For several years, Bob Fall struggled to maintain a reasonable level of activity to accommodate his failing lungs. He was diagnosed with emphysema at age 36. His fight with COPD was lost in the early hours of July 19, 2016. Robert Henry Fall III was born January 18, 1929 to Clara Bowman Fall and Robert Fall Jr. in Arlington, MA. In 1931, Robert Fall Jr. moved his family to Albany, NH to be with Shell Oil. Bob attended school in a one room school building and often skied and biked to school. The family along with cousins and uncles summered in Conway, NH where he enjoyed life at Iona Lake. He had fond memories of boating, tenting, swimming and much family participation. In 1941, Bob was enrolled in Boston Latin School and graduated in 1946 after having spent many hours on hockey ice and football fields. He was accepted at Tufts College, but the US Navy beckoned him in 1947 when his obligation to repair his friend’s totaled car took the money that was reserved for Tufts. He went to basic training at the US Training Command, Bainbridge, MD as a Seaman Recruit followed by A School in Jacksonville, FL. (‘47-‘52) His primary job was Aviation Electrician and then Plank Owner of USS Coral Sea (’52) and Plank Owner of ATU 601 as Petty Officer 1st Class Electrician and Flight Crew at NAS Hutchinson, KS. In May ’55 he entered Officer Candidate School in Newport, RI graduating as an Ensign and assigned as electrical officer on USS Wisconsin, where he was promoted to LTJG (’57-’59). He was Weapons Officer on USS A.J. Harris and left as LT. He was ASW instructor in Key West, FL until January ‘61 and served as OIC of Mobile Training Team for 6 months. For 2 years he was CIC Officer on USS Boston. He married Marilyn Bellini in 1964 while on duty as OPS Officer in Keflavik, Iceland. He commanded the USS Pivot for 2 years as LCDR and a command at NAVFAC Sosus, Lewis, DE. At COMINLANT Charleston, SC he served in Readiness and Training and in ’71 and ’72, Plans Officer CARDIV2 (CDR). At Language School in Monterey, CA, he prepared for duty in Ankara Turkey where he enjoyed interaction with the Turkish Navy. From ’76-’78 while serving as Executive Officer for Fleet CORGRU2 he earned his BA from St. Leo College and began to teach classes soon afterward; with an MA in HRA from Pepperdine, he was an adjunct professor followed by counselor and Assistant Director at St. Leo. When teaching became stressful and a disadvantage for his students, he retired. He was a member of Delta Epsilon Honors Society and Delta Nu. He joined ManTech and was Asst. Technical Director when he left in 1985 to join HL Financial Resources then, Systems Exploration as Operations Research Director. He sold insurance with Phoenix HomeLife for several years but when the company moved to Newport News, his interest waned. In 1996, Bob’s extraordinary volunteer life began with Citizen’s Police Academy. He was one of the first graduates of that group and revised the entire curriculum. TRIAD members know that Bob was a founding father of VB Triad 2000. He served as chair for 3 years and was a voting member of the State Board of Triad for 2 years. Kempsville AARP knew him as a committed member who willingly participated in activities of the club and promoted the mission of AARP for many years, one of which was to provide free tax assistance to seniors. He introduced the File of Life Program in VB which provided medical info for emergency personnel. He was a volunteer in VICAP and involved in RSVP when he served on the Medicare, Medicaid Fraud Team and a LTC counselor. He was called on to help TRIAD members maneuver through the Medicare D maze several years ago. In 1996 he joined Kempsville Lions Club and served in different capacities. He enjoyed perfect attendance for 15 years. He actively participated in all ventures of the club from cooking hot dogs for craft shows to selling brooms and trees; the projects were all about the comradery he loved. He became a Melvin Jones Fellow in 1998 and 2001 and won Lion of the Year in 1997. He kept his membership active although unable to participate any longer. In 2005, Bob was asked to join a group to support the Police Dept, Project Lifesaver. Bob wrote the organizational paper and applied for grants for necessary equipment for those in need. He was a Samaritan House volunteer in 1998 and for years afterward as Intake Coordinator and revised the curriculum. He was a proud docent on the USS Wisconsin and HR Naval Museum accumulating over 1,000 hours on this ship he loved. In 1999 he received the Mayor’s Award for Exceptional Accomplishment in Service to Seniors and in 2008 Consumer Recognition Award by all of the people and organizations he served. From 2008-2012, Bob enjoyed being a part of his favorite group, The Mayor’s Commission on Aging and extended his association until 2016 as advisory to the Commission. He was a lifetime member of Fleet Reserve Assoc., Naval Institute, Retired Officer’s Assoc., and MCOA. Commendation medals awarded: Turkey 1973-75, COMINALANT 1965-71, ComCarDiv2. Military medals: Naval Unit USS Philippine Sea, Korean Presidential Unit Citation, Korean Service with 5 Combat Stars, Republic of Vietnam Unit Citation with Gallantry Crest, Vietnam Service with 7 Combat Stars, Area and Theater Ribbons, Good Conduct 3 years (enlisted).
He was preceded in death by his parents, Robert and Clara Bowman, his sister Margaret Ann Fall, brother in law Theodore Reppucci, Aunt Margaret T. Bowman, Aunt Dorothy Manning, and several other family members. Left to remember him, his wife of 52 years Marilyn Catherine Bellini Fall, their son Christopher, wife Sandra Wilkniss and children Alexandra and Leonardo of Arlington, VA., their daughter Alison Brinkmann, husband Stephen and his children Nicholas (CT) and Rhena (WA); his sister Claire Reppucci of Medford, MA, her children, and extended family on the east coast His life was one of service to his fellow man, particularly seniors in need of assistance. He was a true humanitarian who gave his time and resources to make this a better community. A Celebration of Life will be held at Altmeyer Funeral Home in Virginia Beach, VA on August 28, 2-4pm. Burial will be at Arlington National Cemetery at a later date. Should you care to donate in his honor, please consider Project Lifesaver or Kempsville Lions Club.
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