Robert R. Jayroe Jr.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Dr. Robert "Bob" Rhea Jayroe Jr., 71, of Huntsville, Ala., passed away Thursday, April 28, 2011, at his home. Dr. Jayroe had been battling pulmonary fibrosis with strength and determination for some time. He was born in Memphis to Nettie Sue Morton Jayroe and Robert Rhea Jayroe, Sr.

Dr. Jayroe graduated from Blytheville High School in 1958 where he was an outstanding athlete and student. He was awarded an athletic scholarship to the University of Oklahoma and graduated from Oklahoma University with a Bachelor's, Master's and Doctorate's degree in physics. He also coached freshman baseball and was a graduate assistant in the Physics Department while working on advanced degrees.

Dr. Jayroe accepted a position at NASA in 1967, and he and his childhood sweetheart, Mary Ann, moved to Huntsville. He had a 30-year career with NASA and then worked with Lockheed and Teledyne Brown, fully retiring in October 2010.

He received many awards and accolades during his career. He was Mission Manager on Astro 2 and retired as Division Chief and so enjoyed his co-workers and their friendship over the years. He was known for his intellect, character and love of his family.

Dr. Jayroe enjoyed playing Senior Men's baseball for 15 years, as long as his heart permitted, with the Huntsville team. He treasured his teammates' friendship and their camaraderie while also participating in the Senior Men's World Series baseball tournament in Florida and Phoenix.

A student at heart, Bob's interests included astrophysics, the universe, nature in all its form, all sports, hiking the Appalachian Trail and in recent years, genealogy.

Dr. Jayroe commented in recent years that he had a good life, a good marriage and wonderful children whom he adored. He was a good man and will be missed by many whose lives he touched. He was a member of First United Methodist Church.

He leaves his wife, Mary Ann Stout Jayroe;

A daughter, Janet Bailey Jayroe Bethany and husband, David Dossett Bethany, of Merritt Island, Fla.;

A son, Robert Rhea Jayroe III and his wife, Monica E. Pauli Jayroe, of Montgomery, Ala.;

A granddaughter, Mary Bailey Bethany of Merritt Island, Fla.;

A sister, Shirley Jayroe Argo and her husband, Hayden C. Argo, of Mountain Home;

A nephew, Hayden C. Argo Jr and his wife, Jeanna, of Memphis; and

Two great-nephews, Hayden and Parks Argo, also of Memphis.

Because of the aftermath of tornadic activities, a private family graveside service was held at Maple Hill Cemetery. Laughlin Service Funeral Home was in charge of arrangements.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be directed to First United Methodist Church, 120 Greene Street, S.E., Huntsville, AL, 35801; Monte Sano United Methodist Church Building Fund, 601 Monte Sano Blvd., Huntsville, AL, 35801 or a charity of your choice.