The New River Valley Bird Club flocked together this weekend to honor the memory of their friend, Bob Abraham, renowned wildlife photographer and charter member of the 55-year-old club, dedicating two benches at Bisset Park.
A long time Christiansburg resident, Abraham was drawn to the New River as a naturalist making Bisset Park the perfect spot.
“Bob was a life-long birder and an amazing, dedicated wildlife photographer,” Suzie Leslie, his friend and NRV Bird Club member. “He spent countless hours and days either birding and photographing in Bisset Park, or on the river in a boat doing the same as he fished with a friend.”
Fisherman, hiker, and photographer, Abraham was a daring and early adopter of scuba and underwater photography in the 60s and a prolific artist. Abraham’s remarkable photographs were regular features in the Roanoke Times and national publications. Many are now in permanent installation at the Christiansburg Aquatic Center and the Virginia Tech College of Natural Resources.
Civically engaged, he was a member of Christiansburg Chamber of Commerce, Kiwanis Club, and the bird club for decades.
“Bob was a founding member of the New River Valley Bird Club, which started in 1964,” Jerry Via, president of the NRVBC and friend said, “I think that all of us will remember him as a kind and generous person with a hearty laugh and a good sense of humor.”
The benches dedicated by the club this weekend are ornamented with herons and cattails. One bench is currently near the parking lot just through the tunnel and the other is on the trail along the river just opposite the gazebo.
The family requested donations be made to the Society of Ornithology and the NRV Bird Club. The benches were purchased with the money donated in Bob’s memory by many friends and family members and were custom-made by Twist and Turns in Roanoke.