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WILBRAHAM, ROBERT L.

WILBRAHAM, ROBERT L.

WILBRAHAM, ROBERT L. (11 February 1933 - 15 April 1997) was a national AMVETS commander and president of the AMVETS National Service Foundation Board of Trustees from 1989 to 1997 [?].

He was born in Cleveland and attended Willoughby Union High School until he dropped out at the age of 17 to join the Marines in July 1950, one month after the Korean War began. He served as an aviation ordnance man maintaining combat readiness for Marine fighters on the flight line in Korea. Through the Marine Corps, in which he became a sergeant, Wilbraham earned his high school equivalency certificate, but was later presented a high school diploma at a special student assembly held at his former high school.

After his Marine Corps service, Wilbraham returned to the Cleveland area and began a career in construction, working for the Hannan Construction Co. of Beachwood, the Robert A. Darden Co. of Chagrin Falls, and finally as a project manager for M. E. Osborne Building Co. in Mentor during the last three years of his life.

But his greatest contribution was with the AMVETS. Before becoming national commander in 1983, he served in a number of AMVETS command posts: of Lake County AMVETS Post 109 in Mentor-on-the-Lake; of the 4th District, covering AMVETS units in nine Midwestern states; and of the Department of Ohio AMVETS. After the October 1983 terrorist bombing of a marine barracks in Beirut, Lebanon, Wilbraham and his wife, who had also served with the Marines, escorted local family members to Germany to visit their relatives wounded in the attack. As a member of the Willoughby Elks Lodge 1924, Wilbraham initiated a program to bus hospitalized veterans to the lodge for dinner and entertainment. He was also a member of the American Legion in Willoughby, the Veterans of Foreign Wars, and Disabled American Veterans, and he raised funds to place carillons at veterans? cemeteries and at the Sandusky veterans? home. He was inducted into the Ohio Veterans Hall of Fame in November 1996.

Wilbraham also devoted considerable time to sports activities. He helped start, and managed teams for, the Mentor-Lake Baseball League; and coached the Wildcats in the Mentor Bantam Football League. He also served as a YMCA Indian guide and a Kentucky Colonel. Robert Wilbraham was awarded the AMVETS Silver Helmet Americanism Award posthumously.

He married Edith Deedy. The couple had a daughter, Denise, and two sons, Robert Jr. and Patrick. He died at his home in Mentor of a heart-related condition.Wilbraham is survived by his children, grandchildren (Danelle, Robert L. III, and Drouin), and daughter in law Kathleen.