Roy L. Robieson, 87
Roy L. Robieson was born on Aug. 8, 1927, to James A. and Ellen (Owen) Robieson. He was born in Lowry and graduated from high school in Glenwood. His father was the Soo Line depot agent, and Roy grew up around the railroad.
Upon graduation from high school, he served in the United States Navy in thePacific Theater of World War II. After his naval service, he attended junior college at the State School of Science in Wahpeton, N.D., and then graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering from the South Dakota School of Mines and Technology in Rapid City, S.D.
Following graduation from college, Roy worked as a highway design and construction engineer for the North Dakota State Highway Department rising to be the district engineer for the Grand Forks District. After the winter of í66 he joined the international division of DeLeuw Cather headquartered in Chicago, Ill. Roy moved his family to Dar-es-Salaam, Tanzania, Africa. With this firm, Roy worked on major highway projects in Tanzania and Amman, Jordan, and eventually a railroad project on the east coast of the United States. Roy then accepted a position with the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and worked on extensive civil engineering projects in Egypt. He finished his career as the chief engineer for USAID in Honduras, Central America. While in Tanzania Roy met Cleo (Pat) Swisher, formerly of Bemidji, who was assigned as an administrative assistant for the USAID mission in Arusha, Tanzania. They were married in Arusha in 1972.
After his retirement in 1989, Roy and Pat resided in Arlington, Va. They later moved to Fredericksburg, Va., in 1993. In 2006 Roy and Pat moved to John Knox Village in Orange City, Fla. Pat passed on July 4, 2014.
Prior to his death Roy was cared for by his daughter Deborah, Richard and Joan Irwin, and their daughter Sunnie McCleod. He routinely visited with his brother Clarence who is also a resident of John Knox Village. He had the opportunity to "FaceTime" with his grandson Gregory and great-grandchildren. His oldest grandson, George, visited him prior to his passing. His daily care was provided by the staff of Majestic Oaks nursing home and VITAS Hospice and Palliative Care nurses who kept him comfortable and free of pain or distress. We encourage you to consider a memorial gift to VITAS Hospice and Palliative Care of Central Florida or a Hospice organization near you.
Roy was an avid storyteller and published several books of his life experiences and what an adventurous life he had. His family will miss his stories immensely.
Throughout his life Roy had a keen interest in aviation. While he was in Tanzania he earned a private pilotís license and purchased a light plane. He flew his plane throughout Tanzania to visit various highway construction projects and take Debby on safari.
On Nov. 22, 2014, at 3:50 a.m., Roy L. Robieson (affectionately known as "Captain Loy") filed his last flight plan. He then climbed into his single engine Piper Cherokee, call sign 5H-MNV, secured himself in the pilotís seat, checked his instruments, lowered the flaps, taxied to runway One-Niner-Niner, paused... and, with little fanfare, pushed full throttle ahead, rotated nose up executing a perfect takeoff. Destination: Heaven. Time of departure: 4:00 a.m. Route: Through the stars and galaxies. Flying altitude: Unlimited. Godspeed Captain Loy, we love you.
He was preceded in death by his parents; brothers, James, Kenneth and Francis; sisters, Ruby Bennett and Laberta Lyle; his first wife, Marjory A. Bellinger of St. Thomas, N.D.; and his wife, Cleo (Pat) Swisher Robieson.
Roy is survived by his daughter, Deborah (Michael) Kirby of Grand Forks, N.D.; grandsons, Michael George Kirby of Fredrick, Md., and Gregory Kirby of Spearfish, S.D.; great-grandchildren, Solomon and Althea Grace Kirby; brother, Clarence (Ruth); and sisters, Doris (Donald) Hoplin and Roberta Clayton.
Inurnment will be in the spring at Glenwood Cemetery.