Robert Louis Helmreich
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Robert "Bob" Louis Helmreich Robert "Bob" Louis Helmreich died peacefully at his home in Granite Shoals, Texas on July 7, 2012. He was born April 29, 1937, the son of Ralph and Caroline Helmreich. He received his BS, MS, and PhD from Yale University. After receiving his bachelor's degree magna cum laude in 1959, he served in the U.S. Navy for four years, leaving the service as Executive Officer of the USS Decatur (DD936). Returning to Yale, Bob received his PhD in 1966 and joined the department of psychology at the University of Texas at Austin as Assistant Professor. He was promoted to Full Professor in 1969 and served on the faculty until 2007 when he retired and was named Professor Emeritus. During his career, Bob's research focused on group behavior in challenging environments such as undersea exploration, aviation, space, and the medical operating room. He received the University of Texas' highest award, the Pro Bene Meritus Award in 2005. For his contributions to aviation safety, Bob received the Flight Safety Foundation Lifetime Achievement Award and the Franklin Taylor Award of the American Psychological Association. He authored more than two hundred monographs and books. Bob is survived by his life partner of 32 years, Carlos Canales. Together, Bob and Carlos shared the enjoyment of travelling, collecting cars, boating, Texas football, and relaxing at their lakefront home. A celebration of Bob's life will be announced at a later date. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests memorials to The Ralph and Caroline Helmreich Endowed Presidential Fellowship, College of Liberal Arts - Development Office, 116 Inner Campus Drive, STOP G6000, Austin, TX 78712. Condolences may be offered at Arrangements are under the direction of Clements-Wilcox Funeral Home of Marble Falls.

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Published in Austin American-Statesman on Jul. 15, 2012.
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12 entries
April 18, 2013
Rest in Peace my Mentor.
Joey Anca
December 12, 2012
I never knew Professor Helmreich but I have read, and also referenced, many of his papers. He inspired me as I researched and wrote up my honours thesis with his amazing work in the field of aviation safety. I think we both shared a passion from CRM and his contributions are so significant... Thanks for all your work in our field :)
Emily Yossef
November 21, 2012
Bob (aka Fangio) was one of my closest friends at Yale. When I saw yesterday in the Alumni Magazine that he had died memories, as you might expect, came flooding back. Way too many beers at Phi Gam. Spinning out in his Truimph in the New Haven salt flats and hovering over it in the garage. The "Fangio-Bumpkin Award." Long, late-night conversations about his LSD experiments (with rats, lest anyone panic). And a million instances of just being friends.

If any of Bob's college buddies want to communicate, it's


Bill Tobin
September 8, 2012
Dr. Helmreich was my favorite prof at UT in 1969. His teaching made my world larger and I'll always remember him. Also I remember he was one of the professors pushing the city to allow an anti war demonstration. He marched at the front of the the throng of students, and the demonstration was approved by the city at the last minute. I still love telling friends about the FYE, recounting his stories about humans in space and undersea.
Pamela Maupin
July 18, 2012
Carlos, I'm so sorry for your loss. Don't need to tell you what a great guy Bob was, how sweet and gracious he was to all his friends. I'm so glad to consider myself as one. We'll all miss his charm and quick wit!
Greg Walden
July 18, 2012
Bob was one of a kind. From the early days of Crew Resource Management, his was our guiding light and path to the future. When I had questions, Bob had answers. Over the years, he became not only a mentor but a dear friend. Bob, we'll miss you but are all the better for your having passed our way. God Bless. Captain Alan Price/Delta Air Lines
Alan Price
July 17, 2012
Bob was truly one of the most amazing people I have ever know in my life. I still marvel at his brilliance and how much I am going to miss him. Greg & I have so many wonderful memories of Bob and will always cherish them. He was so well rounded as a human being...We would watch UT sports together and complain about the Longhorn Network and DeLoss Dodds then hopefully after the game and sharing a Longhorn victory(or disappointment in a loss) we would settle in to watch some Tosh.O, Mike & Molly,even Swamp People or possible a new movie that Carlos had gotten. Carlos please know that Greg & I are here for you and we plan to continue to make a lifetime full of memories sharing life with you. Also know that Bob is always with us in our hearts and the memories we will always share.
Debbie Rodgers-Pitts
July 15, 2012
Carlos, I haven't seen you or Bob in years, but I remember fondly the times when we were together at your home on Lake Austin. I know you will have many other friends to rely upon, but you should also know that I am available if you should need anything.
John McCarty
John McCarty
July 12, 2012
Bob played an important role in my career and life. He showed confidence in this small-town Mississippi boy after I showed interest in his work as an undergrad at UT. He sponsored me for a research class and eventually hired me part-time while I applied for graduate school. He wrote a wonderful recommendation to help me get into grad school, and my experience working with him helped open other doors for me in my career. He leaves a great legacy and saved many lives as a result of his work, I'm sure. He will be missed. -Paul
Paul Roithmayr
July 11, 2012
Bob was instrumental as a mentor for my doctoral research in the psychology of flight crew interaction and CRM. Although he was a few years younger than I, his maturity and insights made him seem much older, and certainly much wiser. He will be sorely missed by his many aviation and academic associates.
Tom Sams
July 10, 2012
Bob's life touched so many people, including us. We are so proud to have been able to call him our friend. He was special. Ken and Kathy King (Kerrville, TX)
July 10, 2012
I will always fondly recall good memories of Bob. He was very sharing of his well lived life, not only with his close friends, but with his collegues and students. Carlos, I was deeply saddened to hear of your loss. Peace, prayers and blessings to you along with my and Victor's thoughts.
William Hines
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