NO. 17552 • 4 May 1928 – 8 November 1982
Died 8 November 1982 in Centerbrook, CT
Interred in Resurrection Cemetery, Westbrook, CT
ROBERT HAYS McCANDLISH, born and raised in Silver Spring, MD, arrived at West Point on 1 July 1946. His earlier preparation at Bullis Preparatory School served him well at the Academy, both in an academic as well as a social sense. While always a serious student, Bob's pragmatic approach to life in general, flavored with a keen sense of humor, allowed him to complete his cadet years with relative ease. On the academic side, Bob graduated in the upper third of his class. On the social side, Bob always enjoyed the moment to its fullest. The purchase of a brand new chartreuse Ford convertible during his First Class year must have rated as one of the highlights of his life as a cadet. Certainly, the number one highlight was the courtship of his future wife! As Bob himself remarked in our reunion book, "I had the foresight and fantastic good fortune to marry my best drag, Jean Lewis, soon after graduation."
Upon graduation, the McCandlishes headed for a three-year tour with the 14th Armored Cavalry Regiment in Europe. In 1955, Bob traded his "armored plating" for the silver wings of Army Aviation. The next nine years involved many assignments and moves, including Ft. Lewis, Ft. Knox, Ft. Rucker, and the Monterey Language School to learn French, followed by a hardship tour in Cambodia, then the Aviation Detachment at West Point, followed by a second tour in Germany. By 1964, Jean and Bob were the proud parents of five children - two girls and three boys – the focal points of their lives!
It was at this point that Jean and Bob, after much thought, made the decision for Bob to resign his commission and accept a vice presidency with Home Equity, Inc., in Connecticut. They missed the close fellowship of good friends and neighbors that their Army life offered; however, this was counterbalanced by the opportunity to establish their children in one common school system as well as the warm feeling that comes with being able to "put down roots" in their own home after years of moving. In 1977, Jean and Bob again changed course by assuming a partnership in a small company that manufactured wire in Centerbrook, CT. The factory had once been powered by water. As Jean put it, "Bob was thrilled to do away with his three-piece suit and take a step back into the previous century."
During the civilian years, the McCandlishes enjoyed experiencing the growth and maturing of their five children, with all the milestones along the way, to include laughter, tears, graduations, marriage, and finally great sorrow. On 8 Nov 1982, a heart attack proved fatal to Bob at the young age of 52. Like a good Army wife, Jean coped with the terrible loss and today boasts of "five wonderful children and five beautiful grandchildren.” No doubt, Bob would share that pride and derive great satisfaction from the legacy that he has left behind.
"And when our work is done, Our course on earth is run, May it be said, "Well done; Be thou at peace." "Alma Mater." - P.S. Reinecke’11
Well done Bob, be thou at peace!
-Bud Pritchette, classmate