Robert "Bob" Cady Cameron
May 12, 1923 - June 1, 2014
Robert "Bob" Cady Cameron of Anchorage, Alaska died on the evening of June 01, 2014 at the age of 91, joining his fellow "Chosin Few" Marines who had reconnoitered ahead of him.
Bob was born in Detroit, Michigan on May 12, 1923 to Hugh Albert Cameron and Ruth Naomi (Brink) Cameron. The family eventually moved to Poland, Ohio where Bob graduated from Lakewood High School as Valedictorian in 1941. That same year he enrolled in Oberlin College where he studied Science and Engineering, and joined the United States Marine Corps Reserve in November 1942. In 1943 he entered the Navy's V-12 Officer Commissioning Program, and graduated with a BS Degree in Civil Engineering from the University of Notre Dame in 1944. After boot camp at Parris Island, South Carolina, he completed the Marine Corps Officer Candidate Course at Quantico, Virginia and received his commission as 2nd Lieutenant.
Bob was called to active duty in 1944 to command a troop train between Camp Pendleton, California and the Port of Bremerton, Washington. After returning to reserve status he was accepted to the University of Michigan's School of Forestry, and eventually obtained his MS Degree in Forestry from Harvard University in 1947. The following year he married Jean Marion Stacker, whom he met at a USO dance while attending Harvard. In 1949 they celebrated the birth of their first child Scott, and moved to Salem, Oregon where Bob had accepted a job with the Oregon Department of Forestry.
When war broke out on the South Korean Peninsula in June 1950, Bob was called back to active duty. His human will was about to be tested during a horrific battle against overwhelming numbers of North Korean and Chinese enemy forces in the bitterly cold winter of 1950 at the Chosin Reservoir. As a forward-observer with the 1st Marine Division, 1stLt Robert C. Cameron was one of two remaining officers, along with 1stLt William W. Taylor (Commanding), mustering just 27 enlisted men from the original Marine Corps Rifle Company "Baker/7." Ironically, after surviving "against-all-odds" at the Chosin Reservoir, Bob was badly wounded during a mortar attack on May 28, 1951, and was honorably discharged from the Marine Corps in January 1952.
Upon returning home, Bob resumed his work with the Oregon State Department of Forestry and later became a Computer Programmer for the Oregon State Highway Department. He retired from the State of Oregon in 1985.
Growing up near the Great Lakes, Bob developed a love for the outdoors. He enjoyed outings with the Boy Scouts, swimming, canoeing, hiking, skiing, woodworking, and making or building anything where his mathematical skill could be challenged. While living in Oregon he became an expert mountain climber, served on the Oregon State Mountain Rescue Team, and belonged to the Mazamas and Chemeketans mountaineering clubs. Bob climbed many major peaks throughout the Northwest including Mt. Rainier.
Together with his second wife, Martha Jane (Sanders) Williams, whom he met at the Highway Department and married in 1966, he reached the summit of every mountain in Oregon at least once. They became avid folk dancers and joined the Tyrolean Dancers of Portland to perform at various events throughout the Northwest, including the Oregon State Fair.
When Bob wasn't playing in the outdoors, he was working in the outdoors. A skilled contractor, after moving to Salem he built the family's first home and swimming pool on Kingwood Drive NW.
Bob was as kind and honest as the day is long, and well-respected in his community. He loved his family deeply, and guided them fearlessly through many of life's challenges. He truly lived the Marine Corps motto "Semper Fidelis," which in Latin means "Always Faithful."
Bob is preceded in death by both of his parents, and his sister Elizabeth Ruth (Cameron) Van Iderstein. He is survived by his brother Hugh "Pete" Cameron (Margaret) of Pullman, Washington, son Scott Cameron (Debbie) of Anchorage, Alaska, daughter Laurie Cameron of San Diego, California, daughter Calla (Cameron) Ferre of Soquel, California, grandson Matthew Cameron of Anchorage, Alaska, granddaughter Lindsay Cameron of Anchorage, Alaska, grandson Jeff McLean of Carlsbad, New Mexico, granddaughter April Ferre of Davis, California, grandson Thomas Ferre, of Santa Cruz, California, step-son David Williams (Sherri) of Salem, Oregon, step-daughter Renee (Williams) Koch of Salem, Oregon, step-grandson Preston Koch of Portland, Oregon, step-granddaughter Kathleen (Williams) Munoz (Garrett) of Salem, Oregon, and step-grandson John Williams of California City, California.
Funeral services will be held at Willamette National Cemetery in Portland, Oregon on June 23, 2014 at 9:30 am. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that a donation in honor of 1stLt Robert C. Cameron be made to: "Oregon Chapter-The Chosin Few," 3933 SE Oak St., Portland, Oregon 97214, (EIN: 371588559).
Published in StatesmanJournal on June 10, 2014