Dedicated to the Preservation of the
U.S. Air Force Helicopter History
Robert M. Albers, USAF (Retired)
June 19, 1943 – July 13, 2013
Bob passed away July 13th, 2013 in the company of his wife and children. He was born on June 19th, 1943 in St Louis, Mo, to Herman William “Curly” and Marie (Schulte) Albers, the second of two sons.
Bob attended St Mary’s Catholic High School in South St. Louis where he was a basketball and track standout. He graduated from St. Louis University in 1965 with a degree in Electrical Engineering, and a sweetheart still in SLU Nursing School. Bob worked in industrial sales until late 1967 when his country called him into service with the United States Air Force.
Bob married his sweetheart Jo Ann in 1968 before attending pilot training in Texas. They had two sons and a daughter between 1969 and 1975, and shuttled their young family around the country as Bob served in various Air Force assignments across the US and abroad as an airlift and helicopter pilot, including a tour in Vietnam.
Bob retired from service in 1987, and for the next 22 years worked as an engineer for United Technologies and later, Lockheed-Martin at various locations in Southern California and the Bay Area. Sonoma County residents since 2004, Bob and Jo Ann maintained a warm, welcoming home with a small but productive backyard vineyard that Bob loved tending, especially after he retired the second time. CAVU was what he called his vineyard: Ceiling and Visibility Unlimited. It was a piloting term describing ideal flying conditions, and reflecting a personal motto that one should “never look back.” Bob and Jo, married 45 years, loved hosting family and friends wherever they made their home.
Bob was a gentle giant, who never had an enemy, but his presence was as commanding and intimidating as a lion. He was generous, loving, patient, thoughtful, devout, genuinely unflappable, instantly likable and the finest father and husband imaginable. He battled pancreatic cancer for two and a half years with incredible dignity, even to the end.
He is survived by his loving and devoted wife Jo Ann, sons Aaron and Matthew, daughter Genevieve, and six grandchildren.
A memorial service will be held at Holy Spirit Catholic Church, 1244 St Francis Rd in Santa Rosa, on Saturday, July 20th. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to KQED or the Wounded Warrior Project.org. Published by Press Democrat from Jul. 16 to Jul. 19, 2013
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