ROBERT M. ABERNATHEY Nov. 7, 1924 – May 31, 2017
Robert M. Abernathey, 92, of White Rock, passed away Wednesday, May 31, 2017 at home. Born November 7, 1924, in Gaylord, Kansas, he was the son of the late Perry and Ollie Abernathey.
Bob grew up on a Kansas farm. He went to school in a one room school house from first through eighth grade before attending high school in Cedar, Kansas. He enlisted in the U.S. Navy the week after Pearl Harbor, and it was during his service time that he developed a lifelong love of flying planes. Bob put himself through school at Fort Hays Kansas State College using the GI Bill, earning a masters degree in chemistry.
While at college he met Esther Rice and they were married in 1949. His first job after college was as a high school science teacher and bus driver in Otis, Kansas. He then worked at Dow Chemical Company in Midland, Michigan for 4 years. In 1957, the family moved to Idaho Falls, Idaho, where he worked at the National Reactor Testing Station. In 1970, Bob took a job at Los Alamos Scientific Laboratory where he worked until his retirement.
Bob was a 70-year Mason and held many local and state offices during that time.
He is survived by his wife of 68 years, Esther; daughter Mary Ann Harless and son James Abernathey, both of White Rock; and 4 grandchildren, Daniel Harless of Tempe, AZ, Ryan Abernathey and wife Chiara of New York City, Elizabeth Abernathey of Seattle, and Leslie Godwin and husband Geoffrey of Rio Rancho. He is also survived by two great grandchildren, Maya Rae Godwin and John Mario Abernathey and by 8 nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by his parents, son John, infant daughter Delores Jean, and sisters Joy Carlson and Dorothy Everett.
A memorial service will be held Friday, June 9, at 2:00 p.m. at Bethlehem Evangelical Lutheran Church of Los Alamos.
Memorial donations may be made to the Alzheimer’s Association of New Mexico or to the Memorial Fund of Bethlehem Evangelical Lutheran Church.
The family of Robert Abernathey wishes to thank A Nurse in The Family and Ambercare Hospice for their compassionate care.