Robert H. Lightfoot Sr. was born on April 3, 1931, in Houston, to Catherine and Thomas E. Lightfoot Sr. He passed away August 26 in Houston.
He was a graduate of New Mexico Military Institute, where he was on the rifle team, and graduated from the University of Houston, which he attended on a scholastic scholarship from Associated General Contractors. While at U of H he co-founded the Rho Beta fraternity, which became the national Tau Kappa Epsilon. His first job was as timekeeper for Louis Spaw at Farnsworth and Chambers on their MD Anderson job. Bob pursued his dream of a career in the United States Army as a pilot, attended the Corps of Engineers Career Officer’s Course, served in Korea, flying the DMZ, and European theatres. He received the Commendation Medal for his work in Korea.
While serving in France, he captained and organized a newly formed engineer heavy equipment company. At dawn, while checking on his road construction crew, his helicopter flew through invisible high line wires and crashed, putting the city of Verdon out of lights. Although he was scheduled to go to MIT for a master’s in engineering, the crash ended his Army career.
Following retirement from the Army, he pursued a career in the construction industry, specializing in plumbing and the automatic fire sprinkler industry. He was a master plumber and one of the first in Texas to receive a NICET Level IV. Chero-Key Piping, begun by him and his wife, was first in Texas to install fire sprinklers in apartments.
In 1980 Bob married the love of his life, Carolyn Joyce Andrews, with whom he traveled the world. They spent many hours racing and sailing their 40-foot sloop, Carolina Wind, throughout the Gulf of Mexico from their home port, the Lakewood Yacht Club
An avid sportsman, Bob fished Alaska, Argentina and Louisiana. He hunted South Texas, New Mexico and the Bitter Root of Idaho — and he skied Colorado and Canada. He was a member of Morningstar class of Second Baptist Church, Associated General Contractors, American Subcontractors and the Texas Fire Sprinklers Association. He was also a life member of the Houston Rodeo.
He is survived by his wife, Carolyn, children Robert Lightfoot Jr. and Kimberly Powers, sister Cathy brother Johnny, grandchildren Dustin, Jonathon, Logan, Shayanna Powers and Ashley Lightfoot, nine great grandchildren and many nieces and nephews.