Bob W. Maker

Robert W. Maker, 96

Robert W. Maker, of Corvallis, Mont., passed away Saturday, Feb. 18, 2017. He was born Jan. 22, 1921, in Framingham, Mass. He was one of two children born to Clifford and Mildred Maker. His sister was Marion Copland. Robert’s wife, Berneice, passed away on June 28, 2005.

He is survived by his son, Robert and his wife, Julie of Anchorage, Alaska; cousins Rosalba Norton and Donald Maker of Warwick, R.I.; sisterin- law Evelyn Rappath of Prescott, Ariz.; niece Jane Buechele of Grafton, Iowa; grandchildren Paul, Chet and Robin; 12 greatgrandchildren and one great-great-grandchild. He graduated from Framingham High School, Mass., in 1938.

He went to Northeastern University on a hockey scholarship. Robert joined the Army Air Corps in 1942 and was commissioned a 2nd Lt. as a bombardier. He had more than 500 combat hours in the south pacific with the 43rd bomb group. Robert received the Air Medal, Distinguished Flying Cross, Bronze Star and Purple Heart. Following World War II, he completed his education at Boston University where he earned all American honors in hockey. He was selected for the 1948 Olympic Hockey team, but did not choose to go because of his coaching responsibilities at Framingham High School. He was recalled into service as a navigator for the air lift from McChord AFB, Wash., to Korea, then later stationed at Mather AFB, Calif.

He met Berneice at Mather, where she was director of nurses. The couple were married Jan. 19, 1951. He was assigned to Fairchild AFB, Wash. He returned to Korea joining the 117th bomb group. Robert was a teacher and coach at Kettle Falls High School, Wash., Publicity Director for the Spokane Indians Baseball Club, Sports Editor of the Coeur d’Alene Press and Sports Information Director for the University of Idaho.

He helped found the Idaho Sports Banquet and the Idaho Hall of Fame. He was an active member of the Bitterroot Chapter of Trout Unlimited and a 65-year member of the American Legion. Robert and Berneice retired in Corvallis where he tied flies and fished his beloved Bitterroot River. He was still floating the river at 75 years old. His handle is “Biterroot Bob.” A memorial service will be held at 2 p.m. Thursday, March 2, 2017, at Faith Lutheran Church in Hamilton, Mont. Urn placement will take place at Corvallis Cemetery in Corvallis. Military honors will be presented with the U.S. Air Force and the Corvallis American Legion. Arrangements are under the care of the Daly-Leach Chapel in Hamilton. The family suggests memorials to the American Cancer Society or Faith Lutheran Church.