Robert “Bob” John Cence
Robert Aged 92 of Honolulu - beloved husband, father, stepfather, grandpa, brother and uncle – passed away peacefully on April 17, 2023.
Bob was born on July 16, 1930 in Cleveland, Ohio. In 1960, Bob received his PhD from UC Berkeley. He was recruited in 1961 to build the newly formed Physics PhD program at the University of Hawaii. Bob spent his career doing research, teaching, and mentoring physics students. In 1972, Bob spent a year in Geneva, Switzerland with a research team looking for the "W meson".
In 1991, Bob received his greatest academic honor, the "Presidential Citation for Meritorious Teaching". In his spare time, Bob loved to garden, hike the valleys of Kauai, camp at Bellows beach, travel the world, play the piano, play squash, and tutor inmates at Halawa. For the latter, Bob received the" First Lady's Outstanding Volunteer Award" in 1983. Bob retired in 1995 and got his real estate license to support his wife's career.
Bob is survived by Helena, his wife of almost 50 years; his children Alan and Lynda from his first marriage; his additional children: Ann Mulhauser, Mats Wallin, Lars Wallin, and Helena Wallin-Miller, and by his many grandchildren, great grandchildren, nieces, and nephews.

A private family service was held.

To honor Bob, the family suggests donations to the
Robert J. Cence Equity and Access Fund at the
UH Foundation to support first generation college students.
(Fund #130-2770-4) or give online at

Our deepest condolences to the family and friends of the deceased