SMITHFIELD - Robert Roy "Bob" Begland, 66 died at home in Smithfield, Va., on Sunday, April 1, 2012, from complications associated with the treatment of throat cancer.
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Bob was born in February 1946 in Cincinnati, Ohio, as the only child to Rob Roy and Zelda Conner Begland. He graduated from Columbus' St. Charles Preparatory School in 1964 and the Ohio State University in 1969.
He married Judy Ann Dixon, an Ohio State classmate, in Columbus in 1967.
Upon graduation from Ohio State, Bob was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant in the United States Army. He qualified as a Ranger and expert in jungle warfare, before leaving to lead an infantry platoon in Vietnam. He earned a Combat Infantry Badge with Oak Leaf Cluster for his actions in combat and a Purple Heart for wounds sustained in battle that almost took his life. In the years following the war, he commanded a company and returned to the Army's infantry officer course, where he taught incoming lieutenants. He also earned a Masters in Education (Wayne State University) and a Doctorate in Education (Florida State University). During this time, he began writing articles in prominent military journals outlining new methods for selecting and training officers and soldiers. Later assignments took him and his family to Germany and to England, where he was an exchange officer to the British Army. Hampton Roads eventually became a home after two tours at Fort Monroe's Training and Doctrine Command (1977-1979, 1983-87). His final assignment was at Old Dominion University, as the Professor of Military Science and Battalion Commander. During that last tour, he also oversaw the assessment and selection of all ROTC cadets on the east coast. He retired from the military in 1991 as a Lieutenant Colonel.
After retirement from the military, Bob spent fifteen years as an executive coach and leadership consultant for organizations and individuals in Hampton Roads. At the same time, with his wife and daughter, he opened Wharf Hill Antiques in Smithfield, Va.
In life, he had a passion for golf, the outdoors, his dogs, and above all else, his family. As a Boy Scout Master, soccer coach and PTA president he always put the life and development of his three children first. He spent many weekends in the Virginia mountains backpacking and camping with his family. He also spent much of his time on buying trips throughout the mid-Atlantic buying antiques for Wharf Hill.
Learning was a life long pursuit, and many students, soldiers and managers benefited from his passion for leadership.
He is survived by his wife of 45 years, Judy Ann Dixon; three children and three grandchildren, his eldest son, Robert Roy Jr., and his wife, Kelly Ryan, and their son, Hugh Raymond, of Los Angeles, Calif.; a second son, Michael Thorne-Begland and his husband, Tracy Thorne-Begland; and their children, Chance Dixon and Logan Ann, in Richmond, Va.; and a daughter, Christina and her husband, Doug Shisler, in Smithfield, Va.
A service celebrating Bob's life will be held at 1 p.m. Thursday, April 5, at the Chapel of the Centurion, Fort Monroe, Va. The family will welcome guests immediately following the service at the Chamberlin, also on Fort Monroe.
The family suggests memorial contributions to Isle of Wight
, c/o Pam Jordan, 18214 Farmview Lane, Windsor, VA 23487.
Arrangements are in the care of Colonial Funeral Home, Smithfield, Va. View and post condolences on our online guestbook at dailypress.com/guestbooks.
Published in Daily Press from Apr. 4 to Apr. 5, 2012
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