Robert “Bob” Brewington Sr., 90, born Oct. 19, 1922, went home to be with the Lord Monday Jan. 21, 2013. He passed away while at home surrounded by family.
Predeceasing him were his parents Carvel and Dossie Brewington of Celina, Tenn.; and his brothers and sisters, Agnes, Joe, Estelle, Maxie, James, OvaBelle, Loretta, Dudley and Tony. He was married to his wife Dorothy for 60 years before she passed in 2006.
He is survived by seven children, Robert Jr. of Ruidoso, Betty Bartlett and husband Richard, of Roswell, James and wife Teressa, of Conroe, Texas, Kathy Coleman and husband George, of Roswell, Linda, of Troy, Mich., John and wife Janie, of Roswell, and Mike “Toby,” of Roswell. Also surviving him are 10 grandchildren and 17 great-grandchildren.
Robert left his Tennessee home and entered the Army Air Corps during World War II and began by serving in the military police. He served in the Philippines, Kwajalein in the Marshall Islands, and Komaki Air Base, Japan, before returning to the States and assignment at Roswell Army Air Field (later, Walker Air Force Base) with the 509th Bomb Group. During service in the Pacific, Bob was one of the servicemen subjected to the atomic bomb testing on the Bikini Atoll that began in 1946. He carried a card in his wallet that proved his membership in the group called Loyal Order of Guinea Pigs. Those tests were conducted just a year after the dropping of the bombs on Japan to determine what would happen to ships and servicemen exposed to the atomic bomb. On his return from the Far East, Bob was initiated into the Mystic Order of the Golden Dragon in celebration of crossing the International Date Line.
At the time of his retirement, Bob’s outfit was the 6th Strategic Aerospace Wing, Headquarters Squadron Section, 6th Combat Support Group. While stationed at Walker, Robert was a non-commissioned officer in charge of the base gymnasium, which he had helped build. As athletic instructor at WAFB, he also participated as competitor, coach, manager and official. He played fullback on the WAFB traveling football team, the Roswell Atomic Bombers. Bob had an innate athletic ability that enabled him to excel in all sports. He was equally excellent in handball, squash, and badminton, as well as in the more popular ball games. He was part of a two-man championship badminton team that was incredible to watch; he had very fast reflexes and was quick on his feet. He was a boxer and later coached boxing and was the business manager for the WAFB traveling boxing team. He also coached softball and baseball. He met his future wife Dorothy Benke at the WAFB bowling alley.
After retiring from the Air Force in 1963 as technical sergeant, Bob served in the Air Force Reserve for another 10 years. During his career in the armed forces, Robert received the following medals and decorations: American Campaign Medal, National Defense Medal, Good Conduct Medal with five Bronze Loops, Air Force Longevity Service Award with four Oak Leaf Clusters, and Air Force Outstanding Unit Award.
In civilian life he held various positions, including machinist for Smith Machinery and school bus driver for Pollard’s. Bob remained active in sports by refereeing Golden Gloves tournaments and serving as umpire, referee and official in just about every sport played. When someone struck out, his call made the outcome unmistakable and could be heard two blocks away. As a referee for NMMI football games, one time he was “tackled” by Roger Staubach as he was running the ball and collided with Bob. For a period, Bob was manager of the Boys Club in Roswell.
“Mr. B” and his son, Toby, competed in local dart tournaments and have a room full of trophies to show for their efforts. Always interested in hunting and fishing, Bob inspired all four of his sons and three daughters to love fishing. He loved to cook a big family fish fry with his own recipe for hush puppies. Bob will be greatly missed by all who knew him.
Mass will be conducted on Saturday, Jan. 26, 2013, at 10 a.m., at St. Peter Catholic Church with the Rev. Charlie Martinez officiating.
The family is grateful for the professional and caring service of Vista Care and Comfort Keepers. Donations in Bob’s memory can be made to either St. Peter Catholic Church or Vista Care.
Please take a moment to share your thoughts and memories with the family in the online registry book at andersonbethany.com.
Cremation was under the direction of Anderson-Bethany Funeral Home and Crematory.