Col. Robert Linwood Hurst, 83, retired United States Air Force, died peacefully at his home June 12, 2013, in Houston, Texas.
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Bob was born on Jan. 22, 1930, on the family farm in Anderson County to Walter and Maymie Hurst.
As a young man, he quickly learned the value of hard work living on the farm and this carried him throughout his life. After graduating from Western High School in 1948, he taught school for one year at the local one room school - the Van Buren school. He ventured on to Western Kentucky University and then to Dayton, Ohio, to join the working world. With Wright Patterson AFB in town, the United States Air Force was Bob's next endeavor and this would take him around the world. As he was never one to miss out on an adventure, he met his wife Jean on a blind date while stationed at Ellington AFB in Houston. They married three months later and off to Sacramento, Calif., they went. Bob quickly became a candidate for flight school/OCS and saw his first action as a navigator/bombardier in the Korean War. He went on to become a fighter pilot and flew many different aircraft. His overseas assignments included Japan where he flew the F-102.
He flew his favorite aircraft, the RF-4 Phantom, in combat during the Vietnam War. While serving as the squadron commander at Webb AFB in Big Spring, Texas, the opportunity arose for the assignment to become the Air Attaché for the US Embassy in Sofia, Bulgaria. When that tour came to a successful conclusion, it was time to retire from the Air Force and relocate to Houston. After considering many options, he decided the insurance business was his to embrace and he signed his contracts with Farmers Insurance Group.
Bob quickly grew his agency into one the most respected businesses in the area, earning many awards and accolades. Bob's biggest hobby was being able to continue flying. He was excited to find a way to merge his love of flying and helping his fellow man through the Angel Flight program. He was able to help many people who needed to receive medical attention in a different city other than where they were.
Bob is survived by his wife of 58 years, Jean; son Michael Hurst and wife Christina; son Brian Hurst; and son David Hurst and his wife Krissy and their three children Haleigh, Drew and Grace. Bob is also survived by one brother and his wife, John and Ann Hurst, as well their daughter Patricia Adelstein, her husband Jay and their two daughters Rose and Lily.
Published in The Anderson News on June 19, 2013