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 Robert B. Egelston '54

 No. 19832Dec 31, 1930 - May 9,2016               

 Died in Oklahoma City, OK

 Interred in West Point Cemetery, NY


   Robert Burnley Egelston died on May 9, 2016 after a lengthy illness. He was born during the Depression, the youngest of three sons to Sally and Richard E. Egelston in Kansas City, MO. A bright young man, Bob was appointed to the U.S. Military Academy and entered on a hot July day in 1950. He survived Beast Barracks and joined the Corps as a proud new member of Company A-1. Bob was bright and graduated in the upper half of the class without great effort. He had a nice singing voice and took all of the Glee Club and Chapel Choir trips that were offered. On several of these visits to the city, he made the acquaintance of chorus and cast members of both “on-” and “off-” Broadway shows.

   Bob chose Field Artillery as his branch, and, after training, he served his obligated tour and then resigned to pursue a graduate degree in finance and business management at the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania. Bob demonstrated that USMA’s math and science heavy curriculum prepared the mind to analyze and make decisions on matters beyond the military. Bob graduated first in his class.

   The Capital Group, a Los Angeles-based investment management firm, offered Bob his first—and it turned out to be his only—employment in financial management. He started at the bottom of the ladder and some 40 years later retired as the chairman of board of a multi-faceted organization with presence across the nation and the globe. Assets under management had grown from a few hundred million dollars to some $1.3 trillion.

   During his career, Bob’s interests in the visual and performing arts, as well as in education, became aspects of his life that he was able to share with fellow employees of The Capital Group. He first shared much of his own collection, displaying in offices, and other common corporate areas works that he purchased. He led the efforts to organize and fund the Capital Foundation, which became the source of The Capital Group’s commitment to supporting the arts and other community ventures. This collection has grown to include thousands of pieces of art displayed in Capital offices worldwide. He encouraged each of the employees to become involved in some not-for-profit community organization’s effort.

   Bob was chairman of the Los Angeles Music Center, and he played a major role in the construction of the Walt Disney Concert Hall. He also was longtime board member of both the Los Angeles Philharmonic and the California Institute of the Arts. He was a dominant force in the reconstruction of that campus after the 1994 earthquake in North Ridge.

   His interest in education led him to join the board of the Claremont Graduate University and the board of the Art Center College of Design. He was deeply involved for years at the Colburn School of Los Angeles, where he was named an honorary life trustee.

   Bob was an active member of All Saints Episcopal Church in Pasadena, CA. He served on the vestry for many years.

   Retired and in failing health, Bob and his spouse, Veronica, moved to Oklahoma City, OK to be close to family members.

   He is survived by his wife, Veronica; daughters, Diane and Janet; son, Peter; stepson, Kelvin Williams; and grandchildren, Brooks and Aidan Brorsen; and by Carson and Mary Alice Williams.

   Diana concludes this tribute by reflecting, “He was a deep thinker and very spiritual. As if channeling something from a trusted well of wisdom. I listened to him very carefully because what he said was filled with optimism and possibility.”

   Be Thou at Peace.

— Len Reed


From Kansas City came Bob to begin his four years of cadet life. With a smile on his bright countenance and a good word for all he quickly gained the respect and admiration of the men around him. Fighting the Academic Department was Bob's main objective, but he still found time for many and diversified activities.

- 1954 Howitzer

Originally published in TAPS, Summer 2017

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