This week our community lost Maker, Robb Hendershot, to an untimely passing. Robb embodied the classic definition of a maker. Through knowing him and through his stories, I know that when he started a project…he would learn everything he can about the subject matter so as to have that feather in his cap before moving on to the next project. Our last conversation was about just this topic.
He cared deeply for this community and for the people in this community. Robb was a devout space nerd, a pop-culture aficionado and loved all things geekdom including frequenting the local ‘geek bar’ as he called it. At the start of every conversation we had he would always tell me what project he was working on or what he was planning.
Robb was an integral part of the Maker Movement of Colorado, from the beginning. He was passionate about learning, supporting, and building all facets of the maker community, and was a huge resource for many organizations and events. He became known around the community as someone who was always there and willing to help.
For several years, Robb led the crew at Denhac as Operations Manager and infused into the community the importance of sharing ideas across makerspaces and other organizations. He propelled forward these new ideas on how to better collaborate as a key organizer of the Rocky Mountain Makerspace Summit. His passion for making spread across our community and then nationally through his work with Nation of Makers.
If I had to guess, lifetime highlights include meeting Adam Savage and being invited to the National Office of Science and Technology Policy first meeting of makerspaces in Washington, DC alongside 175 other makers across the country where his national influence started to become widely apparent. He was so generous with his time helping move forward ideas which are leading to policies on a national level for the community as a whole through his role as a Nation of Makers Champion within the state of Colorado.
He loved his job at Lockheed and his dog, Sasha, and recently enjoyed jumping into new cooking adventures. He was a man of many hobbies learning all he could about as many things as possible including stage magic, BBQ, the Society for Creative Anachronisms, cosplay, all things Halloween and robot fighting. He was a great model for breaking out of one’s comfort zone and adventuring into the unknown and figuring it out along the way.
He was most proud of his daughter, Katt. He introduced her to making at a young age and she became a fixture at Denhac where she ‘grew up’ surrounded by makers. He set her on a path of independence and who at 13 years of age became the resident expert on the laser cutter, training others many years her senior, as an example.
As a board member of our nonprofit, he helped create what [i am a maker] is today and shared in the vision of creating more opportunity for youth and adults to create. This also meant reducing barriers that keep people from making. For this reason, we will soon announce a Maker micro-grant fund for Colorado residents in his honor.
Robb was a friend, a maker, a leader and ally for that which is good and a great loss for the world. We miss you, Robb, and things will never be the same without you.