Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States

"No One Does More for Veterans"

Karl W. Richter Memorial Post


Korat, Thailand



Robert W. Dewey

3 September 1923 - 1 December 2012

Robert W. Dewey was a long time life member of our Post. We just found out on 18 August 2013 that he had passed away. One of our members found the following eulogy to him on the Special Operations Association website.

Robert William Dewey SOA #695, MSG, US Army (Ret), passed away on 1 December, 2012 in Fountain, Florida. Bob was born 3 September 1923. He was laid to rest 6 December 2012 at the Barrancas National Cemetery, Pensacola Naval Air Station. His Special Operations Career began in Korea with assignment to the 8240th AU (UNPIK) where he served as a Medic. Bob also served in the 77th, 7th and 1st Special Forces Group. While assigned to the 1st Group on Okinawa, he was further assigned to the Taiwan Resident Team. His medical Education included: PhD International Health, Nova Colleges, England, 1984; MPH Epidemiology Univ Pittsburgh, 1970; BS Microbiology Univ Arkansas 1966. Professional Memberships: American Public HealthAssociation; Malaysian Society of Parasitology & Tropical Medicine; National Council for International Health. Military Affiliations: Special Forces Association; Combat Medic Association; and VFW. Bob served in World War II from 1943-45 as a medical aid-man with the 13th FA Observation Bn in Europe where he received the Bronze Star. He also was awarded the Combat Medical Badge for his service in Korea. After attending college in Arkansas he became the NCOIC of the Dept of Epidemiology, SEATO Medical Research Lab in Bangkok where he studied the epidemiology and ecology of plague in Vietnam and plague surveillance and epidemiology and control of dengue fever and epidemiology of Reyes Syndrome in Thailand. He retired from the military in 1969. After military retirement, he taught and worked at the University California, San Francisco and also did more research on dengue fever and other diseases endemic to SouthEast Asia. He later moved to East Carolina University School of Allied Health and Social Professions, where he was an assistant professor of Community Health. Moving to Bay County Florida in 1974, he taught high school biology and science. He went back to Thailand where he was a Peace Corps volunteer working as adviser and consultant to the Director of Rural Health Research and Training Center and also was on the faculty of Public Health, Mahidol University. He remained in Thailand until June 1986, where he did much public health service and continued with his research. Returning to Florida, he volunteered at the Museum of Man in the Sea and did much research in the field of diving medicine as well as volunteering in other areas. In 1989-1990 he went to Papua, New Guinea where he was the Project Concern International Country Director and Woman's Health Care (Child Survival) program. He is the author or co-author as well as presenter, of many medical and research papers. Robert is survived by his wife Sirion and three adult children and one stepson. Bob is well known by SFA members not only for his service, but also for the many years he sponsored the Panama City Beach Bash which was attended by SFA members from all over the country.

Bob liked to come visit Thailand about once a year.

He was a very likeable person, and anyone could know right away that he was also a very intelligent and capable man. On his last visit here, he told me about how he had died on the operating table a few weeks before, and that this would probably be his last trip over here. He looked me right in the eye when he said that, and I could feel his sadness at knowing his time on this earth was most likely drawing to a close. I felt kind of sad myself, as I watched him walk out toward Mitraphap Highway, heading back to his hotel on foot. I wished I had known him better.

 -- Ed Medlin

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