Commander Robert Bruce Hinds, Medical Service Corps, U.S. Navy (retired) reported to the Staff of the Supreme Commander on Sept. 14, for his final assignment. Bob, as he preferred to be called, was born Sept. 14, 1930, in Wichita Falls. He was the oldest of three sons born to James Robert and Agnes May (Turner) Hinds. In the early 1930’s Bob and his mother lived with his grandfather, Daniel Turner, who was homesteading in the Brigham, NM area before returning to Wichita Falls.
He attended public school in Wichita Falls, Fort Worth and Lubbock before moving to Taft, Ca, just prior to the outbreak of World War II. He graduated from Taft Union High School in the class of 1948 and then attended Midwestern University and Taft Junior College prior to the Korean War.
He enlisted in the Navy in 1950 and served on active duty until 1978 in the Medical Department. His service included 15 months as a combat medic with the First Marine Division in Korea and subsequent duty in Orange, where he met his future wife, Barbara June Goree. They were married Aug. 7, 1954; June and the ensuing family followed Bob’s career assignments from one coast to the other and back again. During this period, Bob rose through the enlisted ranks to Petty Officer First Class and was directly commissioned to the rank of Ensign, Medical Service Corps in the Supply and Administration Section.
Subsequent staff assignments included National Naval Medical Center, Bethesda, Md; Military Sea Transportation Service, Atlantic area in Brooklyn, NY, Navel School of Hospital Administration, Bethesda, for duty under instruction. He graduated from George Washington University with a Bachelor of Science Degree in 1966, and was then assigned to the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, Ca., where he received a Master’s of Science degree (Financial Management) in 1967.
From Monterey, duty at the Naval Hospital, Corpus Christi, followed. While servicing there, Bob was promoted to the grade of Lieutenant Commander. Bob returned to Bethesda for duty as an instructor at the Naval School of Healthcare Administration and subsequently was promoted to Academic Director. During this period the school entered into a joint agreement to provide the joint Navy/George Washington University Baccalaureate program in Healthcare Administration. Bob held teaching assignments at Strayer University, George Washington University and the University of Virginia.
Bob was promoted to the rank of Commander in September, 1974. In the summer of 1975, he was assigned to the Naval Hospital, Quantico, Va., as Director, Administrative Services, and subsequently served as acting Executive Director. He retired from active duty in 1978, and the family returned to Orange. After retirement, Bob worked for 10 years as the Budget Coordinator, for St. Elizabeth Hospital in Beaumont and carried the nickname “Budget Bob”. He retired from St. Elizabeth in 1992.
Bob is a life member of VFW Post 2775; Fleet Reserve Association Branch 159, American Legion Post 49; and the Military Officers Association of America. His military awards include the Navy Commendation Medal, Navy Good Conduct Medal with bronze star, National Defense Service Medal, Korea Service Medal with Fleet Marine Force device and four campaign stars, United Nations Service Medal, Combat Action Ribbon, Korea War Service Medal, Navy Unit Commendation ribbon and Korean Presidential Unit Citation.
Bob was predeceased by his parent; brother Michael and his wife of 52 years, two months and nine days who he lovingly referred to as his “bride” because the honeymoon wasn’t over.
He is survived by his brother, Patrick, of San Dimas, Ca; daughter Katia M. Hinds of Beaumont; son Kevin R. Hinds of Wichita Falls; daughter Karie C. Burnaman of Huntington; daughter Karin J. Armfield of Orange; son Kolin J. Hinds of Orange and daughter Zoe Ann Hinds of Beaumont; six grandchildren, Kyle Wright, Natasha VanSlyke, Duff Wright, Lauren Dempsey, Hannah Richard and Olivia Jones; great grandchildren Anthony Peluso, Alexander Wright, Alyssa Longron, Evolette VanSlyke, Baily Dempsey and Luke Wright. In addition he has several nieces, nephews and numerous cousins.
A memorial service will be held at 12:00 pm, Thursday, Sept. 17, at Claybar Funeral Home in Orange. Visitation will be prior to the service beginning at 11:00 am.
Bob’s remains will be co-mingled with those of his wife, June, and dispersed off the Central California coast at a later date.