Robert Thomas Mires

Robert Thomas Mires

November 24, 1934 - July 15, 2012

Robert Thomas Mires

November 24, 1934 - July 15, 2012


Robert Thomas Mires, 77, of Mission Viejo, California died peacefully at home on July 15 with his wife of almost 40 years by his side. He loved God, his country, family and friends, and he loved life! He was born in Texas on November 24, 1934. He moved to California in the early 1960s to go to work in the aerospace industry as an electrical engineer. He worked at Douglas Aircraft on the Skybolt and Thor projects and then went to North American Aviation where he helped put the man on the moon and retired from Boeing working on the Shuttle program.

He earned his Bachelor’s Degree from Cal State Long Beach and while preparing to retire, he took night classes at UC Irvine and earned his credentials as a Physical Fitness Trainer and worked as a personal trainer at The Sports Club Irvine for a few years after retirement from Rockwell.

Bob was physically active his entire life. He played baseball and football, loved to pump iron, was a black belt in Kenpo Karate , was a serious road bicyclist, velodrome bicyclist and never stopped training. He was known as ‘Superman,’ ‘No Mercy Bob,’ and ‘Dr. Pain’!

Bob had a very hard but interesting life. He was offered a baseball contract by a pro team in Roswell, New Mexico when he was about 18 but turned it down because he was making more money as a service manager at a Ford dealership. He taught Kenpo Karate for Ed Parker, worked out with Mike Stone, and once fought Chuck Norris. He also worked with Dieter K. Huzel, the #2 man under Von Braun who was a German scientist during World War II. He was proud to meet Dwight D. Eisenhower who was the Grand Marshall for the Rose Parade in Pasadena.

Bob is survived by his wife, Patricia of Mission Vioejo, CA, daughter and son-in-law, Patricia and Jeffrey Engelhardt of San Marcos, CA, daughter Robyn Webb of Dallas, TX, three granddaughters, Autumn, Sammie and Piper of San Marcos, CA, and a grandson, Patrick, of Dallas, Texas. He will be dearly missed.

Funeral Mass will be at 10:00am on Saturday, July 21 at St. Timothy Catholic Church, Laguna Niguel, followed by burial at Ascension Cemetery, Lake Forest.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Veterans Administration, the National Rifle Association or the Boy & Girl Scouts of America.

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1 responses to Robert Thomas Mires

  1. I met Bob in the early 90s at the Sports Club/Irvine. It was a Saturday afternoon around 1:30. Bob had just started as a trainer. He came up to me and we started chatting,for over two hours. He was fascinating. We began talking about lifting weights. That drifted into riding bicycles. The next thing I know, we are talking about Chuck Yeager, the fellow that broke the sound barrier. Turned out Bob knew him. That morphed into a discussion on the NASA Apollo program. Turned out Bob worked as an engineer for NASA. He was there when the most famous quote in the world was broadcast. “Houston, we have a problem.” His final project for NASA was to design part of the control panel for the shuttle. It was a great Saturday afternoon.

    At the club, there were two kinds of trainers; Bob and all the rest! There were also two kinds of clients; Bob’s and all the rest! We called him Dr. Pain. A great trainer, he’d push you farther than you thought you could go. You’d crawl home in pain, but never injured. The Dr. knew his stuff. After all, he was taught by the best,Bill Pearl, the 60s body building icon.

    One of my favorite workout memories with the good Dr. involved incline dumbbell presses. I’m crying and begging to stop, Dr. Pain is laughing at me for being a girl and driving me on. Another member was walking by with his trainer, turned to her and said, “We don’t have to do THAT, do we?” The Dr. and I got a lot of mileage out of that.

    Listening to Bob talk about riding let me know that whatever I was doing on my bicycle, it wasn’t riding. It was not unusual for Bob to do a century, 100 miles, on any given Saturday or Sunday. His stories of back to back centuries over a weekend left me exhausted. Then there is the story of him and Patty on a tandem cruising down a hill,at 60!

    Bob seemed to have one gear,full speed. I read a great quote once that should have been written about him. “He could chew through a concrete wall and convince you he looked good doing it.” That was Dr. Pain.

    We kept in touch. He’d call me or I’d call him. We’d chat about lifting, bicycling, politics, religion, whatever. They were always great conversations. I visited him in the hospital. We ran around one Saturday looking for a new bicycle for me. You know, just the sort of things you do,nothing urgent, nothing important. There was always time for more.

    That turns out to be false. My time with Dr. Pain has drawn to a close. It is bitter sweet. I am so very sorry he is gone, but I am very thankful that I knew him. I am honored that he seemed to like my company. I flatter myself that we were friends. I fear we no longer know how to build men like Dr. Pain. That is our loss.

    I’ve been telling Dr. Pain stories ever since I met him. I shall continue telling those stories until my time comes. He is no farther away from me than my heart.

    Goodbye, my friend.

    Michael McInnis

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