Robert J. Kreider (Bob), 90, died Sunday, April 2, 2023, in the Masonic Village, Elizabethtown, after a brief and sudden illness.
Born in Buffalo Springs, Heidelberg Twp, Lebanon County, on September 23, 1932, he was the son of the late Reuben and Pearl Kreider of Manheim and married to the late Edith J. Kreider for 63 years.
He was a graduate of Manheim High School and received a bachelor’s degree from Franklin and Marshall College while working at his father’s Ford dealership as a mechanic and tow truck operator. He got the speed “bug” early on and could regale anyone who would listen with great stories about driving the local backroads, police encounters, drag races for pink slips, and how to tell the year and model of every year Ford or Lincoln Mercury vehicle produced. Learning to fly grew from his love of speed, and in his spare time, he would be at local airports flying with anyone and everyone he could, while completing his private pilot’s license.
After graduating college, he entered the US Air Force in October 1954 and graduated from basic and fighter pilot training. He was qualified in a variety of US Air Force fighter and bomber aircraft, including the F-86, B-47, B-52, T-39, T-33, and FB-111. He flew 82 B-52 missions during the Vietnam War and twice the speed of sound at low level in the FB-111, and his military pilot friends said he was a natural who could fly anything with wings and a cockpit. He retired in 1980 at the rank of Colonel with citations and medals for Meritorious Service and Air Combat. After 26 years in the US Air Force, he joined the management team at Singer Link company which produced aircraft simulators. Once he retired from Singer Link, he made up for all the missed hunting and fly-fishing trips over the years with sons and friends. He was a member of the Lancaster Aero Club, the Military Officers Association, the B-52 Bomber Association, and several local fly fishing groups.
He is survived by three sons: Gary J., husband of Ricka Kreider, of Shiloh, IL, Scott A., husband of Lynn Roby, of Albuquerque, NM, and Keith R., husband of Ruth Ann Kreider, of Chesterton, IN, two grandchildren, Matthew J., husband of Katie Kreider, of O’Fallon, IL, Sarah A., wife of Aaron Kinard, of Belleville IL, two great-grandchildren, Kaleb and Luka Kreider, and a sister, Pat Schmith, of Rosemont, PA.
He was preceded in death by his parents, his wife, and two brothers (Donald and Reub).
Interment with military honors will be held at 11 AM on Wednesday, April 12, 2023, at the Indiantown Gap National Cemetery, with a procession forming at 10 AM on Wednesday at Kreamer Funeral Home and Crematory, Inc., 618 E. Main St., Annville, PA 17003.
In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to the Masonic Village, 1 Masonic Drive, Elizabethtown, PA 17022, in his memory.