Robert Earl Updike Jr., a.k.a., Tucson Bob, was called to join his sister, Joy; father, Bob Sr. and mother, Genie on Monday December 2, 2013. The chronic liver disease that Bob had so successfully managed for 16 years accelerated in the past few months and finally took his life. Bob is survived by his sister, Connie Updike-Chilcoat and his brother, Bill Updike. Connie and Bill would like to thank the staff at TMC Hospice Peppi's House for making Bob's transition from this life to the next so peaceful. Bob Jr. joined the Updike family as the third child and first boy on August 21, 1954. He was a birthday gift for Genie whose birthday was August 20. Graduating from Rapid City Central High School in 1972. Bob loved the Black Hills and spent many days hunting and fishing in those beautiful hills. After receiving a degree in avionics, Bob moved to California and worked for Boeing, then Lockheed Martin on the space shuttle program at Vandenberg Air Force Base. Bob was married to Judy Darmer in 1980. After their divorce, Bob lived and worked in the Los Angeles until moving to Tucson in 1998. Bob joined brother, Bill in Tucson and completed his degree, graduating from University of Phoenix in 2000. Bob moved to Austin, TX working for Broadwing installing and managing fiber optics. Bob was an active member of the Benevolent and Protective Order of the Elks, Freemasonry, and Shriners International. Always an active and engaged supporter of the many charities supported by the BPOE, Freemasonry and Shriners, Bob leaves an empty place that will be hard to fill. In 2007 Bob married Dale Lauer. After their divorce, Bob began working for International Telephone and Telegraph (ITT) as a civilian contractor embedded with the United States Army in Afghanistan. Serving in the war zone for the next five years Bob provided support for our troops. From living in an 8' by 10' shipping crate in Kabul to a canvas and wood tent at forward operating bases, Bob experienced all that war provides. His favorite part of this life was meeting and getting to know the kind, loving people of Afghanistan. He was also in awe and honored to serve the U.S. Warriors that protect Afghanistan and our freedom here in the United States. Returning to Tucson in 2012 Bob settled down and purchased a home in Oro Valley. However, the lure of the Middle East once again pulled Bob from his beloved Tucson. At the time of his death, Bob was employed by ITility, LLC, in Doha, Qatar, providing support for the United States Armed Services. A Memorial Service will be held 3:00 p.m. on Saturday, January 25, 2014, at Canyon del Oro Baptist Church, 9200 N. Oracle Road, Oro Valley, AZ 85704. Always believing in helping others, Bob requested that in lieu of flowers, please make a contribution to the Landstuhl Hospital Care Project, http://www.landstuhlhospitalcareproject.org (they saved Bob's life while he was in theater) or the Wounded Warrior Project, Inc. Bob will be laid to final rest next to his parents and sister in Mount Calvary Cemetery, Rapid City, South Dakota during the beautiful month of June 2014 when the lilacs will be in full bloom.
Published in the Arizona Daily Star on Dec. 14, 2013