October 25, 1931 ~ December 31, 2019
Robert G. Gilroy (Bob) passed away on Tuesday, December 31, 2019. He was 88 years old. He was born and raised in Niagara Falls, N.Y. to Robert. A. and Jessie L. Gilroy. He was preceded in death by his parents, his wife of 63 years, Carol J. Gilroy and his brother William W. Gilroy.
Bob graduated from Trott High School in Niagara Falls, had a BS in Engineering from the University of Buffalo, and an AA degree in Metallurgical Technology from the Buffalo State Technical Institute (BSTI), (now a unit of the University of Buffalo).
While in high school he was a member of the Order of DeMolay, a Masonic order sponsored organization.
He worked as a Co-op student in the Metallurgical Laboratory of the Bell Aircraft Corporation in Niagara Falls, NY. Following graduation from BSTI, he was employed by the General Electric Company in Schenectady, NY on their “Test Program”. In this program, he worked for 3 - 6 months each, rotating through the test departments of: Induction Motors, Gas Turbines, Steam Turbines, General Engineering Laboratory and the Ceramics Department of the G.E. Research Laboratory, where he met and married the love of his life, Carol J. Nigriny.
Following graduation from the University of Buffalo, he worked for the Spaulding Fiber Company in North Tonawanda, NY as a field engineer
for the southeast United States. Following this, he was employed by the Allis-Chalmers Company in Milwaukee, Wisconsin in the Steam Turbine Department. He then worked for the Aerojet General Company in Sacramento, CA in the Cryogenics Laboratory, working on rocket propulsion systems and components.
Following this he worked for TRW Systems (now Northrop Grumman Corporation) in Redondo Beach, California and lived in Torrance, California. Bob worked for TRW for 28 years and retired as the manager of the Propulsion Systems and Components Department. He then worked for TRW/Northrop Grumman an additional 18 years as a consultant/contract engineer for a total of 46 years. While at TRW, he participated in most space satellite programs including the Apollo Program Lunar Module Descent Engine, as well as the Minuteman 111 ICBM Program, and Viking Mars Lander Program.
Bob was also a member of the New York and Wisconsin Army National Guard for 11 years. He resigned as a Captain and Commanding Officer of a Nike Air Defense Artillery Battery.
Bob, Carol, and family have lived in Torrance, CA since 1965. They have also lived in Schenectady, N.Y., Buffalo, N.Y., North Tonawanda, N.Y, Wauwatosa, WI., Milwaukee, WI., Rancho Cordova, CA., and Citrus Heights, CA.
Bob is survived by his children, Robert C. Gilroy (wife Karen), of Waxahachie, TX, Susan C. Chiechi, (husband Loren) of Flower Mound, TX, and David A. Gilroy (wife Donna), of Torrance CA, brother Kenneth Gilroy, (wife Joanne), and nephew Kenny Gilroy of Knoxville TN. Also, grandchildren Rachel R. Gilroy, David R. Gilroy, Miranda N. Chiechi and Christopher L. Chiechi.
Bob always had a deep interest in machinery and auto mechanics and repair and owns a 1952 MGTD, and 1967 Volvo P1800. He also owned several older Volvos.
He held a private pilot license, flew locally and flew to the Experimental Aircraft Association annual fly-in, in Oshkosh, WI from Torrance a number of times.
He was a member of the Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA), American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA), Life Member of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME), National Air and Space Museum, and Torrance Western Museum of Flight.
Bob and Carol enjoyed traveling with their family when they were younger, usually by motorhome. They have visited all 50 states. They have also visited Scotland and England (as well as Canada). They also enjoyed cruises to Alaska, the Columbia River, the Great Lakes, off the coast of Maine and the Inland Waterway on the East Coast.
Services will be held on Wednesday, January 8, 2020 at Lighthouse Memorial/Rice Center in Torrance (5310 Torrance Blvd.) at 11:00 AM. This will be followed by a graveside service at Pacific Crest Cemetery in Redondo Beach (2701 182nd Street) at 12:30 PM.
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