote:Two of the greats both passing in the same year....

This Gencon really needs to be a tribute to both these fine gentlemen!

Mike B


Indeed it is a sad day.  I wish I had been able to meet Bob before he passed on as I was able to with Gary.  Only recently have I begun to enjoy and explore the world he helped create.

I can say with great assurance that at least one evening at GenCon will be spent toasting and paying homage to Gary and Bob.  Lots of homage....with lots of cool, dark beer.  :D


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Post Posted: Sun Apr 20, 2008 11:31 pm 
 

Below is the obituary I have received from Bob's family.

Services are to be held on Wednesday morning, as described below. The service is open to the public, so if you are in the area and wish to pay respects, please feel free to do so.

I will be driving down from Iola to Decatur Tuesday afternoon, staying overnight at a hotel somewhere in Decatur. Feel free to contact me via e-mail by Monday night if you are or will be in the area and wish to get together for a memorial dinner (and maybe game) Tuesday night.

(Note that Bob's family, local friends, and churchgoers are not gamers, so mundane clothing would be most appropriate for the service and dinner after...)

###

Bledsaw, Robert E.; Age 65, president of Judges Guild Worldwide, Inc.

Born May 18, 1942 in Decatur, succumbed peacefully to cancer April 19th, 2008 in the home of his son, surrounded by family. A graduate of Lakeview High School and Richland Community College, attended Millikin University. He was employed as an engineer by A.W. Cash, Grigoliet, Essex Wire, General Electric and Zexel Illinois, contributing to the development of quadraphonic sound-systems.

In 1976, with partner Bill Owen, founded The Judges Guild Game Company of Decatur, manufacturers of role-playing games and supplies. Through this venture, became known world-wide as an author and pioneer of Fantasy Gaming, and president of the company.

Robert was a faithful member of the Parkway Church of the Nazarene, with deep affection for his church-family there. Politically, he was an active liberal Democrat, who hated all war, and supported our constitutional liberties. He contributed to many charities, and was a devoted and loving son, brother, father, uncle, and grandfather. He touched, through his life and works, many lives throughout this world.

He was survived by his father, Walter C. Bledsaw of Decatur, IL; two brothers, Jim (Lynette) Bledsaw of Chanhassen, MN, Bill (Priscilla) Bledsaw of Niantic, IL, and three sisters, Judith (Decie) Huffaker of Murfreesboro, TN, Kathy (Patrick) Eytchison of Lincoln, IL, and Debi (Marc) Summerlott of Decatur, IL; his former wife, Norma Ellrick of Latham, IL; three sons: Robert E. (Jenny) Bledsaw Jr. of Harristown, IL, Bruce A. (Tammy) Bledsaw of Warrensburg, IL, and Walter S. (Kathy) Bledsaw of Decatur, IL; seven grandchildren: (Robert Jr.) Robert E. Bledsaw III, Martin F. Bledsaw, Samuel J. Bledsaw, Aaron J. Bledsaw, Jason W. Bledsaw, Courtney L. Bledsaw, and (Walter) Zane T. Bledsaw; several nephews, nieces, great nephews and great nieces.

He was preceded in death by his loving mother, Dorothy E. "Dort"; infant daughter, Kathleen Sue and infant granddaughters: (Bruce) Elizabeth, Lucinda, and Hope.

Services will be held at Parkway Church of the Nazarene, 2701 E. Faries Parkway, Decatur, Illinois at 10 A.M. Wednesday, April 23rd, followed by interment at Graceland Cemetery. It is the wish of family that any memorials in his honor be made to this good church:

Parkway Church of the Nazarene
2701 E. Faries Parkway
Decatur, Illinois, 62526

###


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Post Posted: Sun Apr 20, 2008 11:57 pm 
 

jamesmishler wrote:
(Note that Bob's family, local friends, and churchgoers are not gamers, so mundane clothing would be most appropriate for the service and dinner after...

Robert was a faithful member of the Parkway Church of the Nazarene, with deep affection for his church-family there.


An extremely interesting notation about Bob.  I am very familiar with the Nazarene denomination.  I wonder if they knew Bob's gaming history.  I know I am not anxious to trumpet mine at my church.

Is that possibly the same church that now occupies the old Judges Guild offices?  

I just saw this strand.

Ironic and fitting that Gygax and Bledsaw should die in the same year...like Adams and Jefferson.  

Today I won an auction from Bill Owens'collection.  He and I have just be communicating about shipping and the like.  Then, I come here and find this.

This voyage into game collecting has been a strange one indeed.


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Post Posted: Mon Apr 21, 2008 10:40 am 
 

What can we do as a tribute? I am not a fan of throwing money at something as a "tribute" as I find it shallow and impersonal (my opinion, others are free to disagree.)


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Post Posted: Mon Apr 21, 2008 10:59 am 
 

serleran wrote:What can we do as a tribute? I am not a fan of throwing money at something as a "tribute" as I find it shallow and impersonal (my opinion, others are free to disagree.)


I dunno yet. Maybe we can run memorial games set in the City State at local conventions? That's completely in Bob's way. He loved playing at PentaCon; loved seeing people having fun just playing D&D.

If we wanted to do something more formal, maybe we could figure out a way to put together a small scholarship for engineering students at Millikin University where he attended. $500 smackers to help pay for books might be something we can put together. After all, it was Bob's engineering training that enabled him to make those awesome maps.

Something to think about, for sure. I'll definitely have a memorial insert in the next issue of AGJ, with pictures and anecdotes and old articles and interviews from Pegasus. Probably an 8-pager, maybe 12.


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Post Posted: Mon Apr 21, 2008 9:22 pm 
 

If you wish to send a few words that will certainly reach the family, you can go here to read the obituary on the funeral home's site, and at the bottom is a link for sending in condolences:

http://gracelandfairlawn.com/obituary.a ... %20Bledsaw


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Post Posted: Tue Apr 22, 2008 1:03 am 
 

jamesmishler wrote:If we wanted to do something more formal, maybe we could figure out a way to put together a small scholarship for engineering students at Millikin University where he attended. $500 smackers to help pay for books might be something we can put together. After all, it was Bob's engineering training that enabled him to make those awesome maps.


If you get a fund going, put me down for $100.00.

  
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