1LT Robert "Bob" H. Botnen was a VHPA member who died after his tour in Vietnam on 12/19/2020 at the age of 76.4 from Heart surgery
Tacoma, WA
Flight Classes 68-14 and 68-22
Date of Birth 07/28/1944
Served in the U.S. Army
Served in Vietnam with A/7/17 CAV in 68-69, C/7/17 CAV in 72, 201 AVN in 72-73
Call sign in Vietnam BLUE 30
This information was provided by Sammie Williams - Obit

More detail on this person: Tacoma, Washington - Robert Henry Botnen, died peacefully in a hospice in Tacoma, after complications from a heart valve insertion procedure. He was born in Tacoma during WWII, while his father, Henry Botnen, was serving on an aircraft carrier with the U.S. Navy. Bob grew up on Fox Island, graduated from Peninsula High School in 1962, attended WSU, and was commissioned as a second lieutenant in the U.S. Army after graduating from Armor Officer Candidate School in March 1967. Bob became a helicopter pilot and served two tours in Vietnam (1968-69 and 1972-73), flying the UH-1 Huey on troop rescue missions, saving many lives and earning many awards, most notably the Distinguished Flying Cross, the Bronze Star and NINE Air Medals. He left the Army in July 1973, having attained the rank of captain. After leaving the military, Bob became a pharmaceutical salesman for dermatological products with Westwood Pharmaceuticals. He was regularly one of the top salespersons. Bob was an avid hunter and fisherman, often together with his brother Roger. He and Elaine won many blue ribbons at the Puyallup Fair for their monster rhubarb and kohlrabi, and perfect apples and grapes. Bob was so very proud of his children. His son Matt honored both his father and grandfather, by becoming a rescue helicopter/fixed wing pilot first in the U.S. Army before switching to the U.S. Coast Guard, serving a combined 25 years. Matt currently flies for American Airlines. Bob's daughter Beth became a 911 Dispatcher in south King County. Bob is survived by his wife of 38 years, Elaine, of Tacoma; son Robert Matthew - Matt (Heather), Roseville, CA; daughter Beth Patoc (Elmer), Kent, WA; step-son Darrell Brown (Wendy), Tacoma; grandchildren Adam and Emily Botnen of Roseville and Elliot Patoc of Kent; sister Janet Botnen (Ron Schillinger), Vaughn, WA; brother Roger (Pam), Craig, Alaska; the last Botnen living on Fox Island, his Aunt Barbara; nieces, nephews; cousins, and a host of life-and long-time friends. The burial, with military honors, was held for family on December 30, 2020, at Tahoma National Cemetery in Kent, WA. If you would like to be informed once a date is set for the future memorial service, please contact Janet at .

Burial information: Tahoma National Cemetery, Kent, WA.

This information was last updated 01/04/2021

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Date posted on this site: 03/10/2024

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