|
|
Hannibal Courier - Post - Hannibal, MO
  • Robert J. Coontz

  • Robert J. Coontz, 87, a retired Navy captain who worked on early shipboard computerized weapon systems, died Jan. 26 at Inova Alexandria Hospital in Alexandria, Va.
    • email print
      Comment
  • Robert J. Coontz, 87, a retired Navy captain who worked on early shipboard computerized weapon systems, died Jan. 26 at Inova Alexandria Hospital in Alexandria, Va.
    The only grandchild of Hannibal native Admiral Robert E. Coontz, Chief of Naval Operations after the first World War, Robert J. Coontz enlisted in the Navy in 1944 and graduated from the Naval Academy in 1949.
    Capt. Coontz served on active duty for 35 years. His assignments included 16 combat missions as airborne spotter for naval gunfire during the Korean War, and command of a destroyer in Vietnam.
    Trained as an electronic engineer, Capt. Coontz was one of the “Fabulous Forty” officers the Navy tapped in the early 1960s to program its Naval Tactical Data System, a computerized information system deployed on combat ships.
    During the 1970s he served as assistant for automation for the Joint Chiefs of Staff at the Pentagon. His military decorations included the Defense Superior Service Medal and an Air Medal.
    After retiring from the Navy in 1979, Capt. Coontz worked as a systems analyst and technical writer for consulting firms in the Washington, D.C., area. He was a member of the Sons of the American Revolution, the Masons, and the National Sojourners.
    His hobbies included building models of World War I aircraft and studying ancient and foreign languages.
    His wife, Patricia Irene Patrick, whom he married in 1955, died in 2004. She christened the destroyer U.S.S. Coontz in 1958, named after Admiral R.E. Coontz.
    Survivors include two sons, Robert Joseph Coontz Jr., of Alexandria, Va., and Kenneth Lee Coontz II of Toronto, Canada; a daughter, Constance Coontz Mazelsky of Falmouth, Maine; a stepbrother, Clifford D. Caldwell; and three grandchildren.
    A funeral service with full military honors will be held Thursday, March 28, at 9 a.m. at the Memorial Chapel at Arlington National Cemetery. Capt. Coontz will be buried alongside his wife.

        calendar