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Robert "Rob" Colburn '81 December 11, 2019 3:47 PM updated: December 11, 2019 3:52 PM


Longtime Texas Architect Dies in Out-of-State Climbing Accident
He Fell While Hiking Mountain Pass in Washington State, Authorities Say

Robert Colburn, the firm's vice president of design, had 35 years of architectural and interior design experience. (StreetLights Residential)
A longtime Texas architect, who most recently worked in-house on the design team for Dallas-based apartment developer StreetLights Residential, died on a hiking trip after falling several hundred feet on the Aasgard Pass in the state of Washington.

The body of Robert "Rob" Jake Colburn, 60, was found Nov. 1 by a team of four Chelan County Mountain Rescue workers who were dropped in the area by the Chelan County Sheriff's Office.

One of Colburn's sons, who had joined him on the hiking trip, alerted authorities his father did not return to camp the previous evening. Colburn had last been seen Oct. 31 as he was descending Aasgard Pass on his way back to camp, according to the sheriff's office.

The architect, with more than 35 years of experience ranging from apartment design to hospitality, had most recently been the vice president of design for StreetLights Residential in a role he had held for the past three-and-a-half years. The firm declined to comment on Colburn's death through a spokeswoman.

Prior to working at StreetLights Residential, Colburn has a career spanning two decades as a principal at WKMC Architects LLC, an architecture firm based in Corpus Christi, Texas.

Colburn was the "C," in the architecture firm's acronym and led the Dallas office before it closed about three years ago, said Ann Reddick, controller for WKMC Architects, who spoke to CoStar News.

"He was a spectacular person with integrity and very genuine," Reddick said. "He was the type of person you wanted to be around and always had time to visit you no matter what else he had going on."

Colburn, who left the firm when it closed its Dallas office, choosing to stay in North Texas, worked closely with the firm's leader William McCord and the pair spoke at least several times a week, Reddick said.

He was a family man and avid hiker, Reddick said. He was often with his three boys on camping trips, she said, taking in hikes throughout multiple U.S. states in hopes of seeing new horizons.

"We've just been devastated at our office this week in Corpus Christi," she added.

Colburn had two degrees from Texas A&M University and was LEED accredited. He was a Texas-registered architect and interior designer.

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