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Robert W. Fett


1928 - 2013 Obituary Condolences
Robert W. Fett Obituary
CARMEL – Lt. Col. Robert W. (Bob) Fett died peacefully in Carmel on June 11, 2013 at the age of 84, surrounded by family and friends.
Robert W. Fett was a renaissance man; he was a scientist, philosopher, artist, musician, and poet. He was the beloved and devoted husband to Minnie L. Fett (Jinx) and the adored father of four and grandfather of seven.
Bob was born in Eagle River, Wisconsin on August 3, 1928, into a large and loving Swedish and German family. His parents Alice and Walter were high school sweethearts. The family left their Northwood's paradise and moved to Chicago due to the economic pressures of post depression life. After graduation from Lane Technical High School, he enlisted in the U.S. Air Force. After three years military service, he attended the University of Chicago in the era of Robert Hutchins and Mortimer Adler under the GI Bill of rights and graduated with a B.S. Degree in 1952. After graduation Bob reentered the U.S. Air Force as a First Lieutenant serving in the Air Force "Air Weather Service". It was in Chateauroux, France where the dashing Lieutenant wooed and captured the heart of the lovely "Jinx" Lichtman. She became his muse artistically, musically and in all aspects of his life. They were married in France and spent their time in France wandering the small streets and alleys of the Left Bank. They attended Edith Piaf concerts, and introduced their American friends to the delights of small cafes and the night clubs of Montmartre. They especially delighted in a small bohemian night club in St. Germaine des Prés, the Abbaye where Gordon Heath and Lee Payant enchanted the two lovers with folk songs in post WWII Paris. The clandestine club had an arrangement with the local gendarmes that required finger snapping instead of applause as not to disturb nearby tenants. Two daughters, Valerie and Kristi were born in France. Bob was a pilot in France, flying the T-33 jets and providing troop carrier flight operations. He received a M.S. Degree in meteorology from St. Louis University in 1960. Bob's military career flourished as he combined his scientific knowledge with his skill as a pilot. He flew scientific missions using C-130's into the eye of Southeast Asian Typhoons while based on the island of Guam. He also flew tactical scientific/reconnaissance missions over Viet Nam during the Viet Nam War. Two more children were born. His son Walter was born in Illinois and his youngest daughter, Emily in Maryland.
After 21 years of military service, Bob retired from the U.S. Air Force in 1971. Bob began his second career serving as Chief Scientist of the Tactical Applications Department, Naval Environmental Prediction Facility, at the Naval Research Laboratory in Monterey, California. He was the creator and developer of a voluminous study on worldwide weather phenomenon that supported U.S. Naval operations globally. He published 85 Meteorological articles, and won the "Rear Admiral Parson's Award" for important scientific achievements. Bob retired from the Naval Research Laboratory in 1992 but continued to contribute to the science of meteorology as a teacher and lecturer worldwide for many years.
His military honors included the World II Victory Medal, Viet Nam Service Medal, and the Viet Nam Campaign Medal, and various other medals and ribbons for Meritorious Service.
Bob was much more than his career accomplishments. He was the loving husband and soul mate of his wife, Jinx, for more than 55 years, the patient and devoted father of his four children and seven grand-children. He was an avid skier, conquering mountains worldwide. He loved and played tennis throughout his 84 years of life. He was a frequent contributor to the "Letters to the Editor" of the Monterey Herald Newspaper passionately advocating for peace, justice, the environment, and simple expressions of humanity in the face of chaos. He was a progressive that believed in the best of humanity and refused to give into cynicism. Bob loved animals believing as his favorite German philosopher Imanuel Kant said: "We can judge the heart of man by his treatment of animals."
Bob was predeceased by Jinx, but promised her that he would find her. He is survived by his four children, Valerie Fett-Harry, husband Peter, children Richard and Rachel; Dr. Kristi Dove, children Cassandra and Christopher; Walter R. Fett and wife Joanne, children Michael and Kevin, granddaughter Clarissa; and Emily Fett, children Orion, Sarah and Jason. He is also survived by his beloved sister Jan Benson and husband Robert, and nieces Gayle Sterrett and husband Martin and Debbi Raphael and husband Richard, and grand-niece Heather Tushner and grand-nephew Ronald Raphael.
Memorial Services will be held at the "Church of the Wayfarer", Lincoln and 7th Street, Carmel, Ca, on June 26, 2013 at 2:30 PM. In lieu of flowers, those wishing to make donations are encouraged to contribute in his name to the World Wildlife Fund and Doctors without Borders.
Published in The Monterey Herald on June 18, 2013
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