January 21, 1931 - May 13, 2019
Monday May 13, 2019, Robert Felix Childs passed from this world to the next after months of struggling with infections. He was born January 21, 1931, the 3rd of 7 sons to James Bennett Childs and Eleanor Atilla (Pirkner) Childs. Bob, as his friends called him; Felix as his parents and brothers called him, grew up in Washington, D.C., graduated from the University of Maryland as a mechanical engineer and after 9 years in ROTC joined the U.S. Air Force out of college. After his stint in the service he was discharged a first Lt. He spent 30 yrs. at Ford Motor Co. as an Automotive Engineer followed by another decade as a subcontract engineer. He was of the last generation to move from system to system until he thoroughly understood the engineering of the entire vehicle. He met Patricia Ann Allwine at her Grandmother’s summer place in Ocean City, MD while he was home on leave from the Air Force. They tumbled into love quickly. Pat followed Bob to suburban Detroit when he assumed his position at Ford. They married in 1955 and raised 7 children. Bob & Pat moved, with their two youngest, to Placentia, CA in 1984 when Bob took a position with Impco as lead engineer in charge of Product and Development. They moved back to MI in 1990 with Bob rejoining long-time associates at Modern Engineering while the two youngest sons finished school in West Bloomfield, MI. In 1998 Bob & Pat moved to Honolulu, HI to care for Pat’s ailing parents. Once they were unencumbered by children or parents to care for, they chose to move to Port Charlotte, FL to live out their lives in the sun and warmth they longed for all the years they tolerated the Michigan climate. A son of a Government Documents Librarian at the Library of Congress, Bob was a lifelong student. He walked the talk when he instilled in his children an insatiable curiosity for new learning and new pursuits. Bob was what some would call a professional amateur photographer. As a hobbyist, he always had very high quality camera equipment at his disposal. He left his family tens of thousands of slides and photos. He was a self-taught tailor, making his own suits as a young adult and in later years making pattern shirts for anyone who asked. Patterns always lined up across seams and they fell across shoulders as if tailored by a pro. He was a competent chef, knew his way around most tools and relished his next road trip; traveling tens of thousands of miles for work and pleasure over his 88 fulfilling years. He was an avid reader, loved cross word puzzles, a past time he learned from his mother, a children’s librarian and played Scrabble with anyone who would share a board with him. Bob will be cremated. The family will schedule two Celebration of Life events this summer. Safe travels Pop! Enjoy the road on the other side.