In many ways, Bob Myers embodies the American dream. Born in 1939 into a family of West Virginia dairy farmers and educated in a tiny country school in Aurora, West Virginia, Bob graduated in 1961 in mathematics from the University of West Virginia.
Although aggressively recruited by the CIA, Bob chose to follow his dream and work for NASA where he had a very successful career. He was an enormous contributor to the space program; by the mid '70's he was responsible for all simulation training for the astronauts. He developed the single system trainer, still used by the astronauts, which saved NASA an estimated $150 million. He received several awards for this accomplishment, including the prestigious Golden Eagle. Bob later developed a software system for Mission Operations known as MODIS. In 1990 he became the Branch Chief of the Information Systems Directorate, responsible for all work stations, software and customer support throughout the Johnson Space Center and he was promoted to Division Chief in 1993. He was particularly proud of being part of the team that put a man on the moon and that rescued the Apollo 13 astronauts.
Simulations, or "what if's" came naturally to Bob. As the oldest of three children of industrious and overworked parents, he assumed many of their responsibilities. Even before he was a teenager he tried to foresee and solve parenting problems before they occurred.
Bob retired from NASA in 1995 at the age of 55 because he wanted to see the world while he was still young and healthy enough to do so. He and his wife, Patience, spent long months in Europe where he particularly loved visiting Ireland, Germany, and Spain.
One of the activities to which Patience introduced him was tent-camping. The two of them traveled all over the United States and western Canada to lie down outdoors and look at the stars together. He took thousands of photographs wherever he was, with sunrises being one of his favorite subjects.
Bob was loved and trusted and respected by his six children and stepchildren and 11 grandchildren. They understood this tall, gentle man to be one of the kindest they had ever met. As 3-year old Sean said at Bob's Memorial Service, "I love Pap. He's fun. He always plays with me." Camping was a treat Bob and Patience sometimes shared with their grandchildren.
There was no couple more in love than Bob and Patience. He absolutely doted on her and she on him. It was clear to everyone around them that they loved doing things together, whether it was traveling, cooking gourmet meals, reading, walking on the beach, or playing with the children.
An eclectic lover of music, Bob enjoyed everything from Pavarotti to the Rolling Stones. He passionately loved opera and would even attend the dress rehearsal and performance of the same opera.
Minutes after he returned home from a trip with Patience to Corpus Christi, where he spent hours on the beach collecting sand dollars from the deep water, Bob died suddenly of a massive heart attack.
God blessed Bob by taking him this way. We will love him forever.