Robert (Bob) Anderson Bloomfield passed away peacefully at his daughter’s home in Eagle, Idaho, on Oct. 8, 2021, at the age of 97. Bob was born on May 8, 1924, in Yonkers, New York, to Clarence (Clic) and Mabel Bloomfield and was raised in Larchmont and New Rochelle, New York, the oldest of two boys. As a boy he and his family summered in Dummerston, Vermont, and East Hampton on Long Island, New York, until he went off to continue his education.
Right after graduating from Mount Hermon School in Massachusetts in 1942, Bob enlisted in the United States Navy and was appointed a Naval Aviation Cadet. After almost a year of training, he earned his Navy wings and was commissioned an ensign on June 5, 1943, at the age of 19.
Upon arrival at Pearl Harbor, Bob’s first squadron was assigned to the USS Independence. Bob saw his first action on Wake Island and went on to fly more than 250 missions in the South Pacific. In addition to flights off the Independence in Hellcats, Bob was flying Vought Corsairs off the decks of the USS Intrepid and Shangri-La until his last flight on Sept. 2, 1945, up Tokyo Bay flying over the USS Missouri during the surrender of the Japanese to Gen. MacArthur. During his Naval career, Bob received the Navy’s Distinguished Flying Cross three times. He was the youngest Naval Aviator in WWII.
Rather than go to college after the Navy, Bob entered the corporate world and after a meteoric career in the textile industry became a group vice president of Burlington Industries in 1969. He spent some of his spare time during these years as a sailboat skipper racing several different types of one design boats on Long Island Sound furiously barking commands at any crew member that dared sail with him! In the winter, Bob spent many weekends as a volunteer ski patrolman at Magic Mountain and later Stratton Mountain, Vermont, where he saw to it all his young sons learned to ski.
It was late 1971-early 1972 that Bob and his wife Margaret picked up stakes in the East and headed for the Wood River Valley in Idaho. He never lost his love of flying, and he and “Peggy” operated a back-country charter business called Idaho Air Service. He spent many hours behind the windshields of Comanches, Aztecs and a turbo 206 continuing his love of flying in the Rocky Mountains. In addition, he was a founding member of Mountain States Savings Bank, a successful realtor mostly for family and friends, a single handicap golfer, an avid horseman, hunter, and all-around outdoorsy guy.
Bob spent most of the last two decades between Los Barilles, Baja Sur at his palapa on the Sea of Cortez in the winter and a “camp” north of Fairfield on the banks of the South Fork of the Boise River in the summer. His last great adventure was a sailing trip down the East Coast aboard his son Greg’s yacht, “Fine Ally.” Poor health the last couple of years kept him close to home in Eagle, where Fox News, football, tennis and golf, his shelves full of nonfiction and history books and the Wall Street Journal held his attention.
In his later years, Bob was a gentle soul, a storyteller recounting a life full of adventures to anyone who asked, “What about …?” His memory never failed, nor did his enthusiasm to have folks visit him wherever he happened to be, from Vermont to Baja and anywhere in between. He was a gracious host, to all who walked into his home. It didn’t matter whether it was a fancy house at Stratton Mountain, his log cabin out Warm Springs, his palapa in Baja, his lodgepole camp on the South Fork or a wall tent in some remote canyon in the Frank Church Wilderness.
Bob is survived by five sons and a daughter: Steve and his wife Karen of Eagle; Greg of Ketchum; Pete of Bellevue; Jack and his wife Janice of Coral Springs, Florida; Clic and his wife Whitney of Ketchum; and his only daughter, Berke, and her husband Derek of Eagle; as well as his former wife and longtime close companion Margaret (Peggy) of Eagle. Bob has 13 grandchildren and six great grandchildren.
He was preceded in death by his parents; his brother, Dick; and his son, Tommy. Private graveside services at the Ketchum Cemetery will follow at a time yet to be determined. The family will be hosting a celebration of Bob’s life in the spring of 2022 for his last hurrah in Ketchum. Stay tuned.