The Tales of a Blair Family    

March 28, 1923
Jeannette, Westmoreland, PA
January 10, 2006  Age: 82 years
Cause of Death:
Heart Attack
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Father:  George W. Rumbaugh
Marion E. Davison

Children: Robert F., George F., James L., Victoria, Michelle

Spouse: Joan Forbes
Daughter of: 
Francis and Lena Forbes
July 2, 1928, Pennsylvania
July 1982, Pennsylvania  Age: 54 years
Cause of Death:
Health Issues:
Unknown (Probably w/husband)
Marriage Date: 
September 10, 1952
Marriage Location:
1st Presbyterian Church, Meadville, Pennsylvania
Occupation of Spouse:

Occupation: WWII Army Air Corps veteran, Airline Pilot for Allegheny Airlines and US Air, Air National Guard

Corry High School, Corry, PA
Carson Long Military Academy
Grove City College
University of Pittsburgh

Health Issues:

  • SSDI: Joan Rumbaugh: SSN 160-28-6157, Born: 2 July 1928, Last Benefit: 15136 McKees Rocks, Allegheny, Pennsylvania.  Died: July 1982.  State issued: Pennsylvania (1951-1952)
  • 1930 census: Corry, Erie, PA., Robert and mother Marion living with Marion's brother, R. Lawrence Davison.
  • Obituary from Pittsburgh Post Gazette. January 13, 2006  Transcript below.
  • Obituary from Pittsburgh Post Gazette. January 14, 2006  Transcript below.
  • Wedding article (image) from The Daily Courier, Connellsville, PA, September 30, 1952, pg. 4. Transcript below.


Obituary: Robert Andrew Rumbaugh -Swashbuckling pilot who just loved the skies
Saturday, January 14, 2006
By Tim Grant, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Robert Rumbaugh spent so much time flying aircraft for much of his life that his sons thought he might have preferred living in the air to life on the ground.

The swashbuckling pilot, who flew 68 missions behind enemy lines in World War II, sailed hang gliders during his retirement and even walked away from a midair crash with another airplane 50 years ago, died Tuesday from a heart attack at St. Clair Hospital. He was 82.

"He took a lot of chances and he wasn't afraid to do things," said his son George Rumbaugh of Robinson. "He had a sense of adventure. He wanted to do everything and go everywhere and he did."

An only child, he lost his father at age 4 and grew up in Erie County during the Great Depression, helping his mother in the struggle to keep food on the table. He joined the Army Air Corps to fight in World War II and came back determined to make a better life for himself.

Mr. Rumbaugh worked two full-time jobs, flying for the Air National Guard and USAir. Age policies forced him to retire from the Air National Guard when he turned 50 and from the airline at age 60, but even in his golden years, he still flew everything he could get his hands on.

"He flew almost daily," said his son James Rumbaugh.

Mr. Rumbaugh, who lived in Robinson, gave up flying for good and grounded himself at age 80 when he felt his health declining. Even then, George Rumbaugh said, his father bought an experimental boat that floated on a cushion of air, which he drove in the back yard and on the Ohio River.

"It was a pretty strange sight," he said. "It didn't look too safe, but he could handle it."

During the war, he flew with a tactical reconnaissance squadron whose job was to fly over the front lines of battle in Europe and take photographs of enemy targets.

Mr. Rumbaugh's colorful adventures also included a stint driving stock cars in the early 1950s in the NASCAR circuit in northwestern Pennsylvania. He won the season championship, while crashing quite a few race cars in the process.

But those crashes paled in comparison to the midair collision he survived in the mid-1950s while flying a T-51 for the Air National Guard. The pilot who struck his airplane ejected and lived. Mr. Rumbaugh landed upside down in a cornfield and walked away uninjured.

"He's got a closet full of log books for all the time he spent on different aircraft that's way more than 25,000 hours," said James Rumbaugh, also of Robinson. "If you figure that out in years, that's a long time to be off the ground."

Mr. Rumbaugh also is survived by son Robert F. Rumbaugh of Chicago; daughters Victoria Templeton and Michelle Calavitta, both of Bemus Point, N.Y., and four grandchildren.

A memorial service will be held at 1 p.m. today in Union Presbyterian Church, 6165 Steubenville Pike, Robinson. Arrangements are by DeAngelo Funeral Home.
First published on January 14, 2006 at 12:00 am

Obituary published Friday, January 13, 2006  Pittsburgh Post Gazette, Pittsburgh, PA
Robert Andrew Rumbaugh, 82, of Pittsburgh and Lauderdale By The Sea Florida, died Tuesday, January 10, 2006 in St. Clair Hospital. Born March 28, 1923 in Jeannette a son of George and Marion Davison Rumbaugh. Husband of the late Joan Forbes Rumbaugh. Mr. Rumbaugh was a graduate of Corry High School in Erie Co., attended Carson Long Military Academy, Grove city College and received his Bachelors Degree from the University of Pittsburgh. A veteran of WWII he served with the Army Air Corps in France, and later with the Air National Guard in Pittsburgh. He was a pilot for Allegheny Airlines and USAir for 27 years. He continued flying, as a hobby, into his eightieth year. Mr. Rumbaugh was a champion stock car racer, locally, during the early 1950's and was an avid tennis player. Mr. Rumbaugh was a member of the Independent Order of the Odd Fellows and various aviation organizations. Surviving are three sons, Robert F. of Chicago, George F. and James L., both of Pittsburgh; two daughters, Victoria Templeton and Michelle Calavitta, both of Bemus Point, NY and four grandchildren. A memorial service will be held at 1:00 p.m. Saturday, January 14, 2006 in Union Presbyterian Church of Robinson Township at 6165 Steubenville Pike, McKees Rocks, PA 15137. Arrangements in care of the DeAngelo Funeral Home.

The Daily Courier, Connellsville, PA, September 30, 1952, page 4
Forbes-Rumbaugh Candlelight Nuptials Held
The First Presbyterian Church of Meadville was the setting for the candlelight nuptials of Miss Joan Forbes, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Frances Forbes of Meadville, and Robert A. Rumbaugh, son of Mrs. Marion Rumbaugh of Corry and a grandson of the late Mr. and Mrs. A. M. Rumbaugh of Mount Pleasant.

Rev. Hugh Crawford performed the double ring ceremony at 7:30 o'clock Wednesday evening, September 10, in a beautiful floral setting of ferns and white gladiolas. Tapers in branched candelabra, provided a soft light.

Organist Emma Shafter played appropriate wedding selections and accompanied Mr. and Mrs. Lawrence Steinbrook who sang several numbers.

Given in marriage by her father, the bride wore a floor-length gown of white satin with a chantilly lace bodice, scalloped to a net yoke. The sleeves were full length with wrist points and her fingertip veil of illusion fell from a Juliet cap trimmed with seed pearls. She carried a white Bible with an orchid marker and streamers tied with baby chrysanthemums.

Captain Ernest D. Fahlborn, stationed at the Greater Pittsburgh Airport, was best man.

A reception for three hundred guests was held in the church parlor after the ceremony and was attended by many region residents, including some from Scottdale and Norvelt. The couple will make their residence in Pittsburgh.