Robert Burns Crowell
September 21, 1911 – June 3, 2013
Robert Burns Crowell, Commander USN (Ret), passed peacefully into the Lord’s presence at age 101 on 3 June, 2013. Since 1990 he resided at Fleet Landing Retirement Community, Atlantic Beach, FL. Bob was a native of Walden, NY born 21 September, 1911. In high school he was class president all four years. After graduation he enlisted in the Navy, attended the Naval Academy Prep School, then based in Norfolk, VA, and graduated from the Academy with the Class of 1934. After commissioning Bob initially served on surface ships, then went to flight school in 1936, and while there he married Beth Griggs from Ruby, SC. Bob earned his wings and flew for four years, then returned to line duty and was aboard USS Benham just shortly before the bombing of Pearl Harbor. In WWII he served in the Pacific on destroyers and cruisers participating in the Doolittle raid on Tokyo, the battles of Midway, the Aleutians, and Iwo Jima, and went ashore in Yokosuka as one of the first US naval officers to set foot in Japan after the surrender. After WWII Bob served in Washington with BUSHIPS, in Subic Bay, Norfolk, sea duty command in European waters, and with the reserves in Miami. Bob’s main occupational specialty afloat and ashore was engineering. He retired in 1960. In retirement Bob was a successful stock broker in Miami, Fl where he lived for thirty years. He was an avid jogger and walker and kept himself physically fit well into his nineties. Bob was a faithful follower of Jesus Christ and was active serving in church leadership. He and his wife Beth moved to Fleet Landing, Atlantic Beach, FL in 1990. There he practiced his master gardening skills raising beautiful roses which he gave away in their dozens to delighted residents and gained the nickname “Rose-man”. Bob was counted among the ten oldest U.S. Naval Academy alumni for several years. Even into his final days Bob maintained that sunny, cheerful, selfless, and un-complaining disposition for which he was so admired. He is greatly missed; his departure leaves a void not easily filled but our loss is greatly brightened by the certainty of his boundless eternal reward. He has crossed the bar and now sees his Pilot face to face. Bob was predeceased by his adoring, devoted wife Beth in 2003 after 67 years of marriage. He is survived by his son Robert Jr; two daughters Nancy Piper and Betsy Schroeder; seven grandchildren; and seventeen great-grandchildren. Memorial services will be held graveside in Ruby, SC.