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Clifford Robert "Bob" Minner Jr.

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Clifford Robert "Bob" Minner Jr. was born Nov. 6, 1925, in Los Angeles to Vern Hestor Ringo Minner and Clifford Robert Minner Sr. Bob died at home Tuesday, April 7, 2009, of natural causes.
Bob attended school in Los Angeles and, upon graduation from high school in 1942, joined the Navy at age 17. After attending naval air schools in Norman, Okla.; Jacksonville, Fla.; and Hutchinson, Kan., he was assigned to Patrol Bombing Squadron 106 Crew 19 as plane captain and flew missions in the South Pacific during World War II. Whiskey, Bob's Russell terrier, accompanied the crew and logged over 600 flight hours before being sent stateside for the dog's safety.
After his discharge from the Navy, Bob returned to Los Angeles to attend Pepperdine College (now University) and graduated with a bachelor's degree in biology. He taught science courses at El Camino College in Torrance, Calif., before moving into flight test engineering in the aerospace industry. He worked on several aircraft development programs for Hughes Aircraft, North American Aviation and Rockwell International, including the F-15, B-52, B-70, B-1A, B-1B, and B-2 Stealth Bomber programs. Bob managed test programs at the White Sands Test Track, Holloman Air Force Base, at the Flight Test Center, Edwards, Air Force Base, Calif., and the Microwave/Randome Test Facility, Lamont, Calif. As a founding member of the S.A.F.E. Association, established to develop techniques for aircraft and space crew safety and survival, Bob helped develop many of the search and rescue techniques used today.
After retirement, Bob created a home woodshop and spent many hours crafting detailed replicas of steam locomotives and other projects.
Bob was a man of character and he lived his life with a deep sense of personal integrity. He committed himself to the role of family provider and happily joined with Madelyn to greet life's milestones. He raised his four children to be independent and was very proud of each of them. Bob had a great sense of humor and his laugh could fill a room - his tough exterior hid a big heart.
Bob is survived by his wife of 60 years, Madelyn, of Missoula, Mont.; two sons, James and his wife, Nancy, of El Monte, Calif., and Mark and his wife, Cindy, of Mill Creek, Wash.; two daughters, Michele, of Missoula, and Candy Holt and her husband, Neil, of Missoula; six grandchildren and several great-grandchildren. He is also survived by his brother Lester and his wife, Jeannine, of Utah.
At Bob's request, no services will be held. The family requests that in lieu of flowers, memorials may be sent in Bob's name to the Nature Conservancy of Montana, 32 S. Ewing, Helena, MT 59601; Missoula Food Bank, 219 S. Third W, Missoula, MT 59801; or Partners Hospice of Missoula, 2687 Palmer St., Ste. B, Missoula, MT 59808. Sunset Memorial Funeral Home assisted the family with arrangements.
Published in Alamogordo Daily News from Apr. 9 to Apr. 23, 2009
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