American Veteran 08

Robert E. McElderry

February 4, 1928 ~ September 18, 2022 (age 94)


Robert Eugene McElderry   

February 4, 1928 – September 18, 2022   

Robert E. McElderry: A devoted, loving husband, father, grandfather, engineer, and inspiration to all, is now in Heaven. He was 94.   

Born in Centerville, Iowa, to James and Naomi McElderry, our dad was a strong spirit from the beginning. He started elementary school at the same time as his brother, who was 18 months older. In high school, he played football and violin. He graduated from Centerville High School in 1945, at the age of 17, and went straight into the Navy to fight in WWII. He then came home and attended Centerville Junior College. In 1949, he joined the USAF to fight in the Korean War. Additionally, in November 1945, he met the love of his life, Virginia, who was a nurse’s aide. Mom says she “fell in love with him the first time she saw him and chased him until he caught her”. They were married Saturday, June 7, 1952, and just recently celebrated their 70th Anniversary. After he was discharged from the US Air Force, Dad attended Radio Tech School in Kansas City, MO, during which time, their first daughter, Debra, was born.  

Dad’s interest in electrical engineering was sparked by his high school science teacher, which led him to attain an EE Degree from the University of New Mexico. Dad was a strong believer in education and hard work. As an electrical engineer, he was employed by Sandia Labs, Gulton Industries and then BuRo Company. As an Electrical Engineer for Gulton Industries, he was on the computer design team for The Princeton Plasma Physics Tokamak Fusion Test Reactor Project. He also coached and umpired for the Mile High Baseball League.   

Dad led by example and believed anything less than a perfect job done was unacceptable; he was a true engineer. He never read the directions because, “That takes all the fun out of it.”   

He was a lifetime bowler who absolutely loved the sport, with a bowling average in the 190’s. Many of his deepest friendships were formed at the bowling alley.   

He never forgot the sacrifice of our soldiers; he was a veteran and a true patriot who loved this country. He was humble, loving, empathetic and honest to a fault. All that knew him were touched by his genuineness and friendly attitude.   

We will so miss our dear father but are comforted to know he is now in the arms of his mother and that we will see him again. He is at peace.   

Robert was preceded in death by his parents, James and Naomi McElderry; his brother, James McElderry; granddaughter, Ginny Miller; and nephew, Dr. Michael McElderry.   

He is survived by his wife, Virginia; children, Debra Miller (Wes), Densi Rushing (Rick), and Patrick McElderry (Ingrid); two grandchildren, Jerrid Ahlstrand and Sawyer Rushing.     

Funeral service will be held on Tuesday, September 27, 2022, at French Mortuary 1111 University Blvd. NE Albuquerque, NM 87102 followed by interment at Sunset Memorial Park, 924 Menaul Blvd. NE Albuquerque, NM 87107.  

To send flowers to the family, please visit our floral store.


September 27, 2022

10:00 AM to 11:00 AM
University Chapel
1111 University Blvd NE
Albuquerque, NM 87102

Memorial Service
September 27, 2022

11:00 AM
University Chapel
1111 University Blvd NE
Albuquerque, NM 87102

Video is available for this event

Graveside Service
September 27, 2022

12:30 PM
Sunset Memorial Park
924 Menaul Blvd NE
Albuquerque, NM 87107

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