Robert "Bob" Fleming
January 10, 1943 - November 13, 2017
Keizer - Robert Earl "Bob" Fleming was born January 10, 1943 at the Bungalow Maternity Home on Capitol Street in Salem during a snow storm; He was named for his father and maternal grandfather, the third of four children of his father and of five of his mother. He grew up in Keizer, Mill City, and Salem graduating from North Salem High School in 1962 with his younger brother. On January 7, 1964, wanting a choice in preference for a particular branch of the service, Bob enlisted in the United States Air Forch, serving until his discharge January 6, 1972. During his service he was sent on one tour of duty in Vietnam and was stationed in Texas, Hawaii and Washington as well as spending time in Australia and Germany along the way. Bob was primarily an aircraft mechanic and attained the title of Staff Sergeant, giving himself the nickname of "Sergeant Rock" or simply "Sarge" for his firm personality.
After his discharge, Bob was hired on March 4, 1972 with the United States Postal Service, a career he worked out of the main Salem post office until his retirement on November 30, 2007. On March 4, 1973 Bob met up with his Aunt Bernice Baker to celebrate his 1-year USPS anniversary at Donald Tavern. While there in walked the future fancy of his life, Lyn, who was out enjoying the evening with friends. Lyn soon nicknamed him a "Country Bumpkin" after a hit country song of the era, a nickname that fit him. Bob and Lyn dated on and off for a while, but always remained loyal friends for the next 44 years until the day he passed unexpectedly.
During his happiest years Bob enjoyed gardening and tinkering on his 1.5 acre hobby farm in Keizer that he bought on May 18, 1975; He planted flowers, shrubs, trees, and raising small fowl including chickens, ducks and rabbits. Bob was proud of his beautiful ranch-style home and its park-like acreage. In his later years Bob resigned more to the enjoyment of watching TV, catching the latest movies in the theater, shopping/walking stores, and long laughter-filled visits with family reminiscing and playing board games, especially Kismet. He LOVED to tell stories, fond memories of relatives past and present, and his rich life experiences. From the age of 60 on Bob also took a passionate interest in tattoo art, covering most of his arms, shoulders, neck, and chest with images that meant things to him. In the late 2000s he became a grandfather and really enjoyed drawing with his grandsons who affectionately called him "Grandpa Pappy".
Published in StatesmanJournal on Nov. 26, 2017