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Dr. Robert L. "Bob" Alumbaugh of Sequim passed away on April 23 from complications associated with lung disease.
Bob was born to James D. and Marian W. (Wells) Alumbaugh in Upland, California, on June 22, 1928.
He was raised on a small ranch in Ontario, California, where he attended schools, graduating from Chaffey High School and Ontario Community College. He transferred to the University of California, Santa Barbara, where he received a bachelor's degree in chemistry.
Following graduation, he was employed at the Naval Civil Engineering Research and Evaluation Laboratory (NAVCERELAB). This later became the Naval Civil Engineering Laboratory, or NCEL, where he worked for 43 years.
During this period, he spent two years in the U.S. Army teaching at the Chemical Warfare School at Fort Carson, Colorado, and performing research at the biochemistry laboratory at Dugway Proving Ground, Utah.
Following discharge from the Army, Bob returned to work at NCEL. He later returned to graduate school and earned his master's and doctoral degrees in physical organic chemistry, during which he was awarded the Navy Civil Engineering Laboratory Fellowship for a year of study in paint chemistry at the University of Missouri at Rolla.
Dr. Alumbaugh married Elaine Dorothy Witte on June 14, 1958, in Ventura, California. They have two sons, Dr. David L. Alumbaugh, a geophysicist in Berkeley, California, and James R. Alumbaugh, a software engineer in Seattle, Washington.
In 1997, Bob and Elaine moved from Ventura to Sequim, where they have lived ever since.
Dr. Alumbaugh's studies at the naval laboratory were concerned with paints and protective coatings, plastics, roofing materials and systems, and airfield joint sealers. He has many publications on these materials and their potential use at naval shore bases and was often requested to present papers on results of his research at national and international scientific meetings.
During his employment at the naval laboratory, Bob was a member of the American Chemical Society, the National Association of Corrosion Engineers, ASTM International, the Federation of Paint Technology and Sigma Xi.
He was also a member of the Federal Roofing Committee, the Oak Ridge National Laboratory Roof Advisory Committee, the Spray Foam Committees of the National Roofing Contractors Association and the Society of Plastics Industry, and the Board of Regents of the Roof Consultants Institute.
He also was requested to prepare and teach a lecture on spray polyurethane foam roofing at the Roofing Industry Educational Institute course.
Fifteen years after his retirement, he was presented the first Carl G. Cash Award by committee D8 of ASTM International, which was in recognition of distinguished research contributions, outstanding publications, dedication and leadership to advancing building envelope technology and particularly the performance of spray foam roofing technology.
Bob was an avid tennis player during his undergraduate years and also enjoyed golf and skiing. He was a member of the Ventura Church of the Foothills and choir and, more recently, the Sequim Community Church and choir. He traveled to Europe with the Ventura County Gold Coast Choir and sang at cathedrals in five countries.
In addition to his professional work, he was involved in the Ventura community as president of the Ventura Industry and Education Council and the Scientific Research Society of America (RESA), and was co-chairman of the Ventura County Science Fair. This latter activity helped inspire young scientists.
Dr. Alumbaugh was a very kind man. He seldom said a harsh word or became angry. He could usually find humor in life's situations and enjoyed jokes and funny stories. He dearly loved his family and friends. He appreciated classical and semi-classical music, singing in choirs from junior high through adulthood.
Dr. Alumbaugh will be missed, especially by his family members and close friends. The family is comforted in knowing he has an eternal life and memories of his life will be cherished.
His brother, James W. Alumbaugh, and granddaughter Marija Alumbaugh preceded him in death.
He is survived by his wife and two sons; one granddaughter, Ona Alumbaugh; two grandsons, Zane and Kiran Alumbaugh; his sister and brother-in-law, Joyce and Silas Morrison; his sister-in-law, Carol Alumbaugh; and three nephews and their families.
A viewing will be held at Sequim Valley Funeral Chapel, 108 West Alder Street, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Friday, May 2, 2014, followed by a memorial service at Sequim Community Church, 950 North Fifth Avenue, at 3 p.m. on Saturday, May 3, 2014.
Published in The Peninsula Daily News on Apr. 30, 2014
Arrangements under the direction of:
Sequim Valley Funeral Chapel
108 W Alder St PO Box 297 | Sequim, WA 98382 | (360) 683-5242