Being the go-between for TWA and Howard Hughes was a task Bob performed for many years. Life as an engineer requires knowledge, the ability to deal with many people who have many interests, and the vision to understand what is required to face the future. Bob had the necessary attributes that made him a great engineer. I would urge everyone to read the book Howard Hughes and TWA written by Robert Rummel (Washington, D.C.: Smithsonian Institution Press, 1991).
Bob was awarded the NASA Distinguished Public Service Medal in 1979. He was a fellow of both the Society of Automotive Engineers and the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, and he was elected a member of the National Academy of Engineering in 1973. He served on a number of NASA committees and as chairman of the Aeronautics and Space Engineering Board of the National Research Council.
Bob is survived by his children, Linda Kay Yarbrough, Sharon Lee Barnes, Marjorie Susan DuBois, Diana Beth Gillespie, and Robert Wiland Rummel, Jr.; 10 grandchildren; and 13 great-grandchildren. His wife, Marjorie B. Cox Rummel, predeceased him in 2003.