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Robert Piper

March 27, 1931 - April 20, 2018

U.S. Veteran
Obituary Viewed 2982 times

Robert Brown Piper died of prostate cancer on April 20, 2018, at home in Sandpoint, Idaho.  He was born on March 27, 1931, to Richard and Emily Piper of Epping, New Hampshire where he lived until high school graduation. With a degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of New Hampshire, he was hired by IBM only to be sidelined by an ROTC commitment in the Air Force which evolved into a 30-year career retiring with the rank of Colonel in 1984. Robert earned a Master’s Degree in Mechanical Engineering from Stanford University, which led to a 3-year teaching assignment at the Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, Colorado. He fought in the Vietnam War flying 100 missions in an F-105 Thunderchief out of Korat Air Force base in Thailand.  His airplane from that war has been restored and is on display at the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum in Chantilly, Virginia.

In April 1971, he married Lynn Blodgett and shortly afterward moved to Washington, DC to attend the Industrial College of the Armed Forces.  In 1977, the family moved to Denmark for three years where Robert was the Air Force Attaché in the U.S. Embassy.  In Denmark, he developed his love for bicycling which lasted the remainder of his life. A subsequent assignment took his family to Prague, Czechoslovakia where he was the Defense Attaché from 1981 – 83.

Not long after returning to the U.S., Robert retired from the Air Force and began a ten-year career in systems analysis for the Air Force in Washington, DC.  He continued to expand his distance cycling which eventually included the entire perimeter of the U.S. He estimated that he cycled about 60,000 miles during the last 40 years of his life.

In 1995, Lynn and Robert moved from Washington, DC to settle in Hope, Idaho. Many will remember Robert from the slopes of Schweitzer Mountain and the AARP Tax-Aide program where he was active for many years.

He is survived by his wife, Lynn, and his children, Kristin Campbell, Benjamin Piper and Emily Piper Allen, his brother, James and sister, Nancie Hughes and their families. He is preceded in death by his brother Richard and both parents.

A family observance will take place later this year. Any remembrance contributions may be sent to Memorial Community Center (http://www.memorialcommunitycenter.com) in Hope, Idaho.