On Apr 18, 1954, he met Thirza “Terry” Burnweit. It
was love at first sight. By graduation time, Jun 8, 1954, they
decided to marry. They were married in Nyack, NY, on July 24 in
order to leave together for his Primary Flight Training at Bartow
AFB, FL. Six months later, they moved to Goodfellow AFB, TX, where
Bob received multi-engine flight training and his pilot wings.
Dover AFB, DE, was their first real duty station. Bob
flew C-124s to Europe, the Middle East, Africa, Greenland, and
Iceland. Although Bob was generally away half of most months, living in Delaware was one of
their happiest times. They made wonderful friends who they always
visited during vacations. Their daughter Diane was born in 1956 at
The Garwoods’ next home was Brigham City, UT. Bob
worked at -Thiokol Chemical Corporation on the Titan III missile.
After a year, they moved to Los Alamitos, CA, where Bob worked at
Space Systems Command near Los Angeles. Their son David was born in
Hollywood in 1961. Their next move was to AF Command & Staff College
at Maxwell AFB, AL. After that year, Bob took O-1 flight training in
Fort Walton, FL. He then flew O-1s as a Forward Air Controller in
Vietnam in 1965-66, operating from Tan Son Nhut and Bong Son.
Bob’s next assignment was in England at South Ruislip
AFB. He worked at RAF Uxbridge and flew at RAF Northolt. He always
dreamed for his family to live in Europe, and that dream came true.
Bob and Terry loved to travel, and the family toured through most of
England and Europe during the three–year tour.
After England, Bob became Detachment Commander of
AFROTC at the State University of New York in Buffalo in 1969. It
was a hard time at universities because of the Vietnam War. Bob’s
offices were demolished so badly by protesting students that AFROTC
classes had to relocate, and the program eventually vacated the
campus. In 1971, Bob earned an MBA from George Washington
University. The Garwoods moved to Falmouth on Cape Cod where Bob was
stationed at Otis AFB, MA. When the Air Force left that base, Bob
was transferred to Hancock Field, Syracuse, NY, as Chief of Airfield
Management. This was a homecoming for Terry as a Syracuse University
In 1974, Bob decided to retire. They were really
happy in Syracuse and decided not to move again. Post retirement,
Bob was an accountant at GE and he founded a retail business,
Limestone Liquors, in Manlius, NY. Their daughter Diane and son
David with his wife Kelly and their children Allison, Stephanie, and
Robert lived nearby. Bob was a wonderful husband, father, and
Bob loved classical music. In Syracuse, he enjoyed
the symphony. They became enthusiastic supporters of SU basketball,
never missing a game unless traveling. Bob and Terry were active
members of the Episcopal Church wherever they were stationed. Bob
served as Lector, Usher, and Chalice Bearer in several churches.
Bob loved being challenged by crossword puzzles and
Sudoku, the harder the better. He was an avid bridge player,
especially duplicate bridge. Playing in the U.S. Embassy Bridge game
in London against more than 500 tables worldwide, Bob and Terry won
North-South for the tournament. He was an American Contract Bridge
League Life Master. This interest in bridge and travel combined
delightfully; Bob and Terry were Bridge Directors on 35 ocean
cruises, some as long as 50 days.
Bob had a double heart bypass in August 2006. In
October 2006, while playing bridge with Terry and good friends, he
suffered a severe stroke. Bob could not speak for the rest of his
life, except for whispering “home.” His right side was completely
paralyzed. After several months in hospitals and rehab facilities,
Terry took him home, where she took care of him with the help of
aides, therapists, and Hospice. He was hospitalized several times
during those years. Bob died at home of pneumonia on May 14, 2009.
He is interred at the West Point Cemetery.
Bob’s passing left a huge void in the lives of his
family and friends. He is remembered for his intellectual gifts,
humor, patience, and wise counsel. Everything he did, he did for
love of country and his family. But most importantly, Bob is
remembered as the most honest and sincere person we