Dr. Charles Arlee Robb, 84, of Little Rock, passed away on Friday, November 3, 2017 after a lengthy battle with Parkinson’s Disease.
He was born October 17, 1933 on a small farm in southern Missouri. He loved to joke that he was born in Pig Ankle, but he moved, at an early age, to Jefferson City and from there pursued an extensive advanced education at the University of Missouri in Columbia. This lead to his B.S. degree in 1961, an M.A. degree in 1962 and a Ph.D. in Physiology in 1965. During this time he interrupted his education to serve a three year stint in the United States Air Force.
He was part of the 1009 Special Weapons Squadron and received three Presidential Unit Citation Awards for his work on secret projects such as nuclear technology. Dr. Robb often spoke of his time at Manzano Air Force Base where he walked around in a large cave, cleaning, repairing and securing nuclear bombs. This led to his special assignment in Fairbanks, Alaska on a project detecting thermonuclear H bomb data from other countries.
During his postdoctoral fellowship at the University of Missouri, Dr. Robb specialized in cardiovascular physiology, but in 1968 he joined Alcon Pharmaceuticals in Fort Worth, Texas, as Senior Scientist. He served as Head of the Toxicology Research, Director of Basic Sciences, Senior Director of Ophthalmology and upon getting his Advanced Management Practices from Harvard University, he advanced to the position of Vice President in Research and Development.
During his years with Alcon, Dr. Robb was extensively traveled giving lectures and seminars. His name was on numerous abstracts and publications. He spent much time in France and interfaced with Nestle Corporation (Owner of Alcon) in Switzerland. He was fluent in French and loved the culture. Upon retirement from Alcon, in 1989, Dr. Robb moved to Hot Springs Village. He enjoyed golfing, fishing, setting on the deck with a glass of wine, and was loved by many radio fans as “Catfish Charlie”. He was always full of fun stories from his life experiences and will be missed for his integrity, love of life and family.
He is preceded in death by a son, Scott Robb; his parents, Charley and Zilpha Sapp Robb and two sisters, Opal Grisham and Elizabeth Foraker.
Dr. Robb’s memory will forever be cherished by his wife of 22 years, Donna Meyer Bradshaw-Robb of Little Rock; his daughter, Sarah Hill and husband, Mike, of Fort Worth, Texas; his daughter-in-law, Patricia Zilliox-Robb of Dalworthington Gardens, Texas; two step-sons, Ken Bradshaw and wife, Beverly, of Monticello and Kirk Bradshaw of Little Rock; a step-daughter, Deedra Bradshaw-Berkemeyer of Hot Springs Village; five grandchildren, Bryan, Rebekah, Caitlyn, Bryce and Brent; three great-grandchildren; his ex-wife, Ann Hass, several nieces and a lifetime of friends.
A special thank you is extended to Jean Bailey, a dear friend and caregiver, and Hospice Home Care in Little Rock, for their love and attention.
Friends are invited to funeral services at 2 p.m., Saturday, November 11, 2017 in the Jones-Hartshorn Funeral Home Chapel with Bro. Jerry Carter officiating. Burial will be at the Hamburg Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the University of Missouri Medical School Research Center, MU Gift Processing, 407 Reynolds Alumni Center, Columbia, MO 65211 or the Wounded Warrior Fund, PO Box 758517, Topeka, KS 66675-8517.