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Robert Bennett Whiteley

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Robert Bennett Whiteley Obituary
Robert Bennett Whiteley Born on September 24, 1918 - Passed on December 22, 2012 Resident of La Selva Beach Robert Bennett Whiteley (Bob) passed away peacefully December 22, 2012 at the Veterans Hospice in Menlo Park, CA at the age of 94. He is survived by his partner of 22 years, Jeanne Tannehill, son, Bennett Lee Whiteley, daughter Lola Whiteley and his brother Glenn Whiteley. He was also survived by caring in laws, grandchildren and great grandchildren. In addition he is survived by Jeanne Tannehill's caring children, Greg Fish, Kathy Hughes and Brian Fish. He was preceded in death by his beloved wife Verlee Whiteley, son David Whiteley, sister Helen Degner and brother Frank Whiteley. Bob was born in Montana in 1918 to Florence and Glenn Whiteley, and grew up in Iowa on the family farm, eventually graduating from the University of Iowa in Ames. He served 4 years in the Navy in the European and Mediterranean theater during WWII. In 1944 he married his high school sweetheart, Verlee Shellabarger, while stationed in Miami, Florida. After the war he returned to the University in Iowa to finish his Masters Degree in Engineering. He was then invited to work at the Naval Research Lab in Maryland, and while working there, completed his doctorate in Electronic Engineering. Lockheed lured him to California in the late 1950's, where his electronic and computer skills played an important part of the space program. Later he helped developed some of the first medical information computer program systems and facilitated the installation in hospitals in the US. After a rewarding and exciting career in Silicon Valley, Bob retired to his home in La Selva Beach. He donated many hours over the next 15 years to the Gray Bears, the Blind & Visually Impaired Center of Monterey County, Mid County Senior Center and to the community in La Selva Beach, setting up and maintaining their computer databases. Bob loved to dance and most weekends he and Jeanne could be seen on the dance floor doing the Waltz, Rumba, Cha-Cha or the Swing. Bob loved Dixieland Jazz, Country Western, and Big Band music and his foot always tapped at the sound of those rhythms. With friends, he circled the globe listening to Jazz and exploring the sights. Bob was a CB radio enthusiast and was always curious about the world, history and all the exciting technological developments. His wonderful sense of humor charmed all who met him. His dignity, modesty, honor, work ethic, love of family, love of life and loyalty to his country created a model for all of us to follow. In January there will be a Celebration of Life gathering of family and friends in La Selva Beach with a private interment service at the Pajaro Valley Memorial Park. The family would like to thank the VA Hospice in Menlo Park, Hospice of Santa Cruz and Sunshine Villa in Santa Cruz. All of these wonderful people were caring and kind and allowed Bob to be peaceful and maintain his dignity during this last year of diminished heath. If you wish to remember Bob, you may do so by giving a donation to Hospice of Santa Cruz County, VA Hospice, The National Foundation for Cancer Research and to the Cabrillo College Fund. "Where there is love there is life" Mahatma Gandhi
Published in Santa Cruz Sentinel on Jan. 6, 2013
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