Robert Booth, aged 88, of Pensacola, FL, formerly of Navarre, FL and Guilford, CT, died after a brief illness on 30 July, 2020 in Pensacola, FL. He was a retired Pan Am captain, a former pilot in the United States Air Force as well as a pilot with American Airlines, Northeast Airlines and Eastern Airlines.
Bob, the eldest of four children, was born on May 26, 1932 in New York City to the late Robert Booth and Margaret Hogan. Preceded in death by his wife of 53 years, Rose Ann Collier, and a daughter, Margo Booth, he is survived by four children, Marcie Booth (Jerry Strawser), of Shalimar, FL, Diana Booth, of Pensacola, FL, Bert Booth (Sandy), of Bel Air, MD, and Ava Farrar (Glenn), of New Orleans, LA. Bob also leaves behind nine grandchildren and nine great-grandchildren, along with his two sisters, Margery Reilly, of Houston, TX and Rosemary Booth, of Fernandina Beach, FL.
A graduate of Fordham Preparatory School in The Bronx, NY, he attended Villanova University before joining the Air Force in 1952. Bob earned his silver wings in 1954 and was assigned as a flight instructor at Reese Air Force Base, Lubbock, TX. Leaving active duty in 1957, he began his airline career living in New York, NY, Berlin, Germany, and Guilford, CT. During Bob’s career he flew the T-6, T-28, T-33, F-84, and TB-25 in the Air Force, the C-119 in the Air Force Reserves, and during his airline career he flew the Convair 240, DC-3, DC-6, Vickers Viscount, Lockheed Constellation, B-727, B-707, and the B-747. The highlight of his airline career was flying as a B-747 Captain for eleven years, until he retired in 1991.
Bob loved flying light aircraft as an owner, instructor, Chief Flight Instructor of a flight school, and Chief Pilot of a charter company for 40 years. While living in Germany he frequently flew gliders with the Pan Am Flying Club in the Austrian Alps. Bob also flew in the Civil Air Patrol for 24 years in both Connecticut and Florida, doing cadet orientation flights, search and rescue, and fire patrol missions. His two most memorable single-engine trips were with his wife, Rose Ann, to all lower 48 states in 1980 and a 1987 trans-Atlantic journey from Connecticut to Normandy, France, and back. His flying career spanned 65 years from 1952 to 2017.
In addition to his great love of flying, he was an avid sailor, golfer and competitive chess player. Bob and Rose Ann enjoyed traveling on cruise ships in retirement and went on numerous cruises to Bermuda, Alaska, Hawaii, the Caribbean, Europe, South Africa, Asia and the South Pacific.
Bob grew up in the New York City area and, except for his service in Texas with the Air Force, he lived in its suburbs until moving to Berlin, Germany in 1966, for nine years. After returning from Germany he lived in Guilford, CT, for 23 years before moving to Navarre, FL in 1997 and Pensacola, FL in 2018.
Due to the COVID 19 pandemic, we are postponing the Memorial Service and Internment, at Barrancas National Cemetery, NAS Pensacola, until we can all get together to celebrate a life well lived.