Robert Edward WilemsApril 30, 1942 ~ February 9, 2018 (age 75)
Bob was born in Corpus Christi, TX on April 30, 1942 to Hubert William Wilems and Helen Grace Reifschlager Wilems of Yorktown, TX.
Bob attended grade school at Corpus Christi Cathedral School and St Patrick’s. He was very bright and advanced to second grade while still in first. When asked by his first grade teacher, Sister Lucy, “can anyone count to 100”, he said, “by ones, fives or tens, aren’t we going to learn something today?” Sister Lucy is still living in Corpus Christi.
As he advanced in his education Bob graduated valedictorian from Corpus Christi College Academy in 1959 and received a full scholarship to St. Edward’s University in Austin where he graduated Valedictorian in 1963. He received a full academic scholarship to the University of Tennessee where he earned a PHD in Physics in 1968. Twelve years ago Bob’s hypothesis of his thesis was proven correct by a Japanese research program. He was one of the youngest PHD graduates from the University of Tennessee.
Bob married the love of his life, Cornelia Ann Houseman Wilems on August 17, 1963 and she accompanied him to TN for graduate school. While he studied, Bob and Nela started their family; Todd Anthony was born July 23, 1964 and Mark Christopher on July 14, 1966.
Upon graduation in 1968 from the Univ. of TN Advanced Physics Program at Oak Ridge, they moved to Alamorgordo, NM, White Sands Missile Range. There, he pursued a career in complex missile systems to neutralize ICBM missiles during the Cold War.
In 1972, the family moved to New Jersey where Bob worked in Missile Computer Systems for General Research. In 1974, they moved to Fort Walton Beach, FL to continue his work at Eglin Military Base. Next, Bob was recruited to Huntsville, AL to work on the High Level Nuclear Waste Disposal Project for waste deposit at Yucca Mountain, NV.
In 1981, the family moved to Katy, TX where Todd was a junior at Katy Taylor H.S. and Mark was a sophomore. Bob continued his work in nuclear waste, designing heater arrays for nuclear disposal. In 1991, Bob and Nela took a well needed rest and moved onto a sailboat to cruise the Caribbean for six years. On their journey, they met many people who were sailing for similar reasons. They crossed the Gulf of Mexico six times on their own boat or with friends.
In 1989, Todd died due to a motorcycle accident in Irving at age 33. This brought Bob and Nela stateside to settle his estate which ended their sailing days. Grieving was too difficult; therefore, for therapeutic reasons, they made Nassau Bay on Clear Lake their new home. However, 7 years later, they lost their second son, Mark, age 43, to a brain aneurism. After a year of contemplating their next move, they landed in Boerne, Texas to be near one of their best friends of 30 years. Boerne became a haven; they played golf and enjoyed time with many old and new friends and family members.
Within the hour after Bob’s death, friends and family began gathering at Nelas’s side to talk, laugh, and celebrate Bob’s wonderful life. Nela wants to thank all the wonderful friends and family who have shared in the life and fifty-four year marriage between two best friends and lovers.
At the Family’s request please consider using your time and money to enrich someone else’s life as Bob and Nela have done supporting a young college student. Bob believed Education is the greatest way to achieve success. The bulk of Bob’s estate will be given to St Edward’s Univ. and the Marbridge Foundation.
A Funeral Service will be held Wednesday, February 14, 2018 at 10:00 a.m. at St. Stanislaus in Bandera, TX. A Visitation Service with Recitation of the Rosary will be held Friday, February 16, 2018 at 12:00 p.m. at Seaside Funeral Home and Memorial Park in Corpus Christi, TX. The Rosary will begin at 1:00 p.m. and Interment will follow at 2:30 p.m.
To leave condolences for the family, please visit www.ebensberger-fisher.com and select Obituaries. Arrangements with Ebensberger-Fisher Funeral Home of Boerne.