Cover photo for Robert C. Whiteside's Obituary
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Robert C. Whiteside

June 27, 1939 — March 17, 2023

Robert C. Whiteside


Family and friends are mourning the loss and honoring the life of Robert Calvin Whiteside, who died on March 17 after an extended illness.


Many people knew him as Bob, or as Bobby in his youth. He was smart, warm, fun, and made quick and easy friends with people from all walks of life -- from janitors to Generals. He stood just over 6'3, had a deep voice, playful sense of humor, and was always a gentleman. Only age and illness dimmed his sociable nature, leaving him homebound for the last two years of his life.


Bob was born to Zelma (Strawn) and Robert T. Whiteside on June 27, 1939, in St. Joseph, Missouri. His mother came from a long line of doctors, which was rare for an African-American family. Bob was delivered by one of those doctors, his grandfather, Dr. Estil Strawn.


While Bob's father honorably served in World War II, Bob and Zelma moved to live with relatives in Omaha, Nebraska. After the war, Bob's father joined them there. The family settled into a home on Wirt Street, which Bob's father built.


After graduating from Central High School, Bob earned a degree in Engineering from Lincoln University (Missouri). He pledged the Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, joined the ROTC, and entered the United States Army as an officer after graduation.


Upon completion of Officer's Training in Georgia, Bob was stationed in Okinawa, Japan, where he was in charge of a large Signal Corps unit as a First Lieutenant. After his successful term of military service, he was honorably discharged and joined the Federal Civilian Workforce.


As an Engineer with the Federal Highway Administration, Bob built roads and bridges in the Western United States. He was stationed in Denver, Colorado, retiring in the mid-1990's.


Divorced with three adult children from a previous marriage, Bob spent the last 33 years of his life with his loving wife, companion, and friend, Lyda (whom he affectionately called "Ryda"). Lyda also served as Bob's devoted caregiver.


Survivors include Bob's wife, Lyda; daughter, Wyntress Rochelle (Wendell); sons, Robert III (Karen) and John (Gina); stepdaughter, Kelly Anders; and 11 grandchildren. He is also survived by numerous extended family and friends.


A private memorial service will be held at Roeder Mortuary in Omaha, Nebraska. A military burial will occur the following week at the Omaha National Cemetery. A celebration of life event will be announced at a later date. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the American Cancer Society, Meals on Wheels, or Disabled American Veterans.


Roeder Mortuary

2727 N 108th Street

Omaha, NE 68164


To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Robert C. Whiteside, please visit our flower store.


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