Erbe, Colonel Robert Louis
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USA Army Colonel Robert Erbe passed away on April 19, 2014 at home surrounded by his loving family. Bob was born and raised in the Panama Canal Zone where his father was a special assistant to the governor. Bob was the fourth son of five boys of Ernest and Ruth Gardiner Erbe. After graduating high school Bob joined the Navy V5 program. While in that program Bob received a senatorial appointment to the US Military Academy at West Point. He graduated with the class of 1949. He married his sweetheart, a New York girl, Rosemary Ryan, who proved to be an ideal Army wife and mother. Bob and Rosemary had various assignments in the United States including Hawaii as well as overseas tours in Germany, France, Pakistan and Vietnam. His two children Diane and Mark were born in Germany. Upon their return from Germany Bob was selected to do his graduate work at the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor where he earned his Master of Science and Engineering degree. Bob volunteered for the US Army Aviation Program. After flight training Bob was certified to fly Army helicopters and planes. Following flight school he was chosen for the Command General Staff College. His next tour was in Karachi, Pakistan with the U.S. Military Advisor Group. The next three years were spent with the Army General Staff at the Pentagon followed by a battalion command assignment in Vietnam where Bob was awarded his first of three Legion of Merits and an Air Medal. It was then back to Germany for another tour of duty. From Germany to Newport, Rhode Island to attend The U.S. Naval War College. He returned to Vietnam for another command assignment. Vietnam was followed by a four-year tour in Hawaii, while there he earned his professional registration in both civil and structural engineering in Hawaii, Florida and Arizona. His last assignment was Fort Sam Houston, Texas. After twenty-nine years of military service, thirty-seven moves and numerous awards, medals, badges, commendations and a campaign ribbon for his services, Bob and Rosemary retired from the Army. Shortly there after Bob joined Greiner Engineering Sciences working as a project engineer. In 1990 Bob and Rosemary moved to Sun City West and settled down to retirement living for fourteen happy years before moving to their final home at Heritage Palmras in Sun City. Bob is survived by Rosemary his wife of 64 years, his daughter Diane Ryan Hollinger (Bob) of Scottsdale AZ, his son Mark (Sue) of Falls Church, VA. He is predeceased by three brothers, Phillip, Richard, and Lawrence. He is survived by one brother, Alan (Anna) in El Paso, Texas. Funeral services will be in Arlington National Cemetery with full military honors. Bob was a devoted husband, loving father, dear friend, and a loyal and good soldier. Duty, Honor, Country.
Published in The Arizona Republic on May 4, 2014