Robert Owen McDearmon
Bob McDearmon was born July 14th, 1937 to Bart and Vivian McDearmon, and was one of two identical twins. He passed away on July 15th, 2018 from complications related to open-heart surgery, one day after his 81st birthday. He was surrounded by his wife Charleen and children Bobby and Monica when he entered the hereafter.
Bob wrote his own biography for a family genealogy book approximately 11 years ago at age 70, and the family would like his story to be told in his own words.
I was born and raised in Los Angeles. I graduated high school in 1955 and worked in gas stations and an aircraft factory before I decided to attend trade school for air conditioning and refrigeration. I worked briefly at the trade until I joined the United States Army in 1957. I was an electrician assigned to the 79th engineer battalion and served in Germany, France, and in Beirut, Lebanon. I had a few scary experiences in Lebanon, and in 1958 I wrote home to my mother that these people are crazy and will be fighting here 50 years from now. I still have the letters I wrote home, mom saved them. I was discharged in 1959, and I hated the army but all in all I got more out of my military experiences that I could have ever imagined. It was a great learning experience.
I worked as a UPS driver for 2 years, then quit to take a trip to work in Australia. My high school buddy and I left on an American President line ship in 3rd class, and we slept in the propeller area. We stopped in Hawaii, Japan, and Hong Kong, and bought new Honda motorcycles while we were in Hong Kong. Then we visited Manilla, Macau, and Singapore, and after about a month in Asia we got bored and got on another ship bound for Naples, Italy. We were on a P.& O. ship tourist class. Instead of working, we decided to see Europe on our motorcycles. We traveled to Aden, Suez City, Ciaro, the Egyptian Pyramids, Port Siad, Colombo Ceylon, and Bombay India. We toured 8,000 miles across Europe, through Italy, France, Spain, Gibralter, Morocco, Portugal, Germany, Berlin, East Germany, Denmark, and the Netherlands. At the end, we shipped our motorcycles home from Amsterdam to Los Angeles. We then took a ferry to England, ended up in London, and spend a couple of weeks there with some girls we met onboard the ship from Hong Kong. We then sailed to New York and bought on old Pontiac for $65 and drove home with $100 to our names. We changed tires in a wrecking yard, bought cheap oil, and made it home in 3 days. We had about $10 left.
When I returned home I went to work for Brinks Armored Cars as a driver and a guard. I soon got bored with that job and left after a year, and traveled to Mexico for 3 weeks. After that, I got a job with the Southern California Gas Company as an appliance serviceman. I worked there for 3 years and then was hired on by the Downey Fire Department. I worked there for 16 years with my twin brother Ron, but had to retire on disability as I sustained a back injury. I retired at 46 years old but I was involved in the antique business for the next 20 years. I also bought and sold real estate, built a large home, remodeled a home on the beach and lived in that ocean-front home for 10 years. I was divorced in 2004 after 31 years of marriage. I was also married for a brief time on 1966, and that marriage ended up in divorce (never again).
I have 2 children, Monica and Bobby. I worked as a buyer for an auction house and was a freelance antique dealer. I had many antique mall spaces and was involved with an importer who brought pieces from England. I am now assisting my son in his antique business. I just went through treatment for prostate cancer about 5 months ago, and I’m doing fine. Just another bump in life’s bumpy road. They say if you don’t experience the bad times you will not appreciate the good times. I have been back to Europe 2 more times, in 1983 with my son and 2001 with my former wife. I have travelled on cruise ships to Alaska, Mexico, the Caribbean, and have been on about 12 cruises if you count the 2 on military troop ships. Not too much luxury on those.
Bob wrote this biography at the age of 70, but he had yet another wonderful chapter of his life that was still to be written. Bob met his future wife Charleen in 2003, and they dated for 10 years. Throughout their courtship and marriage they danced and traveled all over the world. They bought a beautiful home together in 2012, and got married 6 weeks later. Their home was a gathering place for friends and family, and there were many wonderful celebrations held there.
Bob is survived by his wife Charleen, his brother Ron, his son Bobby, his daughter Monica and her husband Braden, grandsons Gavin and Bradley, step-children Tye, Kathy, and her husband Tony, and grandchildren Joey, Ryan, and Jake, and his beloved dog Lulu.