Robert C. Weir
We recall Bob Weir’s kindness, dedication, intellect, insight and humor, as well as his incredible ability to retrieve any given scrap from the mound of paper on his overflowing desk.
Bob grew up in the Boston area. He served in the signal corps during WWII and was assigned to the Philippines in 1945. After the war, he received his BA in economics at Harvard and his MA in school administration at Boston University.
Bob’s DoDDS career started in Nouasseur at the time the Moroccans were pushing for independence from France. It wasn’t unusual for Bob’s Morris Minor convertible, filled to capactiy with traveling teachers, to be stopped at barbed-wire blockades set up to deter rebels. Casablanca was devoid of tourists, except for Americans stationed in Morocco. It was in Nouasseur that Bob met Cathy Butto, also a DoDDS teacher.
The following year Bob was assigned to Ramstein, Germany as Director of Student Activities and basketball coach. Cathy was also assigned to Ramstein as a sixth grade teacher. They were married at the end of the 1955-56 school year.
After serving as an administrator in Shaftsbury and Sculthorpe, England, Bob spent 1957-59 as principal of a ten-teacher school in Istanbul, Turkey, a challenging assignment. Bob was a principal with a non-English-speaking secretary and no telephone! His car, with a broken water pump and a bucket of water, was the ambulance and there was no school nurse. Bob was also the seventh, eighth and ninth grade teacher, with no ninth-grade textbooks. This was remedied by sending the ninth graders to a dormatory school in England. The school, on the outskirts of Istanbul, had been a bus repair facility and was wedged between a pig farm and a lime processing plant. The school did have an English-speaking librarian, but no library books until Bob donated books purchased at a most favorable Turkish lira exchange rate. Cathy taught a class of more than 40 fifth and sixth-graders and also doubled as the only substitute when teachers in the lower grades were absent.
The years in Istanbul provided Bob with many entertaining tales such as the time the students were returned to school because the fog had closed down the ferry that took many of them home across the Bosphorus and they had to be housed for the night, the mosquito larvae “fish” in the bottled drinking water, the camouflaged troops with fixed bayonets maneuvering through recess play and many more.
Bob next served as an administrator in Woodbridge, England before moving on to Chateauroux, France, where he taught high school economics and history classes. Three years and two daughters (Cindy and Noelle) later, Bob transferred to the Philippines, where son Duncan and daughter Heather were born. Bob started at Clark AB as a high school teacher, and during his 26-year tenure there also was a counselor, administrator, golf coach and Philippine Director of Pupil Personnel Services.
Bob and Cathy retired to Fort Collins, Colorado near their children and families in 1989. Bob passed away in December of 1993, leaving behind fond memories of a kind man committed to his family and to the students he served in his 35 years overseas.
Prepared by M. Catherine Weir