Robert Charles Phares

October 14, 1946January 18, 2018

Robert Charles Phares, 71, of Farragut, TN, died on January 18, 2018 at the University of Washington Medical Center after a 13 year battle with Acute Myelogenous Leukemia.

Robert was born October 14, 1946 in Lincoln, Nebraska to the late Edwin and Margaret (Anderson) Phares of Oak Ridge, TN. At two years of age Robert moved with his parents to Oak Ridge where his father began his work at the Biology Division of Oak Ridge National Laboratory. After graduating from Oak Ridge High School (1964), Robert continued his education at Duke University and in 1968 graduated with a degree in Electrical Engineering and a commission in the United States Navy Reserve. Robert trained to be a Supply Corps officer in Athens, Georgia and was then deployed to Viet Nam for a year. Upon his return to the states in 1970 he wed Peggy Anne Francis at Sacred Heart Church (now Cathedral) in Knoxville. Robert completed his active duty commitment at the Bangor Munitions Depot in western Washington state. He continued to serve as a Navy reservist for more than 20 years retiring at the rank of Commander.

To update and further his engineering education, Robert earned a Master's degree in Electrical Engineering at the University of Tennessee Knoxville (1974). He then began a rewarding career in consumer electronics that included working for Motorola in pager development in Plantation, Florida; Elographics in early development of touch screen technology in Oak Ridge; Elo Touch Systems a subsidiary of Tyco Electronics continuing touch screen development in Knoxville; Aspen Touch Solutions of Colorado as Chief Technical Officer; and for The Bergquist Company of Minnesota as a consultant in touch screen manufacture. In addition Robert was a managing and working partner in db Electronics in Knoxville. At the the time of his death he was working as a business and trial consultant. Robert's work, which took him to places around the world, has touched the lives of millions of people and will continue to do so wherever touch screens are used. He often reflected on how exciting it was to be able to work on cutting edge technology. He was proud to be listed as "inventor" for the two patents he received while working for Elo Touch Systems.

Robert is survived by his wife of 48 years Peggy (Francis) Phares of Farragut; his children Melissa Phares (Michael Savage), Charles Phares (Julie), and Allison Phares all of Seattle, WA; and his grand daughters Brooke Phares and Maeve Savage; sisters Patty Phares of Miami, FL, Barbara Rooney (Tom) of Garden Grove, CA, Anne Phares of Minneapolis, MN, and brother Lee Phares (Gail) of Trout Lake, WA; sisters-in-law Dr. Rebecca Francis of Charleston, WV, Elizabeth Lady (Gary) of Knoxville, Kathy Brecht (Paul) of Pittsburgh, PA, and Jennifer Brady (Ted) of Denver, CO; and nieces and nephews Kristen and Dennis Rooney, Holly Phares, Sean Levenson, Amanda Lady, Gabe Brecht (Rachel), Kristy Gloeckl (Gary), Michael, Neil and Patrick Brady; grand nieces Morgan and Riley Gloeckl and Maggie Grace Brecht; 11 Phares and Anderson family cousins; and his beloved cat Spenser. "G Pa P" aka "Uncle Robert" will be missed.

To Robert's good and faithful doctor of 14 years Dr. Mitchell Martin and all the staff at Tennessee Cancer Specialists: Without you and your abiding care Robert would have missed years of holidays, birthdays, weddings, and trips to the mountains. Thank you.

Robert was an enthusiastic member of the Oak Ridge High School marching band playing the French horn and also of the Boy Scouts as an Eagle Scout and then as cub master of his son's cub scout pack. Donations to either organization in Robert's name would be appreciated. Donations to the Boy Scouts should be addressed to Great Smoky Mountains Council, PO Box 51885, Knoxville, TN 37959. Donations to the Oak Ridge marching band should be addressed to Oak Ridge High School Band, 1450 Oak Ridge Turnpike, Oak Ridge, TN37830.

Memorial service Saturday, March 10, Berry Highland Memorial


  • Memorial Service Saturday, March 10, 2018
  • Reception Saturday, March 10, 2018

Robert Charles Phares

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