Robert Morrison Wampler, a former resident of Gisela and a founding member of the Rye Trap Shooting Club, died Aug. 30, 2008 at September House in Friday Harbor, Wash.
He was born April 8, 1920 and raised in Bloomington, Ind.
Mr. Wampler was a pilot throughout the golden age of aviation. A B-17 and B-29 flight instructor during World War II, he was also a pilot during the Berlin Airlift as well as being an aircraft commander of the first C-54 into frozen Greenland in support of the Defense Early Warning line as a member of the Colorado Air National Guard in the 1950s. He was the recipient of the USAAF Air Medal and Distinguished Flying Cross.
He retired from Continental Airlines in 1980 after 34 years. As a pilot with Continental, he also flew Military Airlift Command flights into Southeast Asia during the Vietnam War, at times encountering enemy ground fire while landing at Bien Hua and Da Nang. He also flew as senior captain with Continental's subsidiary, Air Micronesia. Mr. Wampler landed at Honolulu in a DC-10, 30 minutes before his 60th birthday, the FAA mandatory retirement age for pilots, thus ending a brilliant flying career.
The consummate outdoorsman, he enjoyed trapshooting, camping, farming and sport fishing. He also owned a salmon gill-netter based out of Friday Harbor, Wash. He was a life member of the NRA and was a member of the American Legion and Elks.
He is survived by his sister, Evelyn Cone of San Marcos, Calif.; his children, John Wampler of Fort Lauderdale, Fla., Susan Wampler-Bryant of Friday Harbor, Wash., Nancy Melbourne of Mount Vernon, Wash. and Tom Wampler of Maple Falls Wash.; four grandchildren and one great-grandchild.
He was preceded in death by his father, Roland in 1974; his mother, Malloy, of Fort Lauderdale, Fla. in 1996; and his brother, Glenn of Bloomington, Ind. in 2001.
In his last selfless act, Mr. Wampler donated his body to further the research into the cause and remedy of Alzheimer's and Parkinson's diseases.