Dees, Robert W., Lt. Col. (USAF retired) Bob Dees, a decorated combat pilot in WWII, Program Manager of the USAF's Titan Missile Program and the savior of the rocket ship in Los Arboles Park, died at home on January 26, after a brief illness. Born in Greenville, Alabama in 1918, Bob was an Eagle Scout and graduated from Auburn University. He was in the Army when the war broke out and he began pilot training. He completed 31 missions over Germany, earning the Distinguished Flying Cross. He later earned a graduate degree at Georgia Tech and served in the Korean War. Bob's assignment to the US Air Force Base in El Segundo brought him and his family to the Hollywood Riviera (Torrance) in 1956. Except for three years, he lived the rest of his life in that neighborhood. After retiring from the Air Force in 1967, he joined TRW's Model 35 program. Upon his second retirement, he routinely jogged in Los Arboles Park. When he saw workmen removing the iconic rocket ship from the park's playground, he phoned Mayor Katy Geissert and ensured that the rocket ship was replaced. He is survived by Edith, his wife of sixty years, and children Rob Dees Jr. of San Pedro and Edie Dees of Redondo Beach. A true Southern gentleman, he leaves a wealth of coworkers, friends and neighbors, and a loving and grateful family. A memorial service will be held at St. Andrews Presbyterian Church in Redondo Beach at 2:00 PM on February 2.

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  1. Col Dees inspired and mentored me when I arrived in LA as a green second Lieutenant. His sensitive, competent but firm personality made me respect him as a wonderful role model and a great human being… Even his flying advice was treasured by me throughout my flying career. He was a national treasure as a manager, mentor, pilot, etc. etc. I learned some valuable life lessons from him and will never forget him and his contributions to our country and incidentally to my career and hopefully my abilities to mentor others.

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