Mark Zalesky on the Passing of Bob Cargill

We recently learned of the death of Bob Cargill, who as many of you will recall was once an important part of the knife community.
Bob was born in Kentucky in 1942 and served as an electrical worker until a car accident ended his career, resulting in the amputation of his right leg below the knee. He then began a new career as a custom knifemaker and in 1981 founded Cripple Creek Cutlery, the name being a nod to his injury. Cargill and Houston Price of Knife World, this publication’s predecessor, had a tight bond and Cargill made a few limited edition knives for Knife World, including the 1982 jack knife that Bob said, “put him on the map.”

Cripple Creek produced slipjoint knives during a period in which they were largely overlooked by the custom knife community, laying the groundwork for the revival of interest in folding knives that continues today. Cripple Creek was sold in 1993, and operated under Blackjack Knives until 1995.
Bob was a prominent member of The Knifemakers’ Guild and very active in the American Edge Collectors Association (AECA) based in the Chcago area, and in the National Knife Collectors Association (NKCA). He served on the NKCA Board of Directors for many years, and eventually rose to become president.
Bob Cargill died on January 3rd, of complications following a stroke. We wish his family and friends our sincere condolences in their loss.

Mark Zalesky

Bob’s daughter made us aware of Bob’s passing over the weekend. She included this from their local paper:

Bobby Lynn Cargill, age 81, of Old Fort, TN died January 3, 2024 at Memorial Hospital in Chattanooga, Tennessee following complications from a stroke. He was born October 12, 1942 in Arlington, Kentucky. He was a journeyman electrician for twelve years and was a member of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers until a car accident ended his career and resulted in the amputation of his right leg below the knee. He had the hands of a craftsman and became a custom knifemaker and created both Cargill Knives and Cripple Creek Cutlery.

He was preceded in death by his parents John Riley and Nelda Nadine (Davis) Cargill, and brother Donald Ray Cargill. He is survived by his three children, Barry Alan Cargill of Naperville, IL, Bettina Lynn Swalec (Steve) of Springfield Township, MI, and Belinda G Richardson, who he lovingly called Wendy, of Old Fort, TN. Also surviving are nine grandchildren and several great grandchildren. He is also survived by two sisters, Judith Ann Schank, Bolingbrook, IL and Patricia Gail Cargill, Arlington, Kentucky and one brother, John David Cargill, of La Salle, IL

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