Lt. Commander Robert “Bob” (“Maverick”) Norris McDonough (RET), US Navy fighter pilot and Blue Angel, took his final flight April 4, 2018. Bob first arrived in Camarillo, CA when stationed at Point Mugu, after serving four combat tours in Viet Nam. After twenty years’ service to our nation, it was to Camarillo that he retired to civilian life and raised his family.
Bob was known to all for his delighted smile and grand, infectious laugh. Born in Billings, Montana on April 11, 1936, his mother’s personal journal notes that his first smile was at six weeks and his first laugh at seven.
As a member of the Blue Angels, “Maverick” flew in 160+ airshows, notably the Paris International Airshow of 1965, which solidified the Blues as world-famous and garnered him a personal invitation to The White House from President Johnson. He received his BA degree in International Affairs/Political Science from the University of Rhode Island and is also a graduate of the Naval War College. His combat missions numbered 198 and during his career he was recognized with the Distinguished Flying Cross, Air Medal with silver star, Navy Commendation Medal, Navy Unit Commendation (2 awards), Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal, Vietnam Service Medal with 3 bronze stars, National Defense Service Medal, and Armed Forces Expeditionary medal (Korea).
After retiring from the Navy, Bob became a respected local businessman, owning U-Cart Concrete supply company, where the equipment shed became home to many impromptu social and political lunches with friends. He and his former wife and friend Joan raised their two daughters, Linda Kelly and Tara Anne, seeing both of them through high school at La Reina. In Camarillo Bob was also fortunate to meet and marry the love of his life, Kathy. He spent the last 20 years with her, and took great pride in his daughters, their accomplishments, and Kathy’s successful Mary Kay business. He became surrogate father to many of Linda and Tara’s friends, and to Kathy’s son, Shawn. Four years ago, he was blessed with his “mini-me” grandson, Kanan Maverick Reilly.
With Kathy at his side providing him constant love and care, Bob battled cancer for over four years. He was attended at his bedside by his loving family and died peacefully early in the morning, April 4th. He is survived by his wife Katherine McDonough; daughters Linda McDonough (husband Brad Ross), Tara Reilly (husband Jon Reilly) and their mother Joan McDonough; stepson Shawn Bacon; grandchildren Kanan Reilly, Mathew Reilly, Sarah Bacon and Raquel Ross; and cousins Fran McDonough Doran, Mary McDonough Guidoni, Bob McDonough, Millie McDonough Wooley and Joe McDonough. He was preceded in death by his parents, Frank and Rophilia McDonough. In lieu of flowers, his family requests that donations in his name be sent to kids in American Legion Baseball (whose families have been touched by cancer), in his hometown of Billings, MT www.legionagainstcancer.org. Bob loved baseball and played American Legion baseball himself – an experience that helped spark his path to becoming a Naval Aviator.
Billings American Legion Baseball - Legions Against Cancer
Bob’s love of baseball and his country started when he played American Legion Baseball in Billings, Montana. American Legion Baseball is how a poor-kid from a small town can grow-up to be a Naval Aviator (and get an autographed baseball from Babe Ruth along the way). In Bob’s memory please support kids in American Legion Baseball (whose families have been touched by cancer), in his hometown of Billings, MT.