May 28, 1922 - March 22, 2014 OKLAHOMA CITY Robert Hayes Bickerstaff, Jr., born May 28, 1922, left his earthly home on the morning of March 22, 2014, after a lengthy battle with Parkinson's disease. He is survived by his wife of 41 years, June; daughter, Dawn McPhetridge; son, Dean Sather and wife Jennifer; son, Leland Bickerstaff and wife Kathy; and grandchildren, Janelle, Maggie, Dylan, Mallory, Gracie, and Riley; and great-grandson, Everett. Robert was born on a plantation in Sentinel, Oklahoma. He lived in Oklahoma all of his life. He served in the U.S. Army during WWII from 9-20-1940 to 7-25-1945. He served in the 45th Infantry Division on four continents: North America, South America, Europe, and Africa; in the European Theater; and he saw Patton on the beachhead in Africa. He slept in Hitler's quarters after Hitler evacuated them. He was awarded The Bronze Star, WWII Victory Medal, European/African Middle Eastern Campaign Medal, Good Conduct Medal for Exemplary Conduct, and the American Defense Service Medal-issued by FDR. His final ranking was as master sergeant. Robert served on the Oklahoma Highway Patrol after his military service ended. He retired from Tinker AFB Fire Department as a Crew Chief, where he served for 26 years. He was a world-class skeet shooter and competed in many national competitions, including a World Wide Shoot, winning many, many trophies and silver pieces. He enjoyed sports, music, and family. He loved nothing better than spending time with his family. Robert loved gardening, cooking, and traveling. He enjoyed quail hunting and fishing. He taught himself how to use a computer in the early 1980s before most households had them. He could never get his fill of ice cream! Robert's family is eternally grateful to his caregivers at Quail Creek Nursing and Rehabilitation Center and Physician's Choice Hospice. Visitation will be from 4 to 8 p.m. Tuesday, March 25 at Vondel L. Smith & Son, 13125 N. MacArthur, OKC, with family receiving friends from 7 to 8 p.m. Services will be held at Crown Heights United Methodist Church, 1021 NW 37th St., OKC, Wednesday, March 26 at 10 a.m. Interment will follow at the Resurrection Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, the family requests contributions to the American Legion Post 12, 6101 NW 50th St, OKC, OK 73122, (405) 787-6010.
Vondel L. Smith & Son Mortuary North Colonial Chapel
13125 North MacArthur Boulevard Oklahoma City, OK 73142
Published in The Oklahoman on Mar. 24, 2014