Taps Hoover


Taps- HooverRobb

                  Robb Lee Hoover
                         Aug 5, 1935 - Oct 29, 2012

Robb Lee Hoover was born in Logansport, IN. He spent his high

 school  days in Green Bay, Wisconsin and attended the

University of Wisconsin - during that time he became an avid

Packer fan. He enlisted in the
 Army for  four years, then moved

 to Milwaukee where he met a young nurse, Shirley Howard. He

realized his true ambition was the military, so this time he

decided to try the Air Force as an Aviation Cadet. He later

 graduated from  Washburn University, Topeka, KS. He became

 an Electronic Warfare  Officer (EWO). His first operational

 assignment was Forbes AFB, KS as an EWO in the 55th   Strategic

 Reconnaissance Wing. Next, he went to Yokota AFB Japan followed by Kadena AFB Okinawa as

 a RC-135 EWO. Then back  to HQ SAC Reconnaissance Center at Offutt. After a tour in RAF

 Mildenhall UK, he returned to Offutt as a HQ SAC Intelligence officer until his retirement in

 1981. After retiring from the Air Force, he worked as a senior  military analyst for Science

 Applications International Corporation (SAIC) for 20 years. Robb was involved with

 the 55th Wing Association, Omaha World Affairs Council, Offutt Book Club, Strategic Roost of

 the Association  of Old Crows, CASH Investments and Romeo breakfast group. Robb received

many awards in his life, including: "Hoover Auditorium" at Maxwell AFB AL and "Hoover

 Lounge" at the 343rd Reconnaissance  Squadron at Offutt. In 2006, he was Grand Marshall at

 Bellevue, NE Veteran's Day Parade. He is survived by his wife of 50 years, Shirley, son Grant and

 his wife Kara Schweiss, daughter Lisa Curtis and her husband Les; three grand children Amelia

 Lambert and Brock and Quinn Hoover; and brother-in-law Bill and Linda Howard,

 Beloit Wisconsin; plus several nieces and nephews. Robb's stories, wit and love will be greatly

 missed by his family, friends and Air Force buddies. He was truly a wonderful man.

VISITATION Thursday, November 1, 2012, 6-8pm at Anderson Grove Presbyterian Church at

 12005 S. 36th St. Bellevue.

MEMORIAL SERVICE Friday, November 2, 2012, 3pm at Capehart Chapel at 25th & Capehart,

 Bellevue. Robb's ashes will later be interned in the Veteran's cemetery that is soon to be built.

 In lieu of flowers  the family requests memorials to:

55th Wing Association, Inc.

 P.O. Box 13165

 Offutt AFB, NE 68113.

Heafey-Heafey-Hoffmann Dworak-Cutler - 2202 Hancock St Bellevue   - 02-291-5000

 article photo                                                                            
           Robb Hoover            Airman, historian was avid listener
He was a warrior but also kind, intellectual and soft-spoken. That's how friends and family described retired Air Force Lt. Col. Robb Hoover of Bellevue, who died Monday from heart failure at 77.“To meet Robb, he'd almost give you the idea that he was a rumpled professor,” said longtime friend and fellow Air Force retiree Max R. Moore of Bellevue. “He was a listener. He was interested in what other people thought.”

As a Cold War electronic warfare officer, Hoover flew reconnaissance missions in the Soviet Arctic and on the periphery of North Korea and China. He also flew sorties during the Vietnam War.

A recipient of the Distinguished Flying Cross and numerous other awards, he served in Japan, Okinawa and England and at bases in the U.S. As a senior intelligence analyst at Strategic Air Command headquarters at Offutt Air Force Base, he designed and flew as an observer on recon missions that enhanced the U.S. understanding of Soviet air defenses.
Hoover retired at Offutt Air Force Base in 1981 and then worked 20 years as an analyst for a defense contractor.

He served as historian for the Air Force's 55th Wing Association  and organized many symposiums and events, including “Tales of the 55th.” He was interviewed by the History Channel and on C-SPAN and was a source for author William E. Burrows for his book about the men who flew secret reconnaissance missions, “By Any Means Necessary.”

Hoover was inducted last year into the 55th Wing Hall of Fame.Hoover Auditorium at Maxwell AFB is named for him, as is the Hoover Lounge at Offutt.
He loved the legacy of the Strategic Air Command and attended its post-Cold War stand-down ceremony at Offutt in 1992. He lamented SAC's coming to an end. “That was such an emotional event,” he told me in July. “SAC was this magnificent military instrument that had done so much and was so strong, revered and powerful — and to think that it was being abolished.”

Robb Hoover got to know lots of reporters over the years. I called him last week because of a column I was writing about the 50th anniversary of the Cuban Missile Crisis. He was helpful, as always. But I later learned from his family that when I reached him at home, he was preparing to leave for the hospital, having not felt well the past couple of weeks. Still, he took my call. “Robb was always out to help other people,” said his wife of 50 years, Shirley. “He was always doing things with the Air Force. He loved his family first, then the Air Force and the Green Bay Packers.”

He grew up in Green Bay and met fellow Wisconsin resident Shirley, a nurse. They have two adult children in the Omaha area, Grant Hoover, a former Marine helicopter pilot, and Lisa Curtis, an occupational therapist. Also, three grandchildren.

Robb underwent heart bypass surgeries in 1986 and 1995 and lived with a pacemaker and defibrillator. After a 50th anniversary trip to Cancun this summer, Shirley said, he began not feeling well. He stayed active in the months since then, but his heart gave out at a hospital at 4:30 a.m. Monday.

 A visitation is set for 6 to 8 p.m. Thursday at Anderson Grove Presbyterian Church, 12005 S. 36th St., with a funeral service 3 p.m. Friday at the Capehart Chapel at Offutt.

Thomas Gouttierre, director of the Center for Afghanistan Studies at the University of Nebraska at Omaha, knew Hoover for decades through the Omaha World Affairs Council.
“Robb was so positive, his face full of enthusiasm,” Gouttierre said. “He was a generous, spirited guy with a penetrating interest in ideas that related to global affairs.”

My last image of Robb was from a few weeks ago. When I mentioned the SAC legacy to an audience of retired military officers and spouses, he smiled and tapped his heart.
His heart finally gave out, but his love for the Air Force, the 55th Wing and SAC will be remembered.

              ......... Michael Kelly, World Herald staff writer

Funeral Program