Robert C. Umberger Sr.
Ft. MYERS, Fla. — Robert C. Umberger Sr., 91, formerly of West Rockport, passed away June 18, 2012, at HOPE Hospice, Ft. Myers. He was born on May 23, 1921, in Pittsburgh, Pa., and was the son of Robert S. and Theresa (Kleinman) Umberger. During the Depression the family moved to Salem, Ohio, where he attended school, participated in sports and graduated from Salem High School. Knowing it was his patriotic duty he enlisted the day after the Pearl Harbor attack. He flew 30 combat missions, lead crew, with the renowned 8th AF, 303rd Bomb Group “Hells Angels,” Molesworth, England, receiving the Distinguished Flying Cross. Later in life he was very active with the 8th AF Association, the 303rd Group reunions, as well as a member of DAV and American Legion.
While briefly assigned to Dow Field in Bangor, and before leaving for England and the war front, he met Jaye I. Sleight who was a volunteer with the Bangor USO. Upon his return from Europe they were married on April 10, 1945, in Salem, Ohio.
Pursuing a love of the outdoors, Robert graduated from the University of Maine with a bachelor of science in forestry, serving 36 years as a professional forester with the Maine Forest Service, retiring in 1987. Retirement afforded him more time for family and travel, including an extended around the world 50th-anniversary trip. He was never idle, devoting much time to maintaining their 1880s West Rockport home and barn.
Robert was predeceased by his wife, Jaye Sleight Umberger. He is survived by a sister, Ruth Kirby of Athens, Ala.; three sons and a daughter, Robert Jr. and wife, Sue, of Kingston, N.H., Susan of Tabor City, N.C., William and wife, Eileen, of Ft. Myers, Fla., John and wife, Judy, of Roswell, N.M., and foreign exchange son, Elmo DeAlwis and wife of Australia; grandchildren, Tami Cumbee, Brian and David Umberger, Adrienne Beaulieu, Keara Wallace, Abigael Umberger, and Lara and Katherine Umberger; and 14 great-grandchildren.
Calling hours will be held 5 to 7 p.m. Monday, June 25 at the Long Funeral Home, 9 Mountain St., Camden. The funeral Mass will be held 9 a.m. Tuesday, June 26 at Our Lady of Good Hope Catholic Church in Camden. He will be laid to rest with his wife at the Veterans Memorial Cemetery, Civic Center Drive, in Augusta.
Memorial donations may be made to the American Heart Association, 51 U.S. Route 1, Suite M, Scarborough, ME 04074. Condolences and memories may be shared with the Umberger family by visiting their book of memories at www.longfuneralhomecamden.com.