Robert Schillo “Bob” Vayda

Col. Robert “Bob” Vayda, U.S. Air Force (Ret.), 85, passed away Feb. 26, 2014, in Pensacola, Fla. Born July 3, 1928, to Louis L. Vayda and Gertrude Schillo Vayda in Pittsburgh, Pa.

Bob graduated from Parks Air College in St. Louis, Mo., and was commissioned as a second lieutenant in the U.S. Air Force. His first assignment was flying the B25 and B26 in the Korean War. He later did three tours in the Vietnam War. He received the Airman’s Medal and was pinned on by Robin Olds. He was a fighter pilot, munitions test pilot, connie pilot and fighter test pilot. He retired Aug. 1, 1977.

Upon his retirement he bought his first airplane. He had a passion for flying. He operated a banner tow and was an acrobatic instructor. He got his A&P (Airframe & Power Plant) Certificate, his IA (Inspector Authorization) Certificate. He has flown in more than 35 airplanes and has more than 10,000 hours of flying time. Bob and Jane have flown all over the United States, Canada and the Bahamas.

Bob was a member of the Quietbirdmen, Daedleans, Crispy Warriors, on the Board of the Air Force Museum (vice chairman of the Board), member of Rocky Bayou Country Club, Fort Walton Beach Yacht Club. Served on the Honor Guard of Captain Billy Bowlegs XLVI Phil Blumer. Served on the Krewe board for many, many years. Bob and Jane are faithful members of Immanuel Anglican Church.

He was preceded in death by both parents and step-mother, Mary Louise Vayda.

Survivors include his loving wife of 26 years, Jane; sons, Douglas Vayda of St. Augustine, Fla., Jeffrey (Teresa) Vayda of Merritt Island, Fla., and Greg (Carla) Marler of Destin; daughters, Vicky (Mike, deceased) of Bonner Wetumpka, Ala., and Jill (Steve) Apperson of Santa Rosa Beach; grandchildren, Lynne Vayda, Cory Larkin, Austin Marler, Ashley (Santi) Velez, Aubrey Apperson, Cassie (James) Marler/Nicholson, Brianna Marler, Jordan, Jon David and James Bonner; and great-grandchildren, Olivia and Carter Nicholson.

Celebration of Life will be held at noon March 8 at Immanuel Anglican Church in Destin. Visitation at 11:30 a.m. Reception immediately after the service at Capt. Dave’s on the Gulf, 3798 Scenic Old 98, Destin.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made in the name of Robert Vayda to Immanuel Anglican Church Building Fund, 250 Indian Bayou Trail, Destin, FL 32541, AF Armament Museum Foundation, 100 Museum Drive, Eglin AFB 32542, or Joyce Goldenberg Hospice Inpatient Residence, 10075 Hillview Rd., Pensacola, FL 32514.