Robert Burnham, or Bob as most knew him, was born in Lowville, New York on September 10, 1946 to parents, Elaine and Stewart Burnham. During his high school years, he worked on a dairy farm, where he milked cows, built and fixed various things around the farm. He joined the Air Force when he was 18 years old and he served for 25 years. Bob took college classes while in the Air Force Education Program and received two AA degrees, one in inventory management and another in psychology. While in the Air Force, he mostly worked as an inventory manager, and during Vietnam, he said “he worked in a large hot room with a big computer entering data for inventory and supplies”. His hobbies and passions while in the military were playing and coaching various softball and volleyball teams.
The military took him to many places including serving in the Vietnam War and being stationed on many bases throughout Europe. While stationed in Torrejon in Madrid, Spain he met his wife, Juliet Burnham at Immanuel Baptist Church, they married in 1986. They had their two children, Rachael and Richard in Spain before moving to Sunnyvale, California in 1990. He retired from the Military at Onizuka Air Force Base, in Sunnyvale in 1991. Shortly after he started working as a civilian in military management. He continued to work at the base for 17 years. Bob and the family moved to Hollister, California in 1996, where they bought a house and remained living there until the end of his life. He always said that this was his forever home and loved the VFW and church community in Hollister.
He was an active member of the VFW Post 9242 and a longtime member of Grace Bible Church. He used to teach children’s Sunday school and was passionate about his Wednesday Bible Study gatherings. As part of the church, he loved to volunteer with cooking and feeding the homeless. He also visited local nursing homes, reading the bible and singing to the residents. In the VFW, he was a vice commander and enjoyed participating in events for other veterans. He was involved in the Patriot Pen writing competition, where he went to schools to encourage kids to participate in writing essays about their patriotism. He was an avid reader; he enjoyed reading the newspaper, military, and Christian books and took a lot of notes. You could always find highlighted sentences on every page throughout books he used to read. He also used to cut out and save interesting newspaper articles to give to his children.
He enjoyed going on trips with the family, whether it be an overnight Airbnb cabin trip to the Sierra’s or heading out of the country to Ireland, Thailand, and the Philippines.
He is survived by his wife of 36 years, Juliet, his two children, Rachael and Richard, and his brother and two sisters, Roger, Sharon, and Janet.
Bob passed away on March 30, 2022, surrounded by his loving family after a long battle with multiple myeloma cancer. He was 75 years old. Donations can be made in his honor to Grace Bible Church or the VFW Post 9242.