Robert Halvorsen
Robert Halvorsen
Robert Halvorsen
Robert Halvorsen

Obituary of Robert Lawrence Halvorsen

Robert (Bob) Lawrence Halvorsen was born on May 10, 1938 in Seattle, Washington and died at 85 on May 27, 2023, in Eugene, Oregon. He is survived by his second wife, Iris, and a sister, Linda Figner. He also left two granddaughters, Krystle and Stacy. His two sons, Lance and Lane, predeceased him.

His father, Hans Egil Halvorsen was a carpenter who immigrated from the Lofoten Islands in Norway. His mother, Julia Cora Manthey, immigrated from Brisbane, Australia. They met in Seattle.

Bob helped his parents build a home on Lake Washington in Seattle. There he enjoyed boating and waterskiing. He also became fascinated with aviation. He joined the Civil Air Patrol in Renton at age 14, and became a squadron commander at age 17.

He attended Whitman College. While playing basketball there, he suffered a serious back injury that put him In the hospital in a full body cast for over a year. Unfortunately, the injury meant the end of his dream of joining the Air Force.

He married and moved to Colorado, where he completed a business degree at the University of Denver. Bob also took his first flying lesson in Denver on March 9, 1965 at Columbine Airport. He took his Private Pilot check ride on July 10,1965 with 40 hours logged.

In 1968 he moved to Salem, Oregon, where he joined the Oregon Board of Higher Education. In 1969 he bought his first aircraft, a Piper Tri-Pacer which he used to fly to all eight Oregon colleges and Universities in service to the Board of Higher Education.

Bob and his first wife had two sons, Lance and Lane. Lance died of cancer shortly after graduating from the University of Oregon with a degree in Business. Lane married and had two daughters, Krystle and Stacy. He lived to see both daughters graduate from George Fox University. He, too, died of cancer.

When he and his wife divorced, Bob moved to Eugene and took a job in administration at the University of Oregon, and later at Oregon State University. For many years he served as a board member of Oregon Community Credit Union (formerly U-Lane-O).

His passions were flying and rafting. After taking a course in whitewater rafting, he became a rafting guide on weekends. Bob rafted many rivers, including the Colorado, He met his second wife, Iris, in 1989. They both enjoyed the outdoors, and met new friends on rafting and flying trips.

In 1992, Bob purchased a Cessna 210, (N4607F) in which they flew all over the mainland U.S., visiting 49 states. They enjoyed airplane camping in the Idaho wilderness. Bob joined the Baja Bush Pilots, and they made numerous trips up and down the Baja Peninsula. He also became a member of the Pilotos de Mexico at the Hacienda de los Santos in Alamos, Mexico. The owner of the Hacienda hosted gatherings of pilots for special pilot-related activities and other fun events.

Overseas travel included an aviation-themed trip to China in 1998 with a member of the “hump pilots” who had flown supplies over the Himalayas from India to China during World War II. In each city, the group were treated to enthusiastic welcomes by Chinese officials, who were expressing the continued gratitude of the Chinese people for American help during the war.

Other trips included visits to Australia, New Zealand, Russia, India, Bhutan, Japan, Iceland, Ecuador, Peru, France, and Italy. Norwegian friends planned a driving trip through Norway, with a stay at fishermen’s cabins in the Lofoten Islands.

Bob and Iris were fans of Oregon Duck basketball and football, and they attended in person when they were in town.

Bob’s retirement dream was to spend the winters in sunny Arizona. He flew to various retirement communities and chose Green Valley, which is south of Tucson. There he found a townhouse with a view of the Santa Rita Mountains. He and Iris spent many enjoyable winters there after retiring.

In recognition of Bob’s lifelong commitment to aviation, we invite friends and family to make charitable donations to the Young Eagles, a subdivision of the Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA). To donate, please use the following web address (under “Use my donation to support” select “Young Eagles”):

EAA Aviation Foundation is a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization (39-1033301). Donations to the EAA Aviation Foundation are tax deductible.

For a more detailed history, please see Musgrove’s website:

In 2016 Bob wrote a summary of his flying activities. It is printed below for those who are interested.


Bob Halvorsen: My Flying History       

My childhood was spent in the Seattle area, where my interest in aviation began.  At age 14 I joined the Civil Air Patrol in Renton. I became the cadet squadron commander when I was 17, and in 1956 was selected to participate in the 2-week CADET foreign exchange program. I traveled to the Netherlands with four other cadets, from Texas, Tennessee, Minnesota, and Indiana.  Dressed in Air Force uniforms with CAP insignia, we had the privilege of representing our country. We even had the honor of being invited to a special audience with Prince Bernhard. 

