Colonel Robert Calhoun Ed

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Colonel (retired) Robert Calhoun Ed of Livingston, TX entered peacefully into eternal rest at age 85 January 30, 2023 in Waco, TX surrounded by his loving children.

Robert was born May 28, 1937 in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada.  He and his family moved to Quebec and PA, finally settling in Bourbonnais, IL in 1952. In high school, Robert enjoyed playing saxophone, tennis, and volleyball. He and his wife, Viva Lee, met as they square danced together with their Boy Scout and Girl Scout troops, themselves becoming Scout leaders and continuing to square dance as adults. Robert attended University of Illinois, where he joined the Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC). Upon graduation in February 1960, he was commissioned in the US Army Signal Corp, a career that spanned 27 years resulting in assignments to seven states, the Philippines, a NATO base in Belgium, and three wartime tours in Vietnam. He also contributed to the development of the Global Positioning System (GPS) system. As the consummate Army officer dedicated to his mission both in peacetime and in combat, Robert earned several medals and honors while inspiring, appreciating and supporting his troops and their families. He was deeply admired by those who served with him.

Robert and Viva Lee were married February 6, 1960 at Wesley Methodist Church in Bradley, IL, had three children, and celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary before Viva Lee passed away in 2020. Robert enjoyed camping, hiking, and attending NASCAR races. After retirement in 1987, he adopted a full-time recreational vehicle (RV) lifestyle, became active in the Escapees RV Club, and often camped with family while traveling extensively throughout the US and Canada. He loved riding his side-by-side all-terrain vehicle (ATV) in the AZ desert surrounding his property at the Escapees North Ranch community near Wickenburg, AZ during winter while spending summers exploring remote trails in UT, NV,  ID, and CO. An avid genealogist, Robert Calhoun Ed wrote six genealogy books that can be found at The Family History Museum in Salt Lake City, UT. The lifetime of love shared and memories made with his wife, children and grandchildren along with their spouses, and great-grandson brought him his greatest joy. Robert preferred to be called “Bob” by his wife and friends, and his signature phrase was “Life is good!”

He is preceded in death by his beloved wife, Viva Lee B. (McCarty) Ed of Livingston, TX; parents, Robert Wallace Leroy and Evelyn Mae (Calhoun) Ed of Bourbonnais, IL; brother, William Douglas (Carol Sue) Ed of Tulsa, OK.

Robert is survived by children, Bryan R. (Julia) Ed of Waco, TX, Susan B. (Stephen) Dowdy of Broomfield, CO, Stuart C. Ed (life partner Leila Melendez) of El Paso, TX; grandchildren, Bryse N. (Justin) Law of Valley Mills, TX, Robert J. (Megan) Ed of Rowlett, TX; Brenna L. Dowdy of Albuquerque, NM, Ian F. Dowdy of Broomfield, CO, Rebecca C. Ed of Flagstaff, AZ, Nicholas C. Ed of Austin, TX; great-grandson, Kyler R.M. Ed of Rowlett, TX; brother, David W. (Ann) of Grand Rapids, MI.

Robert and Viva Lee Ed will be interred together at the Central Texas State Veterans Cemetery in Killeen with full military honors at 1:00 pm on Good Friday, April 7, 2023.


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Condolence Messages

  1. Bryan Ed (son)

    I miss my father so much. He was a big part of my life. Over the last four years, he and I travelled each summer together for half the year traveling throughout the western United States and riding our all-terrain vehicles. We used an open-microphone motorcycle communication system to be able to talk all day during our rides. We had a lot of wonderful conversations, saw unforgetable views, and shared many precious memories. It was a rare and wonderful gift to be able to be retired and share this quality time with my father. I am also thankful to have shared these precious memories for one year riding with my mother before her death in May 2020! And Mom and Dad were amazing parents. They were present and actively participated in my life. Dad was my Webelos leader at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas. He helped me create my very first Pinewood Derby car and taught me how to tie robe knots. Mom and Dad were at each band concert where they proudly supported all of the children who played in the band. And we always enjoyed family activities together. We camped all of our lives … and enjoyed hiking and countless campfires together. Mom and Dad also continue their support when we were adults in need as well. Dad flew out to Waco for three weeks to help me take possession of our household goods when we moved from Virginia to Waco, Texas. Julie and the kids remained in Virginia to finish out the school and taking possession of an entire tractor trailer load of household goods alone would have been a daunting task. I was grateful for Dad’s invaluable assistance during this time. Mom flew to Virginia to be with the children when my wife, Julie, flew to Michigan to be with her dying father. Mom and Dad were always supportive through actions and wise words of wisdom and life guidance. They both are greatly missed! The boundless and unconditional love that they gave their family will forever live in our hearts and they will always be a part of us!

  2. Paul R. Fisher Ltc retired

    I was so proud to have been chosen by him to be his Operations Officer S-3. HE WAS SUCH A SPLENDID OFFICER AND GENTLEMAN.

  3. Barbara Klopshinske

    Bob and Vive Lee were the most beautiful people We ever met. We will miss them.

    Barbara & Dick Klopshinske

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