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Bob Vollmer, longtime Sheriff's ID tech, dies at 80

  • Bob Vollmer

Bob Vollmer had an eye for detail. He was a sign painter, collected stamps and coins and ultimately put his skills to use as an identification technician with the Sonoma County Sheriff’s Office for more than 25 years.

Vollmer, who moved away from Sonoma County in the 1990s, died Nov. 25 in Redmond, Ore., after a brief illness. He was 80.

Robert Charles Vollmer was born in Sacramento in 1993. He became a Marine and served in the Korean War as a member of the Marine Attack Squadron VMF 311.

In Sacramento, he worked as a sign painter and then began working with fingerprints and identification techniques, said his longtime friend, Jeff Freed of Santa Rosa.

He moved to Santa Rosa in the 1960s and worked for the Sonoma County Sheriff’s Office for 26 years, eventually becoming head ID tech, Freed said.

“He used to tell me stories about his work,” he said. “He helped with lot of the dirty work with the coroner’s office, helping identify people.”

Vollmer coached Little League teams in the 1970s and also served as a volunteer firefighter for about 15 years.

After his time in the service, he remained friends with his fellow Marines. He was very active in the Marine Corps League, the Devil Dogs and the Korean War Veterans associations.

Freed and his family moved to Santa Rosa in 1981, and soon became friends with Vollmer, his neighbor.

“It was a strong friendship,” he said.

Vollmer also was close with Bill Gillette, a longtime sheriff’s sergeant.

All three families became close and Vollmer became godfather to all four of Gillette’s children.

“He was an uncle to my girls,” said Freed, who has two daughters.

Vollmer is survived by his wife, Linda Vollmer of Redmond; sister Nancy Cortapassi of Elk Grove; daughters Denise Land and Lisa Whitworth of Redmond; son Mark Vollmer of Sacramento; stepson Brady Fitch of Redmond; stepdaughter Kristen Fitch of Wilsonville, Ore.; six grandchildren and several nieces and nephews.

He also remained very close to the Freeds and Sue Gillette of Santa Rosa.

Memorial services will be held at 1:30 p.m. Friday at Willamette National Cemetery in Portland with a reception at the Elks Lodge in Vancouver, Wash., at 3 p.m.

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