Robert H. Van Leeuwen

May 28, 1927November 4, 2018

Van Leeuwen, Robert H. (Bob)

The son of John H. and Ruth (Mudd) Van Leeuwen, was born on a farm near Saint Paul, Kansas on May 28, 1927. He was preceded in death by his Mother and Father, his wife Dolores Ann, brothers Jack, Hubert, Donald and Leroy, and his sisters Rosella Marnell, Vera Karleskint, Mary Jean Seidl, Delia Seiwert, infant Cecilia and one son Ronald Edward. He is survived by his two daughters Patricia (Donald) Ward and Cheryl (Paul) Robinson, three sons Robert Joseph (Camela), Gary Francis and Randall John, nine grandchildren Kelli Jo (Brian) Wynne, Andrew (Melanie) Van Leeuwen, Trevor (Natalie) and Haley Van Leeuwen, Jacob and Lucas Van Leeuwen, Johnathan and Julia Ward (twins), Mia Robinson, and two great grandchildren Jaxson and Lilyanna. He is also survived by one brother, Jerry of Saint Paul, Kansas.

He lived on the farm near Saint Paul, Kansas and managed it from 1944 until 1950 when he joined the United States Air Force and served for four years. He served in the Korean War in 1952 and after leaving the service he moved to Dayton, Ohio where he married Dolores Ann Pleiman. He worked at Gentile Air Force Depot from 1955 until 1962 when he was transferred to Wright Patterson Air Force Base. While there he had numerous assignments and traveled to many Air Force Bases and repeatedly to the Pentagon in Washington, D.C. In 1980 he was appointed to be the Project Manager to procure and install a Top Secret Computer System known as the World Wide Military Command and Control System (WWMCCS) for the Wright Patterson Air Force Base and the five Air Force Depots. The project, a precursor to the internet, was completed in 1984 and he retired shortly thereafter. He later worked twelve additional years for Air Force contractors in the Dayton area. Bob was a graduate of the University of Dayton and ushered UD basketball games for many years. Go Flyers! Bob was a member of the Knights of Columbus since 1945 and a member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars. Our family would like to thank the staff of the Carlyle House and Hospice of the Miami Valley for the loving care they provided Bob.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 11:30 A.M. on Friday, November 9, 2018 at Immaculate Conception Catholic Church, 2300 S. Smithville Rd. with Father Satish Joseph presiding. Entombment will follow at Calvary Cemetery. A visitation will be held on Thursday, November 8 from 5:00 until 8:00 P.M. at Tobias Funeral Home - Belmont, 648 Watervliet Ave., Dayton, 45420 and on Friday from 10:30 until 11:30 at the church. Condolences may be expressed to the family at


  • Visitation Thursday, November 8, 2018
  • Visitation Friday, November 9, 2018
  • Mass of Christian Burial Friday, November 9, 2018

Robert H. Van Leeuwen

have a memory or condolence to add?

Gary Van Leeuwen

November 23, 2018

My dad would often say that "every young adult should join the service." He meant that the military taught you discipline and honor... Dad was that, honored to serve and he was well-disciplined for life's struggles....
He was a great father in so many ways, a teacher and adviser to his kids. He taught us to work hard and be kind to others. He was good at budgeting his money.... He took us to many places in the United States and once to Canada I'm pretty sure. He took us to visit his mom and family in KS nearly every year.
I'm surprised not many folks have written about him here; I was reluctant to but here I am. He was a popular man in Dayton, OH...
He, my mom and their son, Ron, were my three best-est friends.

Randall Van Leeuwen

November 13, 2018

What can I say about my Father. I so enjoyed these stories about him from people I barely knew, like Jim Snow, Martha and the one who went through Korea, Gentile and WPAFB with him. You wer'nt kidding when you said, many parallels. Three major parts of his life. The only part you missed was him growing up on the farm. Talk about hard work and discipline. At 16, after his Dad contracted TB, he told my Father 'Bob, your not the oldest, but you're going to run this farm.' Do you think this played apart in him staying on 3 yrs., past his retirement to complete, and finish WWMCCS. A feat 3 people before him, retired, and left unfinished. His Commander at that time, said. "Bob, you'll go down in history for this." A feat he was very proud of yet never bragged or boasted. It just 'Needed to be done.' Like getting the whole crop in before it went South, or the tornado, that was coming through, took it. Little things like that.
Well all I can say is I am so proud of being his youngest son, the one he almost forgot about, and to have him as my Father.
There, I could say more but space is limited.
Randall J. VL

James Snow

November 10, 2018

So sorry hear late of Bob's passing. I have known his whole family very well for over 50 years. I always loved how he would "hold court" for breakfast daily at the Bob Evans restaurant on Woodman Drive and Linden Avenue. My father (also a WPAFB retiree) and I always enjoyed seeing Bob there sharing stories with a gathering of friends. R.I.P. Robert

Joseph Lewis

November 9, 2018

I met Bob at Gentile Air Force Depot and worked wit him there, until we both were transferred to Wright Patterson in 1962. Bob was an outstanding human being and will be missed and long remembered. We shared much in being being raised during the great depression, experiencing world war 2 and serving during the Korean War. Our lives have many parallels ( if that is possible). I offer my sincere condolence to all of his family.

martha phipps

November 7, 2018

I will miss Bobby he was so sweet and put up with my military humor. He will be missed but is no longer in pain