Robert Oliff Bowen
Robert Oliff Bowen
  • June 20, 1925 - August 8, 2017
  • Huntsville, Alabama

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Robert O. Bowen, 92, died Tuesday 8 August 2017 at Huntsville Hospital in Huntsville, Alabama. He served in the Navy in the Pacific during World War II. After the Navy, he went to work for the Army and then the newly formed National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). He worked for the military and civil service for over fifty years. With the Army, he was responsible for quality control equipment setup and testing at numerous plants around the U.S. where government contractors were producing artillery shells. He enjoyed the travel associated with this work and until his death could quickly tell you about which plants made which ordinance and other details. He worked for NASA as an engineer at the Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville and contributed his engineering talents and strong work ethic to numerous projects including the Apollo program and Skylab, the United States’ first space station. Bob’s contributions to NASA were recognized with numerous special achievement and performance awards during his career. He was proud to work for the agency but very humble about his important contributions and accomplishments. He enjoyed numerous hobbies and social activities over the years. He was a member of a flying club, boating club, Toastmasters, and several other interest-based clubs. Two key groups, and a focus for his attention later in life, were his Huntsville Kiwanis Club and the First United Methodist Church. Bob had a great ability to design, build, and fix things. He always had a tool kit and occupied himself many places he went by identifying problems and fixing them. He loved music and was a fine dancer. He was a devoted and loving husband and father. He believed in doing things right and was not afraid to share with others what that meant for a given situation. Bob enjoyed watching a good college football game with his brother- and sister-in-law in Huntsville and was always good company to have. He will be greatly missed. Bob is survived by a son (Zack) and three grandchildren (Isaac, Emma, and Sydney). Visitation will be from 12 to 2 p.m. Saturday 12 August at Valhalla Funeral Home, 698 Winchester Rd NE, Huntsville, AL 35811. The funeral service will follow in the chapel. Burial will be at Maple Hill Cemetery, Huntsville, AL. If desired, please make a donation to a charitable organization of your choice.