Robert Dale Nissley

December 11, 2012

By Contributor

Robert Nissley

August 11, 1941 — December 2, 2012

Bob was born in Raymond, the third child of Harold and V. Frances Nissley. Bob and his siblings lived in the Pine Lake area for six years. Harold constructed the family home in downtown Issaquah, and the family moved there in 1951.

Bob was an avid athlete on the football, track and gymnastics teams at Issaquah High School.

On Dec. 19, 1958, Bob was seriously injured in a trampoline accident, which left him a quadriplegic. He received treatment and rehabilitation at Providence Hospital in Seattle, and Good Samaritan Hospital in Puyallup.

Bob always worked hard to be productive and helpful. In the era before home computers, he used an electric typewriter to compose formal communications. Using a rotary-dial phone from the family home, he filled an important role as an employment agent.

Bob gained mobility independence with his electric-powered wheelchair, enabling him to move through the town at will. He recognized the need for sidewalk and curb modifications within our city. He lobbied for improvements, and then served as adviser for accessibility issues. Bob also served as adviser to founders of ADA, Americans with Disabilities Act. His recommendations resulted in public transit modifications to carry disabled persons in wheelchairs.

Bob served Community Enterprises of Issaquah (and later AtWork!) from its inception. He performed many roles from accounting department to technology supervisor, and he was very proud of his many accomplishments and wonderful interpersonal relationships. He served on the board of directors for many years. In recognition, the new AtWork! facility in Bellevue dedicated a conference room in his name.

Bob was the recipient of many awards and honors over his years of service. They include Eastside Citizen of the Year by the Journal American, Issaquah Lions “Citizen of the Year” and Certificate of Appreciation for Volunteer Service on the Elderly and Handicapped Transit Advisory Committee.

In October 2009, he was presented the “Governors Trophy,” a prestigious award from Gov. Chris Gregoire, in recognition of his cumulative achievements and community service.

Bob is survived by brothers Jerry Nissley, of Redmond, and Raymond Nissley, of Issaquah; sisters Lois Darst, of Cle Elum, June Willard, of Issaquah, and Janet Stover, of Noxon, Mont.; and six nieces and nephews.

Bob will be remembered fondly by all of those who knew him. He wanted all to know that he loved them very much, and he appreciated all of the kindnesses that he received through his lifetime.

Join family for open house reception honoring Bob anytime between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 15, at Community Hall, 180 Sunset Way, Issaquah.

We invite you to view Bob’s full obituary at, and post a favorite memory.

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No Responses to “Robert Dale Nissley”

  1. Darcy, Doug and Bob Brookens on December 13th, 2012 10:53 am

    What a great friend and mentor Bob was to our disabled son Bob Brookens. It was people like Bob, a volunteer, at AtWork who have made it possible for our son to now be employed .

    Bob took relatively new communication software and customized it to fit our son’s specific employment needs. This was a long and difficult process and Bob was always there talking to our son and making software changes as needed. He saw our son’s potential and ulitmately made it possible for him to obtain competitive employment using the same software that Bob refined.

    We also will always remember Bob’s adventureous spirit. Bob, along with Pam and Ed from C.E.I. came up for a visit to our cabin on Lake Cavanaugh. Bob wasn’t too sure about our idea of putting him and his wheelchair on our big barge (without sides or tidedown straps) and for all of us to motor out to the middle of the lake. But his big smile said it all, as he relaxed and looked at the mountains and boats cruising past us.

    Bob’s smile and positive outlook on life will be missed by all of us.

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