McLarens Resthaven Chapel & Mortuary
801 19th Street
West Des Moines, IA 50265
(515) 225-7225
More Obituaries for Robert Maddox
Looking for an obituary for a different person with this name?

Robert "Bob" Maddox Jr.

1923 - 2019
Robert "Bob" Maddox Jr. Obituary
Robert "Bob" Maddox Jr.

Urbandale - "Sometimes, when one person is missing, the whole world seems depopulated." Alphonse de Lamartine

Des Moines philanthropist Robert L. Maddox, Jr. peacefully passed away on July 28, 2019 after a full, wonderful life of 95 years and 9 months. He always knew how blessed he was and frequently remarked about it. A visitation will be held on Friday, August 2nd 2019 from 4:00 - 6:00 p.m. at Deerfield (13731 Hickman Rd, Urbandale, IA 50323). A memorial service will take place at 10:00 a.m. on Saturday, August 3rd 2019 at the Deerfield. Bob will be reunited with "Hap" in the Mausoleum at Resthaven Cemetery at 1:00 p.m. on Saturday, August 3rd 2019.

He was born November 1st, 1923 in Jackson, Mississippi to Nina Bowers Gunn Maddox and Robert Lee Maddox, Sr., the fourth of five children. He was the last surviving sibling of the five, including all spouses. Siblings and spouses, all preceding him in death, were Kathryn Gunn, Grover "Jack" Gunn (Dorothy), Mildred Gunn Villalon (Louis), and Paul Rand Maddox (Mary Lou). Also preceding him in death were Hap's two sisters, Lael Douglas (John) and Margaret Campbell Wearly (Gordon and Bill).

While a young child, the family moved to Alexandria, Louisiana, where Robert Maddox, Sr. underwent treatment for World War I-related health issues. This is where the family remained and where Robert, Jr. graduated from Bolton High School in 1941. He joined the Army Air Corps in 1943 and took his basic training at Wichita Falls, Texas. From there, he was sent to the University of North Dakota in Grand Forks for studies in becoming a bombardier and navigator in order to become an officer in the Air Corps.

It was there that he met his future wife, Hap, who was visiting her cousin.

From Grand Forks, he was sent to pre-flight school in Santa Ana, CA in 1944, and from there to Las Vegas, NV for gunnery school.

Around this time, he and Hap got married March 14, 1944 in Minneapolis, Minnesota, enjoying a brief honeymoon in Chicago.

Together, they moved to Carlsbad, NM where he went for further training as a bombardier and a navigator, graduating as a Second Lieutenant in 1944.

They then headed to Langley, VA where Bob went to radar school, graduating in 1944, and then proceeded on his own to Lincoln, NE to await his overseas assignment while Hap went to Minneapolis to await his eventual return.

While serving overseas, his first assignment was in India at Dud Kundi where he flew the Burma Hump, flying to Singapore and Rangoon, Burma, taking supplies to Mukden, China (bombs, gas, food, ammo).

His second and final assignment of the war was as a First Lieutenant on Tinian in the Mariana Islands in the South Pacific. He went there in February of 1945 and remained until October of that year, returning in the first group of B-29s to come back to the states after the war. While in Tinian, he flew 30 combat missions over Japan, receiving the Distinguished Flying Cross with one Oak Leaf Cluster as well as five air medals.

On a side note, while on Tinian, he trained 100 yards from Paul Tibbets and the crew of the Enola Gay who dropped the atomic bomb on Hiroshima.

As with many of the World War II generation, Bob returned a driven man, anxious to prove himself and to provide for his family. In 1950, he started Allied Construction Services, Inc. in Des Moines, Iowa with his good friend and brother-in-law, Gordon Campbell of Minneapolis. As it grew, Bob eventually bought out Gordon and acquired other companies that would complement the services Allied could offer as a subcontracting company. Color, Incorporated joined the ranks, along with Beckley Electric and Foreman Ford, though the latter two were eventually sold or closed. Many, if not most, of the Des Moines skyline includes the work of Allied Construction Services, Inc., which now has offices in Des Moines, Bettendorf, Peoria, Omaha, and Kansas City.

Something that bears almost as much pride within the family is the fact that Bob and Hap had 4 tickets to the University of Iowa Hawkeye football games since 1950. Only devoted Hawkeye fans can really appreciate that. Every home football game began on Saturdays with roasting peanuts and singing along to rousing college football music being played on the stereo.

Bob's hobbies included golf, travel, gin rummy and pitch. The former was first and foremost during his seeing years and as his vision diminished, the latter was his reason for being along with his pitch group. Such a competitive group of gentlemen you have never seen. He also lived and breathed the stock market. Although he retired from Allied Construction and turned it over to his son, Bob III, he continued to enjoy going into the office where he loved all the employees and the feeling was mutual. He had a continuing interest in everything Allied and loved to get updated on new projects. Allied always was and always would be his baby, no matter who was in charge. He had nurtured it since its very inception in 1950.

Active in the business community, both locally and nationally, he served on the Board of Directors of the Federal Home Loan Bank for two terms, the Board of Directors for Highland Park State Bank, the Board of Directors for Norwest Bank, the Board of Directors for West Bank, served as President, National Acoustical Contractors Association, President, Des Moines Construction Council for 3 terms, President, Greater Des Moines Committee, and President, Greater Des Moines Chamber of Commerce. He was also a member of Westminster Presbyterian Church, Des Moines Golf & Country Club, Za-Ga-Zig Shrine (since 1953), the Royal Order of Jesters, The Breakfast Club, Royal Poinciana Country Club, Naples, Florida and The Yacht Club, Naples, Florida. Bob and Hap spent winters in Florida for many years.

Bob believed in giving back to the community that had given so much to his family. He became a big philanthropist in Des Moines through the years, donating to Hoyt Sherman Place, Drake University, the Des Moines Foundation, and the Blank Park Zoo, among many others.

Of course, as the true family man that Bob was, nothing gave him greater pride---neither Allied nor the Iowa Hawkeyes---than his three children and his five grandchildren, to whom he was kind, loving and always generous. Eventually, he was also blessed with three great-granddaughters. Those left to forever cherish his memory include his lucky children Candy Trogolo (Jim), Melanie Balzer (John), and Bob III (LaRue), along with his always treasured grandchildren, Gretchen Balzer-Moylan (Mike), Erica Balzer Higgins (Chris), Cullen Powers, Evan Powers, and Stephanie Gerbig (Craig). He also leaves behind many nieces and nephews, many of whom traveled great distances to visit him.

His was a life well lived. In that vein, in lieu of flowers, please send them to someone you love. Should you like to make a donation to honor the life of Bob, please consider the , Office of Development, 2900 Rocky Point Drive, Tampa, FL 33607 (online link:, Unity Point Hospice, 3401 E. Douglas Avenue, Des Moines, IA 50317 (online link:>), or the Blank Park Zoo, 7401 SW 9th Street, Des Moines, IA 50315 (online link: ).

Online condolences and thoughtful memories can be shared on Bob's page at
Published in Des Moines Register from Aug. 1 to Aug. 3, 2019
Read More
Give others a chance to express condolences. Not right now.
Inform family & friends of Robert's passing.
More Information
Planning Guide
Send Me a Planning Guide
Planning ahead makes a big difference. Get Legacy's free funeral guide and know your advance options.