Saturday, June 7, 2014

March 2014 - June 3, 2014: A Special Tribute to Bob Werner Sr.

Since our last post we have been to the Cape Hatteras area and Kitty Hawk.  While there we got a call that Bob's Dad fell ill while on a Caribbean cruise.  He was air evacuated from Cozumel back to the US.  We headed back to FL to assist in his recovery and we remained there from the end of March until the end of May.  While sadly Bob Sr. passed, we saw him every day for 6 weeks.  These bonus weeks we had with him were such a gift. 

This post is a tribute to a wonderful man, father, grandfather and most important, a true friend.  Bob Senior touched so many people in such a positive way.  While he was buried with full military honors at West Point (attended by all the kids and grandkids), he will remain with us always as we travel on.

Robert Rehm Werner

Robert Werner, age 88, of Chagrin Falls, Ohio, died May 6, 2014, after a brief illness. He was born June 1, 1925 to Minerva (Rehm) and Louis Wolf Werner and grew up in Yonkers, New York. He was their only child. His parents lived frugally on his dad’s teaching salary so that the family could travel. By the time he graduated high school he had traveled with his parents to all the states (48 at the time), Canada, Mexico, South America and Europe. He kept this love of travel to the final days of his life. In the last two years he traveled with one or another of his children to France, Italy, Scotland, Egypt, Turkey and Central America. Two months before he died he was zip lining in Honduras.

After graduating high school he enlisted in the Army in 1943 and went to Europe with the 86 th Infantry Division and was wounded in combat in Germany. He won an appointment to West Point (signed by General Eisenhower). Graduating in 1950, he was commissioned in the Corps of Engineers. He married his high school sweetheart, Leila (Wilson) Werner on June 7, 1950 at West Point following graduation.

He made the Inchon Landing with the 62nd Engineer Construction Bn in the Korean War, and later served in Japan, Germany/France, Greenland, and Korea again after the Pueblo Incident. In 1964 he was assigned to the Office of Chief of Engineers and returned for a second tour, focusing on water resources and environmental impact in planning. He held a Master of Science degree in Civil Engineering from Texas A & M, was a registered professional engineer in the state of Texas, and was awarded a PhD in Economics from South Dakota State University. He retired from the Army as a full Colonel in 1973, and wanting to test some of his ideas in civilian life, joined Dalton, Dalton, Little and Newport, consulting engineers, to head up their Planning and Environmental Systems Group. In 1982 he left Dalton and founded SEMCOR, Inc. a strategy consulting firm, and later SEMCOR, Europe.

Throughout his life he was a good synthesizer, able to bring multiple disciplines and viewpoints to solve problems. Over his many decades he had a continuing interest in engineering, planning, strategy, peace and religion. His book, "Designing Strategy: The Art of Scenario Analysis, 2010" reflected his vision and perspective. 

He was an avid tennis and bridge player, and achieved Bronze Life Master in bridge.

After his children were grown, he became the patriarch of the family in the best sense of that word. He kept a far-flung family together through summer reunions, daughter winter getaways, guys’ golf, holidays and adventures. Everyone willingly came not only because it was great fun, but because the Colonel said so. The interest, love and acceptance he consistently showed to each member of his large extended family made him a role model for all of us.
"Over the years I've done a fair amount of reading and writing about religion and the church. Recently I came across a small cross that I considered a work of art. The sculptor artist that designed and made it calls it Trinity Cross. My modified interpretation of the cross and Trinity is light, live, love. Light in the sense that we have intellect, reason, the ability to question, the ability to think. All of this we might attribute to the Holy Spirit, God, that is with usLive in the sense that we must use the talents that we have usefully to make our way in the world, care for a family, and contribute. All as we might say God would have us do. And love as Jesus preached to be compassionate, care for others, deal well with others. The cross is a nice little artifact and I like to wear to remind me of these things.” -R.W.


  1. Please tell Bob I am so sorry for his loss. My thoughts are with you!

    1. Thanks Ashley. Bob Sr.was a great guy and we are sure going to miss him. The bonus six weeks we had though were so special. He shared with us every day during that time.

      We hope all is going well your way.

  2. Bob and Teri sorry this message is late. I was on medical leave and I have returned to work and heard of Bob Sr's passing. My deepest condolences.

  3. Lourdes, Thanks for your sweet message. It was a rough road, but we are moving forward, as Bob SR. would have wished us to.