Robert Stroud Houston was born on May 11, 1923 in Monroe, North Carolina to Mary Rawlings Houston and Robert Stroud Houston Sr. He was brought up in the depression years, raising goats and hunting squirrel. He served as a Lieutenant navigating B-27s during World War II in the U.S. Army Air Corps. After the war, he attended North Carolina State University where he studied Engineering and received his Masters in Economic Geology. He was then on to New York City where he earned his PhD in Geology from Columbia University. There, he met his beloved wife, Maxine Brand, a hat model and later the chairwoman of the Wyoming Democratic League of Women Voters. They were married until her death in 1985. He remained devoted to her throughout his life.
Next stop: Laramie, Wyoming, where he would spend the next 50 years in the geology department of the University of Wyoming as a professor and department head, helping to build a nationally renowned program. In his later years at the university he served as Provost and acting President. Bob was an excellent field geologist with experience from Maine to Nicaragua and Antarctica. He worked in collaboration with the U.S. Geological Survey and NASA, however his decades-long concentration was on the Medicine Bow and Sierra Madre Mountains. Together with a succession of graduate students, who tagged him "the silver fox", he produced the first comprehensive maps and monographs describing the geology of these ranges. He was a distinguished scholar and an award-winning professor.
Throughout his life, he was a man of many passions - an avid reader, bird hunter, fisherman, and an all-around outdoorsman. He built models of all kinds. He was appreciated by one and all for his collections of trains, African and Native American art, Civil War artifacts, taxidermy, among other things - not to mention goofy, humorous kitsch.
But people who knew Bob would tell you that it was his character, his honor, and kindness to all others that defined him. These traits, along with his charm and unforgettable, dry sense of humor, even in difficult times, stayed with him throughout his almost 95 years. He moved to New Hampshire in 1992, where he was best known as the patron of the Oyster River Players, under the moniker "DP" (Daddy Papa).
He spent his last months at Kirkwood Corners, where he was tenderly cared for by the staff there. He died Saturday, February 24, surrounded by his loving family. He is survived by his daughter and son-in-law, Kelly and Walter Eggers, and his three favorite grandsons, Robert, Max, and Sam Eggers; and Robert's wife Alexandra Shaker.
For more information, please visit www.brewittfuneralhome.com.