Robert Idelson

June 21, 1925August 5, 2018

Robert Mayer Idelson, 93, passed away Sunday afternoon, August 5, 2018 at the Tucker Hospice House in Kannapolis, NC.

Robert grew up during the years of the Great Depression. Born in 1925, he spent most of his childhood years moving from coast to coast with his parents, wherever jobs were available in the clothing industry for his parents. Bob graduated from high school in Long Island, NY and was recruited by the Army Air Corp at the age of 17 1/2. Major Idelson completed Radar Bombardier training in May 1945 and was in-route to the Marianna Islands to fly B-29’s when word of the bombing of Hiroshima was announced. He flew two combat missions during WWII; one to Honcho Island, Japan and the other, along with 2000 other planes over Tokyo Bay on VJ Day (August 14, 1945), marking the end against Japan. He then transferred to the Philippines and participated in the flyover of Manila in the celebration of Philippines Independence Day, July 4, 1946.

In December 1947, Bob married Rochelle Lorraine Marks, the love of his life.

Recalled to active duty in July, 1951, he flew 29 missions over Korea from Okinawa in B-29’s. During the period of 1954-1960, Bob spent his time flying classified reconnaissance missions with the 55th Air Reconnaissance (8th Air Force’s Strategic Air Command), flying missions from Turkey to Japan to Alaska while stationed in Topeka, KS. He continued his military career flying combat missions in Vietnam from 1966-1967 as a Squadron Navigator with the 309th Command Squadron flying C-123’s. Bob spent over 2000 hours flying in R-47’s during the Cold War conducting reconnaissance missions, as well as participating in missions flown daily up and down the coasts of the US mainland with the weather squadron, tracking the weather in emergency war routes.

He completed his time in the Air Force at the Tactical Air War Center at Eglin Air Force Base, Fort Walton Beach, FL from 1967-1969 as a staff officer, overseeing weapons systems on a night attack plane, the B-57G.

Following his retirement from the Air Force in 1969, Bob went to work for Westinghouse Defense and Space Center in Baltimore, MD. He worked as a systems integration and flight test manager. Bob continued at Westinghouse where he utilized his experience in radar and surveillance working in various middle management positions in the development of the AWAC’s early warning system, as well as in design of the F-16 radar. After his retirement from Westinghouse in 1989, Bob and Shelley moved to Matthews, NC in 1998 where he was active at the Carolinas Aviation Museum, the local DAV and VFW branches. He was also actively involved with the local government in Stallings, NC as well as the HOA in the community that Bob and Shelley resided in.

Bob was preceded in death by his wife, Rochelle (Shelley) Marks Idelson. He is survived by his children, Michael Idelson (Beth Schwartz), Jo Idelson Gottschalk (Shimon), Norman Idelson (Janet), and Kathryn Idelson Noftzger (Mike).

Bob is also survived by his grandchildren, Joe Robert Freeman, Amanda Freeman, Heather Tidwell, Shuli Gottschalk, Uri Gottschalk, Ariella Gottschalk, Tikkun Gottschalk, Christopher Idelson, Samantha Idelson, Brett Callaghan, Kevin Callaghan, Erin Callaghan, Matthew Callaghan, Andrew Wrist, Lexi Wrist, Michael Noftzger and Danielle Lucas.

He is also survived by 15 great-grandchildren.

A Celebration of Life will be held at his daughter Kathryn Noftzger’s home (635 Vega Street NW, Concord, NC 28027) on Saturday, September 8, 2018 from 9:00 AM – 11:30 AM.

A military internment will take place at Arlington National Cemetery, Arlington, Virginia. Date pending.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to your local Disabled American Veterans (DAV), Tucker Hospice House, Kannapolis, NC or Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) Organization.


Robert Idelson

have a memory or condolence to add?

Mike Noftzger

September 5, 2018

Cindy Kuntzelman

September 4, 2018

Bob - Thank you for everything. I love you like a second father and I feel privilege and honor to have had you in my life. I will miss you.

Mike Noftzger

September 3, 2018