Pittsboro—Robert Reece Donaldson, Jr. (Bob) passed away on May 7, 2019 in Pittsboro, North Carolina, at age 83 from heart disease. He leaves behind his wife of 54 years, Patricia McDaniel Donaldson of Pittsboro; nephews Todd Wilcox (Diane) of Portland, Oregon and Craig Wilcox of Boulder, Colorado; brother-in-law, Thorn McDaniel and niece Elisa McDaniel George, of Miami, Florida.
Many beloved relatives-in-law on the East Coast had the benefit of his kind and generous spirit including the The Allens of Raleigh, NC, The Spencers and the Reaves of Chapel Hill, NC the Dardens of Stovall, NC and the Reeves of Fayetteville, NC.
Bob was born in Oregon City, Oregon on September 24, 1935 to the late Robert Donaldson, Sr. and Charlotte Corbett Donaldson. The family were descendants of pioneers who went to Oregon in the days of the great Oregon Trail Migration of 1843.
Bob, a true scholar, received his PhD in Mechanical Engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1965. He taught at U.C. Berkeley and had a long career at the Lawrence Livermore Laboratory, where he led a team that developed the LODTM (Large Optics Diamond Turning Machine). It was operable in 1983 and "turned" high precision designer pieces for telescopes and other space components.
A contributor of note to science, he was bestowed the Leonardo da Vinci Award by the Society of Mechanical Engineers and was invited to join CIRP – the international research and engineering production society.
A memorial service will be held on June 23, Sunday at 12:30 at Galloway Ridge in Pittsboro, NC. Directions can be found at www.gallowayridge.com
Condolences may be made at www.donaldsonfunerals.com
Donaldson Funeral Home & Cremation is honored to serve the Donaldson family.