NO. 17823 • 25 June 1927 – 13 February 2013
Died in Oakland, CA
Cremated. Interred in Sacramento National Cemetery, CA
Robert Charles Edwards was born on Jun 25, 1927, in Chicago, IL, to immigrant parents: his father was from Russia and his mother from Poland. He grew up in a house that was a stone’s throw from Wrigley Field and was a lifelong Cubs fan, requesting in his will that the Cubs be notified they had one less fan to torture.
Bob graduated from West Point with the Class of 1950, commissioned second lieutenant, and served as an Infantry Officer. The Class of 1950 was the first to go directly from graduation to the battlefield and Bob was sent to Korea where he served as a platoon leader in a heavy mortar company. The fighting was fierce against overwhelming enemy forces with the weather being as formidable an enemy as the North Korean forces they were fighting. Frostbite was prevalent, and many of our forces suffered severely as they were forced back to the shore where they got support from our Navy.
Shortly after his return from Korea, he transferred from Infantry to the Ordnance Corps where he remained until his retirement. His assignments as an Ordnance Officer included basic and advanced schooling in Ordnance. At Ordnance school, Aberdeen Training Grounds, MD, he was selected to attend Babson University where he pursued an MBA, in finance. He graduated with honors and continued his career as an Ordnance Officer.
In addition to his assignment to Korea, his overseas assignments included Austria, Germany, Vietnam, and Taiwan. In Vietnam in the mid-1960s, Bob served as an advisor to the Vietnamese Army under General Stillwell Jr., the Commanding General of the Advisory Command in Vietnam.
His last assignment with the Army was at Rock Island, IL, where, in 1970, after a 20-year career, Bob retired as a lieutenant colonel. Once retired from the Army, he moved his family to Schenectady, NY, which proved to be one more stop along his way. After having been assigned to the Presidio earlier in his career and wanting to end up in the San Francisco Bay area, he moved his family one last time in 1972 to the San Francisco Bay area.
Until he retired in 1991, he worked at the University of California Berkeley as an administrator where he was deeply respected and loved.
Even before he retired, Bob had many interests and was very active.
Although not an avid golfer, he did enjoy the game and early in his golfing life he hit a hole-in-one at the Presidio Golf course in San Francisco. He didn’t think too much about it until he learned the custom is that when one has a hole-in-one he buys the house a drink. It just happened that on that day the bar at the clubhouse was full of golfers, which gave him cause to consider whether he should continue with golf if every time he made a hole-in-one it would cost so much money.
After his retirement from University of California Berkeley, he met Libby Hertz with whom he remained a close companion, traveling the world on many cruises and other trips, experiencing great theater, museums, fine food, and all that life had to offer.
Bob is survived by his children, Kenneth and Gail Edwards; his grandchildren, Rebecca and Jeffrey Byrnes; and his companion Libby Hertz.
A great sense of humor was a human quality Bob had that endeared him to all who knew him. He indiscriminately engaged everyone that crossed his path. That plus his love of people and his gregarious nature meant "to know him was to love him." Robert Charles Edwards will be greatly missed.