Dunbar Funeral Home (Devine)

3926 Devine ST, Columbia, SC


Mr. Robert D Wilroy Sr.

June 21, 1926July 31, 2020

COLUMBIA - Robert D. Wilroy of died Friday, July 31, 2020.

Born in Dallas, Texas in 1926, he was the son of Mr. and Mrs. William Stanley Wilroy. He was graduated from Denton High School, Denton, Texas in June 1942 and started to North Texas State College the same summer. He joined the US Navy V-5 program in July 1943. Upon obtaining his Naval Aviator Wings, he joined the fleet as a fighter pilot. In his seven years of active duty and seventeen years in the Naval Reserve, he qualified as a pilot in the SNB, SNJ, T-34 and SNB training planes, the F4U-1B,-4 and -5 Corsair, the AD-4 and AD-5 Skyraider, TBM Avenger torpedo bomber, the AM-1 Martin Mauler, PBY-3 and -5 Catalina patrol bomber, the F4F Wildcat, F6F Hellcat, F9F Panther Jet, the FJ-3 and -4 Fury, the F8U Crusader, and the C54 transport. He accumulated over 6,000 hours of flight time, served in the North Pacific during World War II, flew in the Berlin airlift, and made 394 safe carrier landings in propeller planes including over 40 night landings all on old straight deck Navy carriers – Wright, Saipan, Kearsarge, FDR, Midway and Coral Sea. During his Navy career he was stationed in Corpus Christi, Texas; Pensacola, Florida; Jacksonville, Florida; Alameda, California; Pacific Fleet; Quonset Point, Rhode Island; Norfolk, Virginia; Oceana, Virginia; and 6th fleet in the Mediterranean Sea.

On return to civilian life, he completed his BS in Civil Engineering at Southern Methodist University and his Master’s Degree in Civil Engineering at Georgia Tech. He completed three additional years in Advanced Environmental Engineering studies at Georgia Tech. He taught hydraulic engineering at the University of Tennessee and Georgia Tech. He obtained his first Professional Engineering license in 1957. He obtained his PE license in fourteen states and was certified by the National Council of Engineering Examiners.

During his professional life he was senior engineer in charge of design, supervision of construction, and training of operators for 26 municipal water treatment plants, 31 municipal wastewater treatment plants and over 200 industrial wastewater treatment plants involving industrial waste water from paper mills; food processing - frozen food vegetables, and pickle manufacturing; meat processing- chicken, fish, hogs, and cattle; textile waste water-wool scouring, dyeing, cloth processing, production of textile dyes; chemical wastewater from metal plating, circuit board manufacturing, battery production, automobile parts and assembly line waste water, nuclear waste reprocessing, aircraft paint stripping waste; dairy waste runoff, hog farm waste, and cattle feed lot waste; and both hazardous and nonhazardous waste landfills. Most of the industrial facilities were in the USA, but some were in France, Germany, Honduras, Italy, México, Saudi Arabia and South Africa.

He has been an active life member in good standing in the American Society of Civil Engineers, (ASCE), American Water Works Association (AWWA), and Water Environment Federation (WEF) for over 60 years and in the Water Environment Association of SC and the Georgia Water and Pollution Control Association for over 35 years and served as president of the Georgia Association in 1969. He received the “Engineer of the Year Award” from the SC Chapter of WEF in 2003 and the SC Chapter of ASCE’s “Lifetime Achievement Award” in 2005.

Before and after his retirement at 82, he tutored and mentored numerous young professionals, including dear friends serving as his pallbearers. He wrote five training manuals for young engineers preparing for the PE exam.

He is survived by his wife of 70 years, Marian Wilroy; his daughter, Jane Wilroy Trinkley; and many nieces and nephews and their children. He was preceded in death by his son, Robert D. Wilroy, Jr.; his sisters, Faye W. Smith, Ida Lea Downs and Dulcie Ann Wilroy; and one brother, John Ray Wilroy.

Funeral service will be at 9:00 a.m. on Wednesday, August 5, 2020 at Dunbar Funeral Home, Devine Street Chapel, Columbia, SC, with burial to follow at Greenlawn Memorial Park.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the Robert D. Wilroy Jr. Scholarship Fund in Chemical Engineering at Clemson University, Office of Development, 110 Daniel Drive, Clemson, South Carolina 29631.

Dunbar Funeral Home understands the importance of health and safety during these difficult times. Due to the current Covid-19 pandemic, services will have social distancing and mandatory mask policy. Thank you for your extra vigilance and thinking of others when practicing safety protocols.

Memories may be shared at www.dunbarfunerals.com.


  • Funeral Service

    Wednesday, August 5, 2020

  • Burial

    Wednesday, August 5, 2020


Mr. Robert D Wilroy Sr.

have a memory or condolence to add?

Ervin West

August 4, 2020

I had the great fortune of being one of those young people that Mr. Wilroy spent his own personal time to teach us at the Monday Night Classes. He never turned anybody way that needed assistance and gave it to you in a way that made you a better person after you asked, pointing you in the right direction for your own improvement.
I know of no other man that was so outstanding in his manner and caring to every one he met. The mold was definetly broken when he came in to this world and it is our great loss that he is now gone.
May God bless him and his family.
Ervin & Donna West

Timothy Flagg

August 4, 2020

May God's special blessing of peace be with you, Marian and Jane, and may He favor you with consolation as He takes your beloved Robert to Himself to make ready for your eventual happy reunion.

With loving prayers from Tim Flagg and your Christendom College family.

Lisa and CB Hancock

August 3, 2020

Jane and Marian,
We are very sorry for your loss of "Uncle Bob." So sorry that we never met him, but we heard so much about him and it truly sounds like he lived an abundant life and touched many other lives around the world. We hope that you will find peace and comfort in the tough days ahead and in knowing that you comforted him until his end of time.
Our deepest sympathy to you both and your family.

Bill Davis

August 3, 2020

I worked with Bob at WK Dickson in the late 1990's. He was one of the best engineers I ever worked with. His practical knowledge or wastewater treatment plants was second to none! He once told me that he had designed 67 wastewater plants in his lifetime (he was only 70 years old so given that he had to be in his early 20's before he designed one, he designed more than 1 plant a year, on average, his whole career). I also fondly remember a glass enclosed slide rule he had in his office. There was a statement under the slide rule that said "Break Glass in Case of Power Outage". Bob was a patriot and a great friend! Rest in Peace RDW...


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