We are deeply sorry for your loss - the staff at Everly-Wheatley Funeral Home & Crematory
Husband. Father. Grandfather. B-52, KC-135, and FB-111 fighter pilot. Some people live larger than life and that describes Bob. A humble boy who spent his early childhood years on a farm in Nebraska, Bob was destined for bigger things. He had his first job at age seven delivering newspapers, and by age 11, he had the second largest route in Omaha with assistants of his own. In high school, Bob moved to selling shoes and trimming trees, both of which paid better than newspapers. Bob used his earnings to pay his way through college at the University of Nebraska, Omaha, where the Air Force ROTC changed his life and the lives of those around him forever. Bob passed away on May 23, 2022.
Bob loved flying airplanes. A 23-year officer and veteran of the Air Force, he was trained in and flew more airplanes than just about any Air Force pilot, logging more than 4000 hours in the B-52 alone. While in the Air Force, he was proud to be an instructor pilot of all the SAC planes in existence during his service. Bob served three tours in Vietnam, including a year during the 100-man rule. Bob was quoted in LIFE’s The Vietnam Wars 50 Years Ago – Two Countries Torn Apart: “I was from a blue-collar family. I felt I was very privileged to go to pilot training. It was a big step up for me. It was a privilege to serve in the military. I loved the military. The B-52 was the King of Battle, and at the time I was a very enthusiastic warrior.” Following retirement from the Air Force, Bob worked for National Systems Management, L3 and the Ballistic Missile Defense Agency. Late in life, Bob returned to the military as a civilian, serving a 30-month deployment in Kabul, Afghanistan, teaching Afghan soldiers how to fly airplanes. Bob celebrated his 70th birthday on his last day in Kabul.
Other than flying, perhaps Bob’s most favorite endeavor was his oyster farm on the Rappahannock River. Begun as a hobby, An All American Oyster Company grew from producing a few thousand oysters to millions of oysters a year. At one point the AAAOC was in the top 10% of oyster producers in Virginia with five to eight full-time employees. Known by family as the “cottage,” the oyster farm was Bob’s happy place.
Bob was born in Auburn, Nebraska, to Charles Phillip and Helen Leona Hohman on August 15, 1940. When he was 6 years old, the family moved to Omaha. Bob met Mary Anne Peter at a CYO dance in Omaha during his sophomore and her freshman year of high school, and they married in 1963 after Mary Anne graduated from college and Bob graduated from pilot training. In addition to his undergraduate degree from UNO, Bob earned a Master’s degree from the University of Southern California, as well as degrees from the Armed Forces Staff College, and the National War College.
Bob’s grandchildren made his eyes light up. Bob loved to watch his grandchildren play sports and was an avid fan of their rec league, high school, and college teams, which included practically every sport Fort Hunt Youth Athletic Association offered, Georgetown Visitation field hockey and lacrosse teams, Gonzaga lacrosse and golf teams, Yale women’s lacrosse, Yale men’s golf, UNC men’s lacrosse, and Holy Cross women’s lacrosse. Bob never missed an opportunity to see his grandchildren, and one of his last outings was to Grandparents Day at the Basilica of Saint Mary School in early May.
Survivors include Mary Anne Peter, his wife of 59 years; daughter Anne; daughter Mary (Chuck) Zinsner and their children Addie, Teddy, PJ and Sally; son Bobby (Erika Mellman) and children RJ and Max; his sister-in-law Judy (the late Don); his brother Marshall (Cathy); and over 20 nieces, nephews, great-nieces and great-nephews.
The visitation will be at Everly-Wheatley, 1500 W Braddock Road, Alexandria, VA 22302, from 4:30 to 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday, May 31. The rosary and eulogies will begin at 6:30 p.m. A celebration of Bob’s life will be held on Wednesday, June 1, at 10:30 a.m. at The Basilica of St. Mary Catholic Church, 310 South Royal Street, Alexandria, VA 22314. Interment will be on a later date at Arlington National Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, contributions can be made in Bob’s name to University of Nebraska Omaha Foundation, Robert L Hohman Fund, 1010 Lincoln Mall, Lincoln, NE 68508 (800-432-3216).
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