Bobby Donald, F107800, died July 7, 2014, at the age of 79.
Bobby served FMCA as national vice president, Western Area, from 2008 to 2012 and in many other capacities through the years.
Bobby was born in Washington, D.C., on June 28, 1935. In the early 1950s he joined the U.S. Navy and served on the USS Cony destroyer for four years. He also served in the U.S. Coast Guard for 14 years. After he left active duty, he began working for NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Maryland, which transferred him to Camarillo, California. Bobby worked at Naval Air Station Point Mugu, California, for 38 years. His specialty was in construction and public works, specifically making sure the runways used by top jets, including Air Force One, were well-maintained. Over the years he was highly regarded by his peers; a street at the Point Mugu complex was named Donald Drive in his honor.
Bobby’s wife, Shirley, who he married in 2010, said that Bobby “loved, loved, loved” FMCA. “If he could have served for ten years, he would have served for ten,” she said. “He loved seeing the people, meeting the people. If there was a problem, he was there trying solve it.”
Bobby joined FMCA in 1988 and spent many years volunteering in various capacities. He loved to tell the story about how his volunteer work began. At an FMCA rally near San Francisco, he was given a parking spot he did not like. He asked Sheila Donigan, F5564, how to get a better space. Her reply? “Volunteer!” “So, he told everybody, ‘If you want a better parking place, volunteer!’” Shirley added.
Bobby likely would have been a volunteer anyway. He was a big supporter and promoter of FMCA. “We’d pull into an RV park and he’d go around looking to see goose eggs,” Shirley said. “If there were none, he’d leave a flier on the door.” Bobby was proud that he had recruited many FMCA members — 132, to be exact.
Bobby and Shirley belonged to 13 chapters; he was national director of the Apollo Amigos chapter, and helped to form the Beat The Odds chapter. Bobby attended as many international Family Reunions as possible and was a fixture at the Western Area Rally in Indio, California, for 25 years.
Bobby had many other interests as well. An avid bowler, he rolled three perfect (300) games. NASCAR also was at the top of his list, and for years he had his own seats at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California. He built models of NASCAR vehicles, as well as miniature buildings for Christmas train displays. Reading and listening to classical music also were favorite activities. When his daughters were younger, Bobby umpired for Miss Softball America. He also was a life member of the American Legion and was a commander with the U.S. Naval Sea Cadet Corps, an organization for youth.
In addition to Shirley, Bobby is survived by one son and three daughters; two stepsons; a sister and a brother; 16 grandchildren; 14 great-grandchildren, and one great-great grandchild. Memorials may be made to the Wounded Warrior Project.