Robert R. Coward, 81, of Issaquah, WA passed away Sunday, March 14, 2021, from complications of brain cancer.
He was born June 6, 1939, in New York, the son of the late Antonie and Harold Coward. He was involved in Boy Scouts in his younger years, participating in Montville Troop 74, and in high school played varsity football and baseball. After high school he enlisted in the Navy, serving aboard the carriers USS Oriskany and USS Kearsarge. His love of aircraft and boating was a large part of his life. While stationed at Naval Air Station Whidbey Island near Seattle he fell in love with the Pacific Northwest and decided to make it his home.
He married Jeanne Mercier and they moved to Issaquah, WA where they raised their daughters. They later divorced. Robert remained in Issaquah, working for Wilson Marine and Seattle Boat before recently retiring. As a retirement gift he was given a trip to Washington DC to see his name engraved on a wall at the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum, and enjoy sightseeing with members of his family.
Rob’s love of boating led him in the 1970s to join an unlimited hydroplane racing team, piloted by the legendary Bill Muncey. He was also very active with the NW Chapter of OCTA, the Oregon-California Trails Association, working on several trail restoration projects and participating in a multi day recreation of the Oregon Trail journey. He volunteered for the Seattle Veterans Museum, and was also a member of the Issaquah History Museum. One of his favorite things to do was go to the Museum of Flight and check out any new exhibits and catch the Blue Angels whenever he could. He was an avid reader and a “Friend of the Issaquah Library,” as well as looking forward to the Eugene, Oregon Library book sales each year.
He is survived by his daughters and their spouses, Melanie & Ben Bohren of Longmont, CO; Julie & Jim McGaughey of Eugene, OR and Susie & Mike Lambert of Bellevue, ID, and seven grandchildren, as well as his siblings Harriet Lewis of Loudon, TN and Peter Coward of Montville, NJ. He was pre- deceased by a brother David Coward of Portland, OR.
There are no services planned at this time, but rather his memory should be celebrated by his many friends and family who were part of his life.
Contributions in memory of Rob may be made to the Museum of Flight at www.museumofflight.org or OCTA – Oregon-California Trails Association at octa-trails.org.