Robert L. Westfall


Robert L. Westfall, 73, passed away on June 15, 2013. He was born in Warrensburg, MO, on November 5, 1939, however, spent most of his childhood in Terre Haute, Indiana.

Bob, as he was called, is survived by his loving wife of 48 years, Mary Jane Westfall; sons, Eric L. Westfall and Richard (Darlene) Westfall; stepdaughter, Carol (Tim) Compton; thirteen grandchildren and five great-grandchildren.

Bob received an AB degree in Pre-Engineering from DePauw University and a BS degree in Electrical Engineering from Purdue University, both on June 4, 1961. He started out as a young engineer at the beginning of the space program, like many other Aerospace (and related) Engineers at that time. This career took him around the country, where he ended up at Vandenberg AFB near Santa Maria, CA, in 1962 as a flight test engineer with General Dynamics/Convair, then onto Cape Canaveral AFB in 1970 as a Design Engineer (also with Convair).

He transferred back to California in 1976. in 1985, he took a job with Rockwell and started to work on the Space Shuttle's west coast (polar orbit) developmental program. The Challenger accident in 1986, unfortunately canceled the Shuttle's west coast program, resulting in a transfer back to Florida in 1987, where he worked until retirement in 2000.

Bob was a quiet guy who loved being outdoors and was always ready to head to his favorite place, the beach, with surf/body boards and Frisbee in hand. He also loved his garden and acre of land. He was very active in Boy Scout activities with his young sons. He served as Assistant Scoutmaster for many years. He was a devoted member of First Untied Methodist Church, Cocoa Beach, and served as Finance Chairman and Webmaster for many years.

After retiring, he and his wife, Mary Jane, began a series of travel trips that took them around the US, the Caribbean and parts of Europe. He was an honest and decent man, and a bonafide "Treky" through and through!

Memorial services will be held at First United Methodist Church, Cocoa Beach, on Saturday, July 13th at 1 PM.


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Published in FLORIDA TODAY from July 7 to July 9, 2013