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Robert Lucas was my father and an aircraft mechanic for Douglas Aircraft, by trade.  During the early 60's he went to work for North American Rockwell in Southern California, as Project Manager.

Dad was also a cabling specialist and worked with the design team that invented the umbilical cord used for the early space walks.  He was involved with the Apollo space program, from the tragic Apollo 1 command module fire that took the lives of 3 astronauts, through the 1st lunar landing with Neil Armstrong.  At the end of his career he was the Project Manager of Nuclear Hardness for the B-1 Bomber. He traveled to military sites many times and was decontaminated from nuclear exposure at least once.

In 1976 he started having headaches and forgetting things, like taking his cherished cup of coffee with him in the morning and forgetting how to get to a family member’s house across town.  Mom noticed the harsh symptoms and called the doctor and was instructed to bring him in immediately.  What we didn’t know at the time was that he was occasionally losing his balance at work and would prop himself up by the wall.  

He went to the doctor and had a head x-ray.  When he came home, he sat down on a chair and before my mom knew my dad told me he had brain cancer.  With all the illnesses and disabilities in his life, which were numerous, he never questioned God once in his life.  But this time he said “why me"?

Thankfully it was operable and he went in for surgery; the tumor was the size of a grapefruit.   He went through radiation treatments which caused loss of hair, appetite and feeling in his face.

When he finished radiation treatments, he started enjoying walks and deep-sea fishing.  He traveled to see his family for the last time in Wisconsin and enjoying his time.  He lived each day to the fullest; before and after his illness.

17 months later, the cancer returned and the headaches returned with a vengeance.  The morphine was only able to keep him from becoming violent.  The cancer started to spread to his neck and he was unable to turn his head.  He didn't know Mom, or me but recognized my 7-year-old daughter Lisa, whom he adored.  She adored him also and would follow him everywhere, since she could walk.  When he saw us, he could only say the word "home".  

We were with him daily at the convalescent hospital.  On November 7, 1978 he was unconscious and the doctors said, "go home and rest for a little while".  When we got home, the phone rang.  He had passed away right after we left.  In all the time he had of his 17 months, just like the rest of his life, he never complained about any of the pain or knowing he was going to die at age 53.

He was a great father a wonderful husband a dedicated member of the Knights of Columbus, willing to help anyone who was in need - even going into a burning house with a fireman to rescue a puppy from the fire.  He loved to fish and respected all life - he did not like to hunt.  He always gave God credit for everything.  He would always say "the good Lord is taking care of this poor ignorant person".   

When his casket came down the isle and was placed near the altar, people told us that a beam of light came into the church and went straight to his casket.  He was a Navy veteran with a 50% disability and buried with honors.  

Everybody loved him, he was friends with everyone and he loved his family.

The cure rate for Glioblastoma is the same now as it was in 1978, both Ted Kennedy and John McCain died within the same period of time after being diagnosed. There may be some survivors, but it is very rare.

Many thanks to Baron Robison for including my father in his book of 1,000,000 names and honoring him with his team of warriors.  

God bless you and all that you do,

Lynne Robison

Gilbert, AZ

Robert H. Lucas

Born 1925, died 1978 at age 53 of Glioblastoma (Brain Cancer).  

Average survival rate - 15 months.