Robert Blair Osborn II died on October 29, 2022, at the age of 84. Robert, who typically went by his middle name Blair, helped found Olympic Hot Tub In 1977, along with his wife, Alice Cunningham, in Seattle, Washington, and was famously credited by the Seattle Times for introducing hot tubs to the Northwest.
Osborn, who was born on August 21, 1938, in Havre, Montana, and raised in Golden, Colorado, earned a B.S. from Dartmouth in 1960, and a PhD from the University of Washington. Before entering the hot tub retail business, Osborn served as a professor at the University of Washington, teaching mechanical engineering.
It wasn’t until 1975 that Osborn met his wife, Alice. Together, they ran Olympic Hot Tub with for the next several years. The company grew and expanded into five showrooms and a service center by 2016. Today, the business is operated by its current president, Don Riling.
“I learned more from Blair than I can ever recount,” Riling says. “The day I arrived at Olympic in May 1995, I knew that both Blair and Alice would have a pivotal impact on my life. As the years wore on and I took on more critical roles and responsibility at Olympic, they were both always right there to mentor, guide, sometimes chastise, and always praise what I helped them achieve.” Riling adds that he hopes to do what he can to continue the legacy left by Blair and Alice.
Blair is survived by his wife, Alice, his sons, Robert Blair Osborn III and Kendall Mason Osborn (Annika), his sister Lynn Osborn Simons, and his five grandchildren, Charcoal, Theo, Sophia, Cecilia and Katrina. According to the Seattle Times, a celebration of Blair’s life will be held in June, and donations in his memory can be made to Friends of the Washington Park Arboretum.