September 3, 1926, the Reverend Samuel Adair and wife Willie Curry Adair welcomed their last child into the loving family which was complete with six girls and four boys.
At the age of 11 Robert and his family moved from the home of his birth, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania to Youngstown, Ohio where the Reverend Adair took over the ministry at the Church of God.
Robert, affectionately called Bob, graduated from Rayen High School in 1943, not long after which he joined the US Navy.
At a very young age Bob had been struck by a truck which left his right eye impaired. The injury to his eye was discovered by the Navy, whereupon he was discharged and immediately inducted into the Army where he received the Army occupation medal along with the World War II victory ribbon.
Robert received an honorable discharge in October 1946. With the rank of technician, 4th grade medical detachment 37 signal Corps and successful completion of training in the military as a dental lab technician, Bob applied to a multitude of dental lab positions from Youngstown to Cleveland, Ohio.
Reality set in as he ran out of laboratories from which to seek employment. Obviously, his military training was not going to open doors to a future career in dental technology in Ohio.
Changing direction he found employment with Warner Swasey, a manufacturing company in Cleveland. Working from a schematic and a slab of metal he had to program the machine within a millimeter of the specifications on the schematic. Bob referred to the job as giving him the opportunity to use brawn and brain.
Needing a vacation, Bob, his wife and three year old son, Michael visited the land of sun and beaches in Los Angeles, California.
While vacationing, at the urging of a friend, Bob applied for a job with Boeing Aircraft and much to his surprise he was offered a lucrative job. Astonished by the quick offer of employment, Bob accepted the job, resigned from Warner Swasey, sought housing in California while at the same time making arrangements to return to Cleveland, load his belongings and return to California.
Based only on the owner’s explanation of why they were selling, Bob made an offer on the house for what he thought was, “a really good deal.” That allusion was soon shattered when the home began being pelted with eggs, spray painted with threats of harm if they didn’t get out and vile never ending racist remarks smeared over the house. Fear was heightened when, somehow, the culprits secured their phone number and started harassing them with late night phone calls. The managers at Boeing were understanding and Bob was granted a change in his work schedule so he could be home in the evenings.
Bob didn’t have long to wait. Night two, as he laid in wait on his roof, three figures approached the house riding bicycles. When they took paint canisters out and approached the house Bob went into action, jumping onto the figure closest to the house, rolling on the lawn he knocked the
intruder out, jumped on the bike taking off in pursuit of the other two. Realizing they had too much of a head start, Bob returned home to secure the one still lying on the lawn. When the police arrived an ambulance carried the intruder to the hospital, and Bob was taken to the police station for questioning, where he was arrested for assault.
Fortunately, the young man recovered, police records verified the long history of calls made reporting each incident, and along with a number of character witness testimony from employees at Boeing the charges against Bob were finally dropped.
Returning to Ohio in 1958, Bob filed for divorce when his wife chose to remain in California.
Upon his return Bob found employment with the city of Cleveland’s urban renewal department. By 1961 Bob was the housing coordinator of the Fairfax area. Fairfax was stated to be the best in the nation by the White House Conference for neighborhood rehabilitation. Bob went on to serve the city as director of Cleveland’s housing clinic as well as director of model cities before accepting a position with the federal government as assistant district manager of social security in 1974. A position he held until retirement in 1996.
By 1961 Bob’s life was full. Immersed in a job he loved, enrolled at Fenn College, and teaching dance at the YMCA where he resided.
One particular weekend in June 1961, Reverend Samuel called Bob to drive him to Pittsburgh, PA. That event proved to be the ride that drove Bob into the arms of the love which lasted the rest of his life.
Disappointed by having to break a date in order to drive his dad to Pittsburgh, Bob enlisted the aid of his niece Helen to find him a date that Saturday night. In the meantime, while shopping Bob’s brother and sister-in-law ran into their friend Gertrude Kelsey and her daughter Lolita. While his brother, wife and Gertrude were engaged in conversation, Bob was busy asking Lolita for a date that evening.
A year later, June 22, 1962, the couple were joined in matrimony. Of that union their son Jacques Andre was born in 1963 followed fourteen months later by the arrival of their daughter Monique Yvette.
In May 2023 Bob entered Cleveland Clinic’s hospice care at home under the watchful eyes of the three main caregivers, Taylor, Odessa, and Brenna. Supplemental care was provided by a variety of home health aide companies. Lolita instructed everyone entering the home that love and laughter were to be the order of the day.
Bob never failed to show his delight when Taylor would fix him deviled eggs with cheese toast; when Odessa brought him new treats, or Brenna took him out for fresh air on warm days. The hospice nurses were forever complementing the care team for their creative ideas in supporting Bob with quality care and comfort.
Recognizing the burden placed upon caregivers’ stability over a period of time, Monique traveled from Florida once or twice a month to give the caregivers respite and provided tokens of appreciation, special to each individual.
Bob was preceded in death by his parents, loving son, Michael Douglas Adair (Mary), and nine brothers and sisters..
Left to cherish their memories of Bob are his wife of 61 years Lolita; son, Jacques Andre Adair (Mallory); daughter, Monique Yvette Betty (Michael); ten grandchildren, five great grandchildren, nieces, nephews, and cousins too numerous to list separately.
Military honors will be held on February 20, 2024, at 1:15 pm at Ohio Western Reserve National Cemetery, 10175 Rawiga Rd. Seville, Ohio 44273.