Kenneth Ray (Robbie) Robertson 1SG E8-Retired US Army, passed away Tuesday, January 2, 2018, at the age of 88. Born in Dawson, Texas, Robbie served over 20 years. His duty stations were Ft. Ord, CA; Ft. Bragg, NC; Ft. Eustis, VA and Ft. Riley, KS. Robbie was assigned to the 82nd Airborne Division at Ft. Bragg, where he made the rank of SSG (E6). He loved to jump. Robbie was ordered to Munich, Germany, where he served three years in the Armored Infantry and then reassigned to the 82nd Airborne Division at Ft. Bragg. He was selected to be an instructor in “Jump School’ for over 3-1/2 years. He had a total of 83 jumps – a “Master Jumper”, and he received the Army Commendation RIbbon for his outstanding service as an instructor.. Robbie transferred into helicopter aircraft maintenance and was a Crew Chief on the H-34 Helicopter at Ft. Bragg, earning his aviation wings. Later, he received orders for Nuremberg, Germany, and served as a Crew Chief for three years. Robbie received orders to Ft. Ord to be NCO of Observation – H-13 Helicopters. He served for nine months and was selected to be Helicopter Maintenance Instructor at Ft. Eustis. After instructing, he attended the NCO Academy and finished in the top 10% of his class of 47 classmates. He returned to Ft. Eustis and within a short period of time was promoted to SFC – E7. Fifteen months later, he was promoted to MSG – E8 and received orders to Ft. RIley, where he served as 1SG of the 388th Aircraft Direct Support (ADS) Company, forming the Unit for VIetnam. When he arrived in “Nam”, Robbie was transferred to the 611th ADS in Vinh Long. During his tour as 1SG, TET hit his compound very hard, killing 17 enlisted men and the compound commander, a LTC. His Unit was lucky in that no lives were lost and Robbie received the “Bronze Star” for his actions, Later, he was reassigned to Ft. Eustis and a few weeks later, he retired with over 20 years of service. Robbie worked at the Army Education Center for two years. He was selected to teach JROTC at Bethel High School in Hampton, Va and for 11 years it was the thrill of his life and soul. Amen. “And don’t forget to step off on the let foot.” Go Cadets! Robbie worked for the Recreation Center at Ft. Eustis for two years and was selected to instruct Helicopter Maintenance as a GS-9. He instructed high-ranking officers, NCOs and others. This was another thrill of his life. Instructing was a love of his life and joy for him as a soldier and a civilian. He taught for 11 years and received several awards, including the “Master Instructor Award.” Many thanks to SGM Ken Deskins, SGM Ray Taylor, and to all of you. “May God bless you and His love to all” – Robbie. Robbie was preceded in death by his wife of 32 years, Mary Etta Robertson; former wife, Nancy Robertson Nunzi; and daughter, Susan Robertson Faircloth. He is survived by his sister, Ferrel Elaine Sorenson (Richard); and his four sons, Wayne (Deb) of Laurel, MD; Dave (Brenda) of Wichita, Kansas; Gary (Becky) of Fayetteville, NC, and Steve (Lonnie) of Wilmington, NC; six grandchildren; and ten great grandchildren. Robbie was a lifetime member of BPOE 315 (Elks), Moose Lodge, 32 degree Mason, the American Legion and the VFW. He enjoyed woodworking as a hobby and contributed to many children’s and animal charities. The family will receive friends from 11 am-12 Noon, Saturday, January 13, 2018 at Altmeyer Funeral Home, Denbigh Chapel, followed by funeral service officiated by Rev. Marvin A. Jackson. Burial will full military honors will be held at Arlington National Cemetery at a later date.
Local arrangements by Wilmington Funeral & Cremation 1535 S 41st Street, Wilmington, NC 28403, 910.791.9099.
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