Dedicated to the Preservation of the
U.S. Air Force Helicopter History
Robert J. Peisher, Lt. Colonel, USAF (Retired)October 22, 1935 – November 21, 2009
Robert J. Peisher, 74, of Greenwood Street, passed away Saturday (Nov. 21, 2009) at Strong Memorial Hospital in Rochester, New York surrounded by his family.
Bob was born Oct. 22, 1935 in Elmira, New York, to Francis and Theresa (Gough) Peisher. On December 28, 1957 in Hornell, New York, he married Ann Aldrich, who survives.
Bob graduated from Canisteo Central High School, New York, in 1953. He graduated from Syracuse University in 1957 where he also played football and was a member of the Phi Kappa PSI Fraternity and ROTC.
Bob served 21 years in the U.S. Air Force from 1957-78, and retired as a Lt. Colonel. After receiving his pilot’s wings in 1958, he flew many aircraft including B-47’s, B-52’s, and HUEY Helicopters accumulating 5,000 hours of flying time. By 1968, with two tours in Vietnam including service in the Air Force Special Forces, Bob returned to Great Falls, Montana and flew with the Missile Wing until 1969, transferring to SAC (Strategic Air Command) Headquarters where he was inspector for the Combat Efficiency Group. From 1970-73 he was Editor of Safety Magazine “Combat Crew” in Omaha, Neb. He was Commander of the Military Airlift Command Rescue Unit based in Great Falls, Montana from 1973-1976, with the Helicopter Squadron being credited with many rescues. In 1976 he went to Military Airlift Command Headquarters in Sacramento, California where he was in charge of Rescue and Weather Reconnaissance for the Pacific.
After retiring from the Air Force in 1978 and returning to Canisteo, New York, he worked at Canisteo Central High School and continued his education, graduating from Alfred University with a Masters degree in counseling in 1981. He was owner of Woodburn Monument Works in Canisteo and was an active member of the Canisteo-Greenwood Alumni Association. As a member of the Canisteo American Legion, he participated both locally and county wide in judging oratory and speaking contests, and was very much involved with the “Boy State” programs. Bob was a former councilman for Canisteo Town Board, a member of the Maple City Lions Club where he particularly enjoyed their Children’s Eye Screening Program. He was a Pack Master for the Boy Scouts in Nebraska and Montana, and supported the local council here in the Canisteo Valley; he was also CEO of the Canisteo Valley Football Appreciation Club. Bob’s character and sense of humor, (to those who knew him well) will forever be reflected in his many contributions to the “Canisteo Times” and his “Pigeon Power” column. Just as he was to his country, Bob was a devoted husband, father, grandfather and friend who’s love and friendship will always be cherished.
Bob is survived by his wife of 51 years, Ann Peisher of Canisteo, New York; three sons, William (Phena Roe) Peisher, John (Patricia) Peisher, all of Canisteo and Jay (Denise) Peisher of Lake Hamilton, Florida; one daughter, Mary Hope (Randy) Silco of Mendon; grandchildren, James, Ariana, Mickenzie and Ava Peisher, Francis and Johnica Bacon and Allison and Taylor Silco; and his brother, William Peisher of Hornell.
A Memorial Mass took place at 11 a.m. Friday at St. Ann’s Church in Hornell, New York. Burial with military honors was in Hillside Cemetery in Canisteo, New York.
Memorial contributions may be made to either the Hornell YMCA, 12 Center St. Hornell,N.Y. 14843 or to Steuben County Rural Ministries, 34 West Main St. Canisteo, N.Y. 14823.