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Obituary - Robert James Herrick, 15 Apr 1940 - 06 Aug 2009, Phelan California
Posted by: James Myron Herrick (ID *****0654) Date: August 28, 2009 at 15:17:18
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HERRICK, Robert James, of Phelan, California, born April 15, 1940, passed away on August 6, 2009, due to complications from leukemia. He was known as “Jim” to family and friends until the early 1980's, when his friends began to call him “Bob”. Bob was born in West Hollywood to Robert Dale Herrick of Salt Lake City, Utah, born July 17, 1916, and Amy Murphy of St. Thomas, Nev., born April 19, 1920. He is survived by his wife, Betty June Steiginga Limpus, whom he married on October 17, 1987, in Lancaster, Calif.; his four sisters, Martha Dean Herrick Broetz, of Fulton, Mo.; Joyce Herrick Albertson, of Snohomish, Wash.; Sharon Louise Herrick Standley, of Leavenworth, Wash.; and Dorothy Jean Herrick Wallace, of Green Valley, Ariz.; his four children, Lisa Gaye Herrick, of San Jose, Calif.; Lara Kaye Herrick Baas, of Simi Valley, Calif.; Dr. Robert Dale Herrick II, of Ft. Collins, Colo.; and Gayle Amy Herrick of San Diego, Calif., from his first marriage to Anita Marie Kurtz Herrick; and his two grandchildren, Alec Rayfield Boyer, of Simi Valley, Calif.; and Celia Rose Herrick Rice of San Jose, Calif. Bob served in the U.S. Navy in the Quemoy-Matsu Campaign and was Honorably Discharged in 1961, with the rank of MR2. He worked for North American Aviation/Rockwell/ Boeing for 27 years providing Design Engineering Support to the Space Shuttle Main Engine, the B-1B Bomber Program, The Delta IV Expendable Launch Vehicle, and several other research programs. His children proudly remember being awakened in the early hours of April 12, 1981, to watch the televised maiden launch of the Space Shuttle Columbia. During his years in Palmdale, Bob mentored a team of younger engineers on the B-1B program, known at the time as the “A-Team.” He continued to be a part of their lives long after he retired from the program and Boeing. During his retirement, Bob spent many hours researching the ancestry of his family. What he learned and organized as a legacy for future generations is a history of American heritage and patriotism that dates through the American Revolution all the way back to the Mayflower. Bob had an incredible compassion for animals. He cared for many abandoned or wild dogs and cats on and around his property in San Bernardino County, immunizing them, spaying/neutering them, and placing them in homes when possible. The estimated number of rescues ran close to 100 animals. This kind of dedication and concern shows the kind of character that Bob had. While his children were young, they traveled with Bob to Kirkland, Wash., for a number of summers in the late 1970's through the mid 1980's. On a warm summer evening, all would pile into the car and head north, driving non-stop through the night. The last stop before his kids would start dropping off to sleep was around the city of Santa Nella/Gustine off I-5. It is in this area, where Bob enjoyed some of his happiest memories that he will be laid to rest. Two services will be held in Bob's memory: A Celebration of Bob's Life will be held at 12 p.m., Saturday, Aug. 29, 2009, at Hanes & Associates, 43917 Division St., in Lancaster; and a Service with Military Honors and interment will be held at 2 p.m., Friday, Sept. 18, 2009, at San Joaquin Valley National Cemetery in Santa Nella, Calif.

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