Professor Robert G. Fleagle|
Robert G. Fleagle died peacefully in his sleep at home as the sun went down on Saturday, April 20th, 2013 at the age of 94. He was a true gentleman.
He was the middle of three children born in 1918 at Colonial Park, Baltimore County, Maryland. His parents were Francis and Benjamin Fleagle. Bob graduated Catonsville High and received a $100 scholarship to Johns Hopkins and work study under the National Student Administration Program, one of the New Deal programs introduced by FDR. After college both he and his high school sweetheart, Marianne Diggs, taught at Towson High. Bob adopted pacifism during college and was a Conscientious Objector serving in the Civilian Public Service. However, after Pearl Harbor he enlisted in active duty in the Army Air Corps. He started out teaching high school math to Army Air Corps recruits. He was quickly promoted to weather forecasting in New York. After the war he earned his Ph.D. in meteorology at NYU.
Bob and Marianne were married December 19, 1942 and lived in New York 1942-48. Marianne, Bob, and two year old Bob Jr. drove cross country (just one of many great trips) and entered Seattle on the Sunset Highway crossing The Floating Bridge. Bob Joined the UW Dept. of Meteorology and Climatology. Bob had a 40 year distinguished career at the UW and retired Professor Emeritus in 1989. He served as Chairman of the Dept. of Atmospheric Sciences at the UW from 1967 to 1977. He was the author of many articles and books and an active participant in numerous professional activities and associations. He established an endowed lecture series, the Fleagle Visiting Faculty Fellowship in Atmospheric Sciences Policy. He was a Senior Fellow in the Joint Institute for Study of the Atmosphere and Ocean at the UW.
Other administrative posts in addition to his work at the UW include serving as Chairman of the National Academy of Sciences Committee on Atmospheric Sciences (1969 - 73); Chairman of the University Corp. of Atmospheric Research Board of Trustees (1975-77); and President of the American Meteorological Society (1981). He served under President Kennedy in the Office of Science and Technology in 1963 and 1964 to oversee atmospheric research in government agencies.
A man of thoughtful reflection, integrity and high moral standards he had a lifelong commitment to peace and social justice. He was a plaintiff in the case brought by members of the UW Faculty and staff in which the US Supreme Court in 1964 found the state loyalty oath unconstitutional. In the 60s and 70s he opposed violations of civil rights and the Vietnam War.
Bob and Marianne had a full life that included books, plays, concerts, and extensive travel. His interest in sports included a keen passion for tennis and baseball. Marianne died in 2000. Rosemary Brodie and Bob, had been close friends over many years and served on the board of the Abe Keller Peace Education Fund together. They fell in love and married in 2001 and moved to University House retirement home. In his last few years Bob slowed some but never gave up the 'good fight'.
He was known to family and friends for his compassion, and quiet, intelligent curiosity. We will all miss his wisdom, caring nature and gentle smile. One of the last of the "Greatest Generation". Bob is survived by his wife Rosemary Brodie, two sons, Robert (wife, Carol) and John; three grandchildren - Laura, Anna and Nicholas; and sister, Mary C. Fleagle. He was preceded in death by his wife of 57 years, Marianne; Sister Margaret Jane Frisell; and grandson David.
Bob was an vital member of University Unitarian Church.
A memorial service will be held on Saturday, June 22, 11:00 a.m. at University Unitarian Church in Seattle.
Published in The Seattle Times on May 12, 2013