Bob Redmond


Cullum No. 24344-1962 | May 5, 2007 | Died in Walkersville, MD

Interred in Arlington National Cemetery, Arlington, VA

He was a husband, brother, father, classmate, athlete, teacher, and soldier, but most of all Robert Albert Redmond was a warrior who didn’t know how to quit. Long odds never deterred him from fighting for, and attaining, the challenging goals that he set for himself.

Bob was one of twins born in Utica, NY, to Dr. and Mrs. Albert Redmond. In addition to his twin sister Sandra, there was sister Carole, and brother Dick, stepbrother Doug, stepsister Margaret and half sister Elizabeth. By the age of 14, he had willingly accepted the responsibility of living on a farm and was driving tractors, hay balers, and birthing livestock. At 16, to bring in extra income for the farm, he worked at the local golf course, eventually becoming head groundskeeper. He did all of this while attaining star academic and athlete status in high school.

After high school, Bob entered Hamilton College. His freshman year, he earned varsity letters in football and ice hockey. As a guard for the Hamilton football team, he weighed in at 186. He was wide in the hips, broad in the shoulders, short in stature, and built low to the ground. At Hamilton he earned the nickname “Tree Trunk” or “Trunk.”

In 1957, when Hamilton’s hockey team played Army, Bob scored the winning goal, something that probably did not endear him to his upperclass hockey teammates. It did, however, get the attention of the West Point hockey coach.

Bob Redmond entered the Military Academy with the Class of ’62. Later in life, he told his wife that it was the best thing that ever happened to him. He played Corps Squad hockey until knee problems forced him to the more sedate activities of golf and sailing. His classmates dubbed him “Rojo,” in part due to his name, but more for his sharing his expertise in Spanish, a trait he exhibited throughout his life as he helped classmates and friends. His classmates best remember him as “the cadet who most consistently defeated the Tactical Department” and in particular for his part in transporting the reveille cannon to the top of Washington Hall.

“Rojo’s” goals were to graduate and join the Field Artillery. He accomplished both. Bob graduated in the lower quarter and took great pride in later attaining two master’s degrees and a Ph.D., putting asunder the notion that he was a “Goat.” From his Ph.D. came his third nickname, “Dr. Bob.” He had outwitted the “system” and proved that low academic standing was not necessarily an indicator of intelligence or a predictor of future success, in or out of the military.

Upon graduation, Bob attended the Field Artillery Basic Course and subsequently Airborne and Ranger Schools at Ft. Benning. His knees, from his collegiate and academy athletic endeavors, were bad enough that he was initially medically disqualified. After three months of weekly visits, his doctor gave up and waived his condition with the comment that “you’ll just be here again next week if I fail you again, won’t you?” Bob successfully completed Airborne School and was in the last week of Ranger School when he was pulled from school due to the “Cuban Crisis.”

For the next 20 years “Bob”/“Trunk”/“Rojo” served his country with distinction in Viet Nam, Korea, Japan, and at Department of the Army, among other locales. It was during one of his several Viet Nam tours that he suffered a paralyzing back injury during a parachute jump and was evacuated to the States.

After an operation on his back, he was told he would never walk again. True to his nature, Bob obtained a second opinion and had another operation. He then spent almost every waking moment in the pool at Brooke Army Hospital until he was cleared to return to full duty status.

Bob was especially proud of his four year tour as an assistant physical education professor at West Point, where he played a critical part in the determining the standards for the first class of females. It was during this assignment that he met and married the love of his life and helpmate Patricia (Pati) Tyson. (His first marriage had ended in divorce.)

After very successful tours in Japan and on the DA staff, Bob elected to retire and attained a Ph.D. in exercise physiology with specialties in cardiovascular and metabolic physiology. He displayed his entrepreneurial talents by starting what would ultimately become the largest windsurfing school on the East Coast. When he wasn’t instructing, he worked with cardiac rehabilitation patients and volunteered as a coach for the West Springfield (VA) High School crew team. He also helped his daughter win the Junior National title in sculling doubles.

“Dr. Bob’s” last career was as the Vice President for Operations of the Frederick YMCA, the largest YMCA in Maryland. His last retirement was in 2004.

Bob and Pati loved to travel in their RV, visiting family and friends, playing golf and skiing, windsurfing, and giving back to his community though his church and working with young people.

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