OBITUARY: Bobby Joe McMillan, 87, of Merritt Island, Passed Away Peacefully August 10
By Space Coast Daily // August 16, 2020
Bob had a fascination for aerospace and all things astronomical
BREVARD COUNTY • MERRITT ISLAND, FLORIDA– Bobby Joe McMillan, 87, of Merritt Island, FL, passed away peacefully after an extended illness on August 10, 2020. Born in Athens, Tennessee he was the only child of Joe and Modena McMillan.
Bob loved and excelled at sports, playing football at McMinn High School and Tennessee Wesleyan University. Bob left Athens for Germany where he served in the U. S. Army for three years as a radio operator.
After being honorably discharged in 1956, Bob attended the University of Tennessee.
He graduated in 1959 with a Bachelor of Science in Engineering at a time when the United States space program was in its infancy.
Bob had a fascination for aerospace and all things astronomical. He was fortunate to work for several aerospace contractors in different cities across the country before settling in at NASA in 1964, where he worked for 30 years.
At the culmination of his aerospace career, Bob was responsible for managing shuttle launch pads 39A and B and to the delight of his family, they were able to witness two shuttle launches with him.
It was truly an awesome spectacle never to be forgotten by his family and they were so proud of his part in it. Bob retired from NASA in 1994.
Later in life Bob developed a love of tennis, winning countless tennis tournaments and being ranked in Florida Senior Men’s Tennis in both singles and doubles.
Bob taught both his daughter Sherry and his wife Betty to play tennis and it became a family affair. Bob spent most of his retirement playing tennis, going to the beach, globe-trotting to watch solar eclipses, and spending time with his wife Betty, daughter Sherry, her husband, Steve, and their son Zachary.
Bob doted on his grandson Zachary and was a big part of Zachary’s life.
Bob was also a big Tennessee Volunteer college football fan. While his daughter Sherry was in Law School at the University of Florida, he attended Gator football games and pretended to be a Gator fan, but we all knew the truth.
Bob is predeceased by his parents, Joe and Modena, and his son Joseph. He is survived by his devoted wife of 62 years, Betty, his daughter Sherry, her husband Steve, and his adored grandson Zachary.
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