In Memory

Robert Edwards - Class Of 1955

Bob Edwards graduated from USMA, West Point, in the Class of 1959. He was killed in an auto accident on 5 Sep 1959.

Between 17 September 1937 and 5 September 1959, Bob packed into nearly 22years a life more eventful than many experi­ence in four such spans. His worldliness and curiosity about major geo-political issues made him seem, to us, mature beyond his years. One of many Army brats in the Class, Bob was not only streetwise, but "worldwise" as well.
Bob and his younger sister Priscilla both suffered and benefited from the rigors of their dad's military relocations, using their grandparents' home in Youngstown, Ohio as a whistle-stop between overseas tours in Germany, France and Hawaii. Youngstown high school's graduating Class of 1955 had a member in Bob who could have taught the faculty a thing or two about fluent conversational French , European history , politics and cuisine, theater and current world events.

His 5'8" stature landed him in the 6th Company of Beast Barracks and tagged him with the classification of "runt." He soon became a protector for his two roommates who were experiencin g military discipline and absence from home for  the first time. His tutoring in the arts of polishing brass and spit-shining shoes will forever be appreci­ated by those two neophytes . Bob took seriously that which really in­ terested him and wasted no more than neces­ sary energy on the rest.   Usually, the latest New York Times or Newsweek magazine had to be fully digested before taking on the study assignment of the day.

Not particularly fond of athletics, Bob spent his leisure time in pursuit of more refined activities, with an eye for attractive women and classic sports cars. Joining the Glee Club provided the opportunity to travel outside the gates, dine in fine restaurants and mix with  interesting, new acquaintances.

Bob reported early to Fort Knox for Armor Basic School. His eagerness to get on with his chosen career was evident to all during his early days of training . His former glib enjoyment of life was replaced with determination to follow his father's footsteps in the military. While enjoying Labor Day weekend driving on a winding road through a wooded area of Pulaski, Kentucky , Bob's new Triumph TR-3 hit a slippery spot and collided at low speed with a roadside tree. He died of injuries just three months after graduation, and left family and friends stunned at his loss. The big "little guy" who knew so much, who skillfully carved the choice cuts from what life had offered him , would not have the chance to continue making his family proud, his friends happy and his country richer for his considerable contributions.

One can only wonder what Bob Edwards, 35 years older, would have done in changing our world for the better --long after we transcended the need for his spit-polishing expertise. While we ponder his potential , we miss the friend he was, and the friend he would be today.

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01/15/19 11:26 AM #1    

John Guthrie (1955)

A very nice write-up about my close friend and both PAHS and USMA '59 classmate. Bob was a wonderful guy who made friends easily, had a great sense of humor and was an all-round "good guy". Bob was taken almost before he had time to set out on his chosen career as an Armor Officer.  One of these days we will all be reunited Bob - see you then.  John Guthrie

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