CAMARILLO, California — 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 Vietnam. 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, 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 Blue Angel, "Maverick" flew in 160+ airshows, notably the Paris International Airshow of 1965, which solidified the Angels as world-famous and garnered him a personal invitation to The White House from President Johnson. 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, National Defense Service Medal, Armed Forces Expeditionary medal, Vietnam Service Medal with three Bronze Stars and the Republic of Vietnam Campaign medal.
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 Ann, 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 empire. 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 bladder cancer for over four years. He was attended at bedside by his loving family and died peacefully without pain early in the morning, April 4, 2018. He is survived by his wife Katherine, daughters Linda McDonough (husband Brad Ross), Tara Reilly (husband John) and their mother, Joan; stepson, Shawn Bacon; grandchildren Kanan Reilly, Mat Reilly, Sarah Bacon and Raquel Ross; and cousins Fran Doran, Bobby McDonough, Millie McDonough, Joe McDonough and Mary Margaret Guidoni. He was preceeded in death by his parents, Frank and Rophila 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. As a poor kid in a small town, Bob's experiences with the Legion were the spark that lead him to become a Naval Aviator.