Alumni Showcase: Rob Setlow


Rob Setlow was a K-12 student in the Clarkston schools and graduated from CHS in 1960. He was born in Lewiston but grew up on the family acreage out on 13th street (now called Setlow Court).

He rode the school bus to and from Whittier, Intermediate, Parkway, and Lincoln Jr. high schools, trying to stay on the good side of Mr. Poole, the memorable school bus driver on that route – he did remove students for disruptive behavior. Although, Rob does admit to a couple of long walks home for “small” infractions while attending the Intermediate School. For high school, Rob put a car together from the scrapped cars on the family acreage – he has fond memories of his surprisingly fast 1948 Hudson coupe that competed in more than a few short races across the Snake River Bridge.

After high school, Rob worked at various jobs (logging in Montana, farm hand in Pomeroy, “stuffing” and delivering the Sunday Lewiston Morning Tribune) for a year to accumulate enough money to start college. During the college years he worked at Potlatch during the summers until he entered the USAF in the fall of 1965. . He graduated from CWSC in Ellensburg with a degree in physics, a USAF 2nd lieutenant commission, and a keen interest for flying.

After two separate careers serving in the USAF and CIA, Rob retired and moved to Whidbey Island, WA in October 2002. Present activities include volunteer work as president of the local Lions International club, promoting youth rowing on Whidbey Island (, promoting/supporting science education, amateur radio, fishing, and generally just enjoying activities he longed to do but missed during rewarding careers keeping us safe.

Rob married his high school sweetheart (Pat Freeman) in 1963. She helped “put hubby through” college and then met the challenges of being a Mom moving and raising two children, Darren and Michelle, around the world. Pat lost her long fight with an autoimmune disease in 1996. Darren and family live in Maine and Michelle lives nearby in Seattle. Rob married Kendra in 1997 and adopted her daughter, Liz, in 2000. She also lives nearby in Seattle. Rob’s last career assignment was in Norway, where Kendra and Liz enjoyed the adventures of international life and black passports. Upon Rob’s retirement from CIA in 2002, they moved to Whidbey Island and are considering a move to the Clarkston area, now a community he sees that is vastly different from the days he grew up.

Rob has become the family contact point for the Setlow Family Science Scholarship Fund administered by the Clarkston Education Foundation (CEF) (see During his initial visit to discuss the arrangement with CEF he was surprised to learn about the thriving Jr. USAF ROTC program at CHS. Since then, Rob (a distinguished ROTC College graduate) and his wife (grew up as a “military brat” in a USAF family), share their career and life experiences in the USAF with the ROTC class and the Lincoln Middle School students during the annual Career Fair in January.

Thanks Rob and Kendra for continuing to be involved with our students and the community!