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Robert's Story

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Robert L. "Bob" Carder, 88 years old of Norman, Oklahoma, passed away May 29, 2017.

He was born to the late Roy Leon Carder and Minnie T. (Read) Carder on May 2, 1929 at St. Anthonys Hospital in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. He came home to live at 457 Elm in Norman, Oklahoma. From his earliest days Robert, or Bob, as he was often called, loved things mechanical. His mother tried to direct him into music at an early age. He played violin in the McKinley Grade School Orchestra and coronet in the Norman High School and OU Bands. But things mechanical won out in the end. On his 16th birthday Grandmother Read gave him Grandfather Reads 1927 Chrysler, which had been standing in the garage unused since Grandfather Reads death in 1935. The gift of the Chrysler was a turning point of his early life. It was used extensively during high school and the early part of his college career. Bob graduated from Norman High School in the spring of 1947,

Bob entered the University of Oklahoma in the fall of 1947. In addition to his schooling he bought, rebuilt, and sold a few automobiles and did mechanical work on washing machines for his dads appliance store. Bob joined the Oklahoma National Guards 45th Division and was enrolled in the Society of Automotive Engineers. Bob was also enrolled in the Advanced Reserve Officers Training Program that supplied officers for the military. Due to being colorblind he ended up in the Ordnance Corps. His ROTC status was accompanied with a commitment that he serve two years as an officer after college. During the summer of 1950, he was told that he could not be on active duty as an ROTC Cadet and also a member of the National Guard, and was discharged from the National Guard.

Bob was married April 6, 1951 to Shirley Jean Partrick, and Mother and Leon gave them their recently purchased 1949 Pontiac as a wedding present. Bob completed the requirements for a bachelors degree in Mechanical Engineering and an ROTC commission as 2nd Lieutenant in the Ordnance Corps by January of 1953. In March of that year, Bob reported to Ft. Hood, Texas and by the luck of the draw, was selected to go to Germany instead of Korea. While in Germany, Bob and Shirley took advantage of the assignment and toured many towns and countries. Bob used to serve his infamous egg nog during the holidays in pottery they brought back from Germany.

In January of 1956 Bob started work at Aero Design and Engineering Company in what turned out to be his primary profession, Aeronautical Engineering. As Junior Engineer he helped design the first pressurized small plane in the world. The Model 720 pressurized Alti-Cruiser was certified in April, 1958. That was followed by the Model 1121 Jet Commander, certified in November, 1964, and the Turbo Commander in May, 1966. All were produced with Bobs expertise. Bob remained with Aero Commander for eight more years and left as Chief Engineer of the Saberliner Division.
Bobs final position was as Principal Engineer at Tinker Air Force Base. He was responsible for the design of and modifications for the E4B, an early warning Boeing 747 which served as the Presidents headquarters in case of attack, and the E3, more commonly known as the AWAC. The E3 served in both Desert Storm and Desert Shield operations. Bob retired from Tinker in 1994 and returned to civilian life in Norman.

Bob was a Registered Professional Engineer, State of Oklahoma P.E. 8031. He was a
Captain in the 45th Division, Oklahoma National Guard and held his private pilot certificate. He was a past member of the Society of Professional Engineers, a member of the Society of Automotive Engineers and the Oklahoma Historical Society, and a past FAA Designated Engineering Representative. Bob was appointed the General Chairman for the 1972 Society of Automotive Engineers National Business Aircraft Meeting and Engineering Display.

Bob always had a shop. At first there were hand tools, then there was a drill press, welding equipment, a compressor, and a lathe. All other equipment necessary to make a complete woodworking, metalworking, and automotive shop were there. Bob loved Oklahoma football, and enjoyed being a former member of the Pride of Oklahoma Marching Band. He was also into Genealogy, producing eleven volumes of family history.

Bob and Shirley traveled extensively, a passion which he continued after losing her. His last trip was to Canada in May of this year with his McFarlin family.

Bob was proceeded in death by the love of his life, Shirley Jean Carder.
He is survived by a son, David Carder and his wife Debra and a daughter, Paula Sullivan and her husband Marty. He is also survived by four grandchildren: James Roberts II, Christopher Carder and his fiancée Icy Coons, Mackenzie Carder, and Dylan Sullivan and his wife Cassidy.

Memorial contributions in Bobs name may be made to McFarlin Memorial United Methodist Church (419 S. University Blvd, Norman), where Bob was a member.

Bobs family has entrusted his care to Tribute Memorial Care in Norman (708 24th Ave NW, 405.292.4787). There will be a come and go visitation at the funeral home on Thursday, June 1st, from 1:00-7:00 pm. A celebration of Bobs life will take place at McFarlin Memorial United Methodist Church on Friday, June 2nd at 1:00 pm. A private family interment will take place at Resthaven Memorial Gardens in South Oklahoma City.

Please share condolences and memories of Bob at www.tribute.care.
Published on  May 31, 2017
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