Member # 722
Robert J. Kehoe (TWA Ret.), of Fairfield, passed away on November 15th at his home surrounded by his loving family. As they say in pilot's language, Captain Kehoe went wheels up to begin his approach to Heaven.
The youngest of four children, Bob was born March 16, 1933 in Philadelphia, PA to the late John J. and Kathleen R. Kehoe. He graduated from St. Joseph's Preparatory School and in 1955 from St. Joseph's University, in Philadelphia.
Bob received his commission as a 2nd Lt. to the U. S. Air Force and completed pilot training in the F-84 and the F-86 Sabre Jet Fighter in Arizona. After pilot training, he was assigned to Erding Air Base in Germany and during this time, he qualified in German language studies at the University of Munich. He was subsequently selected as a member of the Military Assistance Advisory Group (MAAG) to the German Air Force, (Luftwaffe) where he served as an instructor pilot to the Jagdgeschwader 74 in Oldenburg, Germany, readying German pilots to become members of NATO.
Upon returning to the U.S., Bob was assigned to fly the F-106 Delta Dart Interceptor, a supersonic, Mach II fighter jet, (twice the speed of sound) at Air Force bases in Indiana and Maine. Bob was awarded the Expert Fighter Interceptor Pilot designation by the Air Defense Command. While based in Indiana, he also served as a liaison with the Air Force ROTC at the University of Notre Dame.
In 1964, Bob resigned from the U. S. Air Force and joined TWA, (Trans World Airlines), where he continued his flying career in commercial aviation. As a Captain, he flew mostly on international routes traveling throughout the world. He held Captain ratings on the Boeing 727, 707, 747 and his favorite, the Lockheed-1011. Captain Kehoe flew thousands of miles in the military and later in his airline career.
Due do his lifelong passion of flying, Bob, his wife and his family were able to travel extensively and held a deep appreciation and love of different countries, people, customs and religions. He retired from active flying in 1998, after more than 34 years with TWA.
He and his wife lived in Fairfield for more than 50 years and were both active members of The Patterson Club and avid tennis players. In addition, one of Bob's greatest joys was watching his Phillies baseball team win.
Captain Kehoe is survived by the love of his life, Christel Ingrid, his wife of nearly 54 years. A daughter, Denyce Kehoe Breuil with daughter Corinne of San Francisco, CA; and son, Robert J. Kehoe with Paula and daughter Channing of Phoenix, AZ; and a sister, Margaret Ann Kovner, of Rosemont, PA. He was predeceased by his brother, Captain John J. Kehoe, U. S. Navy (Ret.) and a sister, Kathleen V. Kehoe.
The family expresses their gratitude to Dr. Lefell and his team from Yale N.H.H. for their thoughtfulness and support during Bob's long struggle with cancer. No matter how difficult his life was during his illness, Bob always maintained a sense of dignity, courage and grace.
Rest in Peace, Captain Kehoe
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