ROBERT (BOB) HUNSAKER
1932 - 2020
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HUNSAKER, ROBERT (BOB)
Robert (Bob) Hunsaker, of Gainesville, Florida., died suddenly in his home on May 5, 2020. He was survived by his loving wife, Helen Liu, his older son, Robert (Duke) Hunsaker,(wife, Margee Hunsaker) grandchildren, Emily and Parke Hunsaker, Jonathan Minor. Step-daughter, Carman Chan, (husband, Todd Enersen) grandchildren, Annika, Owen and Kyle Enersen. Granddaughter, Forest Rapczak,(husband Jesse Rapczak) great grandson, Orion Rapczak. He was preceded in death by his son, Parke Hunsaker, and his ex-wife, Donna Forest.
Bob was born in Kirksville, Mo., in 1932 to Gale Cater Hunsaker and Emily Elisabeth MacDougall. He attended Central Methodist College and was drafted the end of his junior year. He received Military Police training and was stationed with a battalion at Ft. Sam Houston and later moved to Ft. Hood, Texas. He received an early Honorable Discharge to return to Central Methodist and graduated with a degree in Business Administration.
Bob was hired by McDonnell Aircraft Engineering Management as a Department Administrator for Liaison Engineering, Photography and the Engineering Library. This provided access to areas of the plant with a Secret Security Clearance. Bob designed and implemented a computer software system to aid in the design of tabulated electrical wiring drawings for the F4 Phantom. It was the first time computers were used for such a purpose.
Bob was then asked to work on Gemini ground support systems at Cape Canaveral. He called a meeting with NASA officials to change the number system from military specifications to a meaningful number specification for computer recognition, which he presented and received authorization to implement.
He then designed and implemented a computer software system for the design, fabrication and testing of electrical wiring cables used by Cape Canaveral block house to monitor each spacecraft prior to launch. His system allowed for one set of ground support cables for all Gemini Spacecraft. On the previous Mercury program, a new set of ground support cables was designed and installed for each spacecraft change order.
Bob then wrote a featured article published in National Computer Systems Magazine. The company won Best in Class in the category of Scientific Research and Development for Software Systems Design in 1964. Also, IBM published two detailed, nationally distributed documents detailing the system and outlining his work in broadening computer use beyond accounting and scientific calculations.
Next, Bob was temporarily transferred to the new McDonnell Aircraft Corporation Automation Center for travel to MIT to study the feasibility of a system for controlling the various radios used by the MIT Haystack Observatory in studying the structure of our galaxy.
Then Bob and his family were invited to visit the Lockheed Marietta plant. He was hired as Chairman of the Wire Data Committee to oversee the design, development, and implementation of a plant-wide computer system for the fabrication, testing, and installation of all electrical wiring during the production of the Galaxy C5 Cargo Aircraft.
After implementation of the system at Lockheed, Bob was hired by the new McDonnell Douglas TICO plant in Titusville, Fla. His job was to write Operating Procedures for the facility during the development of the Dragon Anti-Tank Guided Missile. During his work at TICO he was invited to join the President's Corporate Staff to study advanced computer system technology for development of new computer software systems. He designed some of the first computer programs to use the 'keyword' concept, presented at an IBM seminar. These keywords provided an easy look-up of documents filed in the Engineering Library, including Engineering drawings.
Bob retired from McDonnell Douglas in 1973. Along with his first wife, Donna, and his sons, Duke and Parke, he moved to Gainesville to open a franchise of the Taylor Rental Centers. Later he incorporated as Hunsaker Enterprises, Inc., and went independent with his rental store, Rental Mart/Party Headquarters.
Subsequently, with his second wife, Helen Liu, in charge of the Party Rental Division of Rental Mart, the company specialized in tents for weddings and special occasions for nearly 3 decades. In 2000, Bob sold the store and accompanying assets and retired. He never spent a day unemployed.
In the years following his retirement, Bob enjoyed traveling, golf, detailing his car and carpentry. He was a perfectionist; everything he did, he did well. There was nothing he could not fix. He would always lend a hand if it was needed.
A celebration of his life will be held at a later date, to be announced. In lieu of flowers please donate to Trinity United Methodist Church of Gainesville.


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Published in Gainesville Sun from May 22 to May 23, 2020.
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June 1, 2020
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May 22, 2020
Dear Helen,
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