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Robert 'Bob' Haines, 1934-2018


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#1 Roger Schmitt

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Posted 19 September 2018 - 08:49 AM

Robert "Bob" Haines, founder and owner of REH Distributing, passed away on Tuesday September 18, 2018, at 6 PM.
 
Bob has been involved in all scales of slot racing since 1963 and founded and established REH Distributing in 1964 in Cincinnati, OH.
 
Bob was well known throughout the entire hobby industry since the 1960s.
 
Bob's knowledge, history, and service to the slot racing industry will be greatly missed.


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#2 The Sawdust Man

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Posted 19 September 2018 - 08:53 AM

Very sorry to hear this.

RIP, Bob.
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#3 Tom Thumb Hobbies

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Posted 19 September 2018 - 09:18 AM

RIP, Bob. Prayers to you and the family.
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#4 Cheater

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Posted 19 September 2018 - 09:30 AM

Thanks for posting this, Roger. We've lost another of the giants of the slot racing world.

Sincere condolences to Kim and the rest of the family.

Gregory Wells

Never forget that first place goes to the racer with the MOST laps, not the racer with the FASTEST lap


#5 MG Brown

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Posted 19 September 2018 - 09:37 AM

Bob Haines will be missed by many of us, especially those who ordered from him back in the 'peak' days of slot car racing.
 
REH in the form of Bob and Kim were regular exhibitors at the Model Hobby Show (also known as iHobby and the RCHTA Show) held from the 1980s to 2016 in Chicago.
 
Godspeed to Bob and comfort to his family.
 
Bob Haines.jpg
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#6 Pappy

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Posted 19 September 2018 - 09:52 AM

You could search high and low and never find a better guy than Bob Haines. I've known him since about 1965.
 
RIP, Bob.
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#7 Maximo

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Posted 19 September 2018 - 10:01 AM

RIP, Bob.

maximo
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#8 Ramcatlarry

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Posted 19 September 2018 - 10:52 AM

RIP, Mr. Haines, and condolences to Kim and the entire REH family.

Larry D. Kelley, MA
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#9 Dallas Racer

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Posted 19 September 2018 - 11:42 AM

RIP, Bob.

What's the story behind REH? I know of them but not anything about them.

Phil Smith ® ©


#10 John Gorski

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Posted 19 September 2018 - 12:09 PM

Peace, Bob... :good:


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#11 Cheater

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Posted 19 September 2018 - 12:17 PM

What's the story behind REH? I know of them but not anything about them.


Steve Deiters is the guy to answer your question, I'm thinking. He worked for REHco for several years.
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Gregory Wells

Never forget that first place goes to the racer with the MOST laps, not the racer with the FASTEST lap


#12 olescratch

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Posted 19 September 2018 - 12:18 PM

Prayers to the family during this time of grief.


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#13 tonyp

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Posted 19 September 2018 - 12:38 PM

We'll miss you, Bob. RIP.

"And if my thought-dreams could be seen they'd probably put my head in a guillotine. But it's alright, Ma, it's life, and life only." - Dylan

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#14 Steve Deiters

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Posted 19 September 2018 - 01:50 PM

I was very sorry to hear of the passing of Bob Haines.  He and REH distributing were a big and integral part of my life.

 

Bob owned (Cincinnati Slot Racing Center) one of the 8-12 raceways that were in the Cincinnati area in the mid-60's.  He had been a typewriter repair person for IBM.  He and some friends took an interest in the early days of slot racing and thought a commercial raceway would take hold.  So they built a built a simple “L” shaped figure 8 track using bonus money he received from IBM for a product improvement idea he submitted.  Copper tape routed track with coin timers that were used in laundromats of the era-insert a dime or a quarter for the time desired.

 

At the beginning boom of the hobby a major toy distributor in town (I believe they were named Elmex) carried slot car stuff, but it really didn't fit into their overall long term plan and they decided to wind that segment of their business down.  Too much obsolescence for a constantly morphing hobby. Sound familiar?  In this void Bob saw opportunity.  He started distributing to some of the local raceways and gradually expanded out of the Cincinnati area.  Basically the market was the Midwest, East Coast (some), South and some Canada.  He went to all big races in a red Ford Econoline Van with the company name proudly and professionally painted on the side.  It was an iconic symbol of REH and slot racing in general at the time.

 

Bob had the great aptitude to focus on the little picture. If the order comes in today.  It leaves today.  Except in rare circumstances during the Christmas season that is the way it was run day in/day out.

 

Bob also had the vision to see the big picture. He a saw the need for some form of structure on a national level and was instrumental in promoting the NCC (National Competition Committee) in the early ‘70’s.  He supported it both financially and in spirit.  I know he was active in some other slot organizations after I left his employ.

 

I started racing at the track he had in Cincinnati around 1965.  It was a different hobby back then but enough to keep my interest all these years later.  As Bob's distributing business expanded his parents took over the raceway. His mother liked me and recommended that he hire me.  Rightly or wrongly he did and I have been forever grateful.  At the time I left his employ I had worked for him for about 1/3 of my life.

 

Working for Bob at REH Distributing (the REH stood for Robert Earl Haines) taught this then young person a lot about working hard, put the hours in ("Work as much as you want.  There's plenty to do." REH, …and there always was), focus on what you were doing.

 

Fifty years have now passed since that time. I learned about the retail & wholesale end of the hobby as well as manufacturing in general and many disciplines. Most importantly the need to make a profit. All things that I carried on in the arc of my business career and especially useful when I started my own company about 25 years ago.  The dividends of that experience carried forward for decades to my benefit and hopefully my own customers.

 

As the years passed Bob’s daughter Kim became increasingly the force of REH as it continued to morph and evolve serving the hobby long after others had ceased to exist.  She had learned at the right hand of the master.  I know she, REH Distributing, and the hobby as a whole will continue to do well and benefit from the presence of this institution in the coming years.

 

If there was ever a life well lived Bob’s was one indeed.  Bob’s wife Darlene are in my thoughts as well as his children, Kerry, Kim, and Kirk and his grandchildren.


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#15 MattD

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Posted 19 September 2018 - 02:35 PM

Life well lived. Also Bob was so important to us kids from 1964-66 during the dark era of the '70s and early '80s.   


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#16 sidejobjon

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Posted 19 September 2018 - 05:41 PM

Owner REH Distributing. Parts plus for many years.

 

Sorry to hear. Rest in peace.


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#17 MSwiss

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Posted 19 September 2018 - 06:32 PM

Great post, Steve.

 

I knew you would say something real nice about Bob.

 

While it's a sad day, at least Bob is with his buddy, and the other half of the 'Dynamic Duo,' that were most responsible for keeping commercial slot racing going in the lean years, Ken MacDowell.


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#18 Tim Neja

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Posted 19 September 2018 - 10:23 PM

RIP to Bob!  So sorry to hear another of our slot car brothers has passed. God bless all in the community! 


She's real fine, my 409!!!

#19 Steve Deiters

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Posted 24 September 2018 - 09:27 AM

Obituary from the Cincinnati Enquirer for Bob Haines, published on Sept. 23, 2018:

Robert Earl Haines

Cincinnati - (January 31, 1934 - September 18, 2018)

Robert Earl Haines, beloved husband of 64 years to Darlene (nee Guild). Loving father to Kerry (Lisa), Kim, and Kirk (James). Grandfather to Drew, Michael, Eric, Sean, and the late Matt Fields. Great grandfather to Austin Haines. Passed away on September 18, 2018, at the age of 84 years.
 
At the family's request no services will be held. The family asks that in honor of Bob donations be given to the COPD Foundation.





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