While I was working on my degree from the University of Denver at their night school, I took advantage of a special student rate for flying lessons: $6 an hour for lessons and $6 an hour for the use of a C-150.  I took my first lesson on March 9, 1965 at Columbine Airport in Denver.  My flight instructor was Frank De Castro, CFI 3146040.  I soloed on April 3.  On July 10, 1965, at 40 hours logged, I passed my Private Pilot check ride, a thrilling achievement for me. 

On January 15, 1966, at Van Nuys in Los Angeles, I began working on my Instrument and Commercial ratings under the instruction of Terry Cedar, CFII 1459810.  I passed the Commercial test on March 19, 1967.  I received the Instrument rating on March 25, 1967 with a total of 209.8 flying hours logged. 

I moved to Salem, Oregon in 1968.  On July 29, 1969 I bought my first aircraft, N8412D, a Piper Tri-Pacer 160 from Del Clem at Salem Aviation.  At that time, I was working for the Oregon Board of Higher Education, in a job that took me to all eight Oregon colleges and universities.  So N8412D took me to and from the outlying campuses at LaGrande, Klamath Falls, and Ashland, reimbursed at the rate of 5 cents per highway milOn February 20, 1971 Salem Aviation offered me full trade-in on the Tri- Pacer for a 1959 Cessna 182, N2245G.  I enjoyed this aircraft for three years before changing family circumstances caused me to sell it. 

I continued flying SAR missions, now using the Civil Air Patrol aircraft. I enjoyed participating in CAP missions, and it honed my mountain flying skills. 

After 16 years of renting various aircraft, I partnered with another pilot and we bought N274DB, a Cessna 182.  My wife, Iris, and I enjoyed flying this plane to wilderness airstrips in Idaho to camp. I took a 3-day one-on-one mountain flying course with Lori MacNichol, CFI, owner of McCall Mountain Canyon Flying Seminars.  Before we started she had me load sandbags into the plane to bring it up to gross weight so that I would know how the plane would perform when fully loaded. 

On March 16, 1990 Iris and I had the opportunity to join another couple in their Cessna 210 for a flight to Baja, Mexico. I was given the “task” of doing half of the flying.  The experience led to many later trips to Baja, as well as to mainland Mexico with this couple. I also joined the Baja Bush Pilots, and we took part in some of their trips. 

 At the Hacienda de los Santos, a beautifully restored colonial resort in Alamos, Mexico, I joined the Club Pilotos de Mexico. This club has two     5-day reunions a year.  It has grown to 500 members, including pilots from Canada, France, Australia, China, England, and Denmark.  Events include seminars on flying, cultural activities, and the chance to mingle with many  other pilots, including John and Martha King, and do lots of hangar flying while admiring each others’ aircraft. 

 A landmark event in my flying experience occurred on June 30, 1992: it was the day I first flew the aircraft I now own, N4607F, which is a pristine 1966 Cessna TP206A, serial #206207.  At the time, it was owned by John Amundson, who was the original owner. He had taken exceptionally good care of it.  John was looking for a partner, and I was more than happy to be that person.  After his premature death few years later, his widow sold me the remaining share of the plane. 

Since then, most of my flying has been done in 4607F.  It has taken us on many vacations in Mexico, on a 2-week trip through Alaska by way of Canada, and on trips to many other parts of the United States. 

On April 10, 2010, Iris and I landed in Pensacola, Florida.  It became the 49th state in which we had landed in N4607F. We have landed in Leadville, Colorado and Death Valley, California. We have marveled at snowy Denali and the glaciers of Alaska. We have flown over some of the most interesting scenery in the mainland U.S., including Catalina Island, the Rocky Mountains, the oil fields of Texas, the delta of the Mississippi River, Mt. Rushmore,  the vast farm fields of the midwest, the forests of the Northeast, the impressive mansions lining the Atlantic coastline of Massachusetts and Connecticut, New York City’s Hudson River at 1000 feet with a great view of Manhattan, and—best of all—a circle around the Statue of Liberty.   

We now fly from Eugene, Oregon to Tucson, Arizona every November, so that we can spend the winter in our townhouse in Green Valley, which is 25 miles south of Tucson.  In Arizona we take friends to scenic destinations like Sedona or just out for the $50 hamburger. In Oregon we take friends on flights along the Oregon coast or over to Sun River. We continue to enjoy airplane camping in Idaho.  And we often fly to Vashon Island in Puget Sound to visit Iris’s sisters, landing on an old-time grass landing strip. 

Flying has given us unparalleled opportunities to appreciate this beautiful country of ours, and to share it with many friends and fellow pilots.  In the course of this flying, I have logged a total of 3,808 flight hours. Of that total, 2,470 hours were in 4607F, which is now 50 years old with a TTSN of 4,500.  

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     Postscript:  In 2017, Bob was presented with the “ Wright Brothers Master Pilot Award” by a representative from the FAA (Federal Aviation Administration) for 50 years of safe flying. He also received a copy of their files on his flights. 


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