Born in Paia, Maui on October 21, 1933, Bob learned the value of hard work and humility living on a plantation. His childhood was simple, yet he found time for fun with his friends and "did what we could". The family moved to Wahiawa and he graduated from Leilehua High School in 1951.
Bob earned a baseball scholarship to the University of Oregon. After playing baseball for only a year, the unfortunate bounce of a grounder at third base left him with a broken ankle. He then filled his downtime on the putting green and earned a golf scholarship for his remaining college years. Upon graduating in 1955 as a commissioned officer, he went into active Air Force duty to train as a Navigator. He navigated C118 and C124 Scatback missions in Vietnam and had a decorated 20 years of service as a Master Navigator. He retired honorably in 1976.
From 1976 to 1981, Bob was the Head Coach for the University of Hawaii at Manoa men's golf team. He organized the first John A. Burns Intercollegiate Golf Classic which continues today and still attracts golfers from around the country. He made lifelong golf friends over the years.
In 1982, Bob returned to work for the federal government using the expertise he gained from the US Air Force. He served as Director of the National Geospatial Intelligence Agency for the Asia Pacific region and in 2011, after 30 rewarding years, retired from civil service.
Bob's athletic successes extended beyond college. He played semi-pro industrial league baseball, was selected to the 1959 US Air Force All Star volleyball team in the USAF Worldwide Volleyball Championship, secured golf wins while in the Air Force and as a civilian. His proudest moment was capturing his first win in Hawaii with the 1967 Navy Marine Open Championship Flight as an amateur. When a reporter asked if he would turn "pro", he chortled, "Are you kidding me? Me, turn pro?? I'm having too much fun as a "fun" golfer!"
The "ninth" island of Las Vegas became Bob's place of respite where he fully enjoyed retirement with June and their close friends.
Bob's positive attitude shown through in everything he did. His sense of humor and warm smile brightened any room. People would burst out in laughter with his "one liners". Bob brought joy to a stranger, who then became a friend. He was a gentleman, a loyal friend and family member, and kind to the end, a generous, vibrant, honest, and respectable man. He will be missed by many.
Private service held. Military Funeral Honors and Interment at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific at Punchbowl.
Arrangements Provided By:
Hosoi Garden Mortuary