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He ran an art gallery in Butte, Montana

posted Oct 30, 2015, 4:13 PM by Joyce Evans   [ updated Oct 30, 2015, 4:13 PM ]
You might know PSAR REALTOR® member Bob Kilbourne as a member of PSAR’s Government Affairs Committee (since 1999), Budget and Finance Committee (since 2014) and South County District Council (just recently joined this year). He also served on the board of directors from 2007 to 2009.
But did you know that Bob and his late wife Collette once ran an art gallery in Butte, Montana, for five years in the 1970s?
“At the time, I was working for a mining and construction equipment company overseeing a fleet of trucks. Ourselves and four other couples who were artists and enjoyed art decided to open an art gallery,” said Bob.
“We called our gallery `The Summer Gallery’ because we planned to stay open only during the summer. That’s because in Montana, the weather consists of three weeks of summer and 11 months of winter,” smiled Bob.
However, the gallery became a popular destination for both locals and tourists alike, and it remained opened year-round. The gallery was open from 1972 to 1979, when it closed because several of the founders, including the Kilbournes, relocated elsewhere.
“Our specialty was scouring the Montana countryside for antique treasures that we would sell to antique brokers,” said Bob. “Other antiques with little value became items that we would beautify with paint.”
Collette became an expert in tole painting, which means decorative painting on tin and wood utensils, objects and furniture, while Bob prepared or built the items she painted. “Tole” is from a French word that means “painting on sheet metal.” Bob said Collette’s favorite was transforming a rusted water can into an owl with a beak and eyes.
Collette passed away in October 2011 from COPD. “I moved my real estate office into a spare bedroom and took care of her at home while she suffered for five years,” said Bob.
Bob spent 27 years working for R.G. LeTourneau, Inc., a manufacturer of earthmoving and construction equipment. He moved to San Diego in 1996, and Collette worked for several years as a nurse for Sharp HealthCare. In March 1997, at the age of 60, Bob started selling real estate with McMillin Realty, where he remains today.
“I like real estate because I like working with people and helping them solve problems,” said Bob, who is proud of his Short Sale and Foreclosure Resource (SFR) designation from the National Association of REALTORS®.
The 79-year-old also enjoys serving on PSAR committees. “It’s a great, very-well-run organization with friendly people who don’t mind helping each other,” said Bob, who frequently attends PSAR’s weekly “Rally and Ride” property pitch sessions.
According to Bob, “At a recent pitch session, an agent from another area of the county made a presentation about his property. Afterwards, this agent compared his Association’s pitch session with PSAR. He told me, `You guys are alive, your members really do like each other. It was so enjoyable to be here.’”