Robert Arthur Collett was born in Evanston, IL in 1922. In his 52 years, he lived a lifetime full of friendships, many accomplishments, and the love of his family.
After one year at Beloit College, Bob joined the US Navy and became a Marine pilot assigned to the South Pacific during World War II. After the war, Bob finished college at Northwestern in Evanston and became a CPA working for Touche Ross and then Sears Roebuck. When conflict came to Korea, his reserve unit answered the call. Once again, Bob distinguished himself in combat, earning multiple Air Medals and the Distinguished Flying Cross.
Upon returning to Evanston, Bob served in the Marine Corps reserve as Commander of his squadron, eventually retiring as a Lt. Colonel. He threw himself into his family and his career. He was active with his three sons in scouting, school activities, and little league baseball. When the city of Evanston wanted to start a hockey program, Bob was one of the founding members as an organizer, coach, and referee. He was a voracious student of the game and, because of his outstanding leadership qualities, quickly became immersed in the hockey program.
In the summer of 1966, the Kellwood Company moved the Colletts to St. Louis. That same year, Webster Groves built their outdoor ice rink. Bob became a founding vice president of the W. G. Hockey Association and a board member of the MO Hockey Association. Organizing, scheduling, coaching, and officiating kept him involved in every aspect of the operation. Over the next eight years, Bob stayed involved in the Webster program, Mo Am, helped start and coach the Blue Flames, brought elite teams to St Louis, and organized several tournaments including the Pee Wee national tournament in 1974. When Webster Groves High School joined Mid States hockey in 1972, Bob Collett and Lou Struckman were the first coaches.
At the time of his sudden passing in 1974, Bob Collett was coach of Webster Groves High School, president of Webster Groves Hockey Association, President of the Goaltenders Club, and coach of the Webster Groves Midget travel team. In his "leisure time" Bob was the CFO and a Board member of Kellwood, at that time a Fortune 500 company. He was also on the board of a local bank and served on the vestry of Emanuel EpiscopalianChurch in Webster Groves.
While Bob hasn't been on this earth to see it, he would be thrilled that the hard work and dedication of the amateur hockey pioneers in St Louis has progressed to the point it has. The region is now supplying players, coaches, and officials to the NHL, colleges, and the best junior programs in North America. He would also be excited to be inducted into this Hall of Fame with his friends Mark Smith, Lou Struckman, and Bob McElroy.