Robert Joseph 82, a resident of Albuquerque since 1970, departed this life August 12, 2004 after a brief illness. He was a distinguished Naval Aviator, Husband, Father, Neighbor, and Friend. He is survived by son Jaemes, his daughter-in-law Noreen, sister Mildred, and nephews Harry, Karen, Katie, Kim, Mike, Robert and Sharon. Bob graduated with Distinction from UNM in 1975 after retiring as a Lieutenant Commander in the U.S. Navy with 30 years of active duty and over 10,000 logged flying hours. He marveled and rejoiced his entire adult life at the greatness of a nation which provided him a path to escape the poverty of an orphaned childhood in the Great Depression and, having survived combat from the decks of the USS Lexington in the Battle of the Coral Sea went on to serve his country as a highly regarded aircraft and helicopter pilot, a job he loved his entire working life. After retirement in 1971, with his wife Hazel until her passing in 1994, he assumed a new career, with equal joy, as the "Mayor of California Street." Until the end of his life, nothing gave him greater pleasure than being a connected and caring member of his neighborhood community. The power of his presence lives on in those who loved him. Funeral services will be private. An event for friends to gather and "swap sea stories" will be announced. His family wishes to express their unbounded gratitude and admiration for the doctors, nurses, and staff of the Lovelace Hospice Program who are nothing less than Angels of Mercy in our midst.
Published on: Tue August 17, 2004