Major General (Dr.) Howard Robert Unger, 84, passed away on March 27, 2012, surrounded by his loving family. Gen. Unger (Bob) was born in Shamokin, PA in 1927 to Florence and Howard Unger.
Bob went to college and medical school at George Washington University, which he attended on a combined academic and athletic scholarship, starring in football, boxing, and wrestling. He joined the U.S Air Force and subsequently obtained a Master of Public Health at Johns Hopkins University, Maryland, then completed his residency in Aerospace Medicine at Randolph AFB, Texas and Wright-Patterson AFB, Ohio.
Bob made many contributions to the flight and space programs, and always loved working with the astronauts and other pilots, many of whom became his close friends. After several assignments he served in Vietnam from 1968 to 1969, then returned to Washington, D.C. where he soon became chief of the Aerospace Medicine Division. In 1972 he served as the hospital commander at RAF Lakenheath, in England, and while there was promoted to Brigadier General. In 1974 he moved to Ramstein, Germany, where he was the command surgeon for all USAF medical activities in Europe. He then served as commander of the Aerospace Medical Division at Brooks Air Force Base, Texas from 1975 to 1978, being promoted to Major General in 1977. In 1978 he became the command surgeon for the Military Airlift Command, at Scott AFB, Illinois. He retired prematurely in 1981 after suffering a stroke.
General Unger earned many medals and awards during his career, and had the honor of serving as the President of the Aerospace Medical Association, the American College of Preventive Medicine, and the Society of U.S. Air Force Flight Surgeons. An award for original writing in Aerospace was named after him, as was a street at Brooks City Base.
After retiring from the military, Bob was an active member of the community, helping to establish the first Ronald McDonald House and spearheading the Challenger Learning Center at Brooks A.F.B. He attended Windcrest United Methodist Church and was an active member of ROOTS, a seniors association. His brilliance, wit, caring, and energy will be missed.
Bob married the “Love of his Life” Patricia in 1952, and they enjoyed 59 wonderful years together. They raised 4 healthy and happy children while traveling around the world with the military. Bob took great joy sharing in the lives of his children and grandchildren: daughter Lori Segura (husband Steve), son Dr. Howard R. Unger, Jr., (wife Beatriz, daughters Sarah, Roxanne, and Robyn), daughter Cynthia Gable (husband Chalmers), and daughter Kimberly Rodriguez. He will be dearly missed by his family and friends.
APRIL 7, 2012
WINDCREST UNITED METHODIST CHURCH
In lieu of flowers, the family asks that you consider a donation to the Ronald McDonald House.
Inurnment at Fort Sam Houston National Cemetery
1101 MCCULLOUGH 227-8221
Born: July 2, 1927
Place of Birth: Shamokin, PA
Death: March 27, 2012
Place of Death: San Antonio, TX
Memorial donations may be made to:
Ronald McDonald House
This memorial provided by:
Porter Loring Mortuary