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Robert Sylvester

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Robert O. SYLVESTER Bob was born in Seattle on August 20, 1914 and died on April 21st, 2011. Issaquah was his home in the early years, after which his family moved to Seattle where he graduated from Queen Anne High School, and in 1936, from the University of Washington where he received a degree in Civil Engineering and a commission as Ensign from the Naval ROTC. He also earned a Master's degree from Harvard University in 1941. In the summer of 1941 Bob was called to active duty in the Navy and served 4½ years throughout the Pacific Theater and along the Eastern Seaboard. Following the war, Bob remained active in the Naval Reserve, retiring in 1957 with the rank of Commander. Bob married Irene V. Olson on September 5, 1940 in Seattle where they raised two sons, Robert J. and James W. Irene preceded Bob in death after 66 years of marriage. He is survived by sons Bob (Michelle) of Bellevue, and Jim of Woodway; and grandsons Hunter, Alexander and Forrest. Bob was a Civil Engineering professor at the University of Washington over a period of 32 years, retiring in 1978 as Department Chairman. In 1994 Bob was presented with the College of Engineering's "Outstanding Alumni Achievement Award" in recognition of his outstanding contributions to the engineering profession. His professional teaching and research interests were centered around water resources and water quality in which he made many studies and reports on the regions fresh and salt water bodies. Bob was active in professional and scientific societies and was engaged as a consultant to numerous governmental agencies, industries and engineering consultants. In the late 40's and early 50's he made studies, prepared reports and served on committees leading to the formation of the municipality of Metropolitan Seattle (Metro). His primary avocation was sailing, both cruising and racing. He cruised with Irene and friends to French Polynesia, Alaska, across the Atlantic to the Mediterranean Sea and on to Egypt. Bob was a past commodore of the Seattle Yacht Club. A memorial will be held at the Seattle Yacht Club on June 5th at 3:00 pm.
Published in The Seattle Times from May 15 to May 22, 2011
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