Robert D. Moreland of Fort Myers, Fla., 86, died on September 24, 2021, with his loving wife of 46 years, Victoria Moreland, by his side. Bob was born in Heber Springs, Arkansas and attended the University of Michigan. He became a Naval Aviator and received many commendations and medals during his 13 years of service, including the nation’s third-highest ranking medal, the Silver Star. After leaving the Navy, Bob slowed down his “need for speed” by working for several smaller airlines as a pilot and check airman. The many pilots he trained went on to safely fly thousands of passengers throughout the years. In 1991, Bob became one of the first employees of Spirit Airlines (with the employee number 007) and was responsible for transitioning the airline from a charter airline to a scheduled jet carrier in a record 83 days. Bob walked off the flight deck as the V.P. of Safety for Spirit with more than 25,000 hours of take offs and, the ever so important, landings.
Bob loved Michigan football (Go Blue) and the Detroit Tigers (the ones at Michigan and Trumbull). He was reserved but when prompted (usually by his wife) he told wonderful stories about the military, flying, playing college baseball and competitive swimming. He also loved books – real ones – and could be found reading history books anytime of the day. He enjoyed watching the history channel because if he fell asleep, he already knew the ending.
Bob lost his father RM1 (NAP) Ted Moreland, naval aviator, and his oldest child QMC (SEAL) Ted Moreland, both in service to our country. In addition to his wife, he is survived by his daughter-in-law Tracey Moreland of Fairlee, Vermont, son J.P. Moreland (wife Mindy) of Melbourne Beach, Fl., daughter Mandy Moreland of Portland, Maine and son Bennett Moreland (wife Amanda) of Fort Myers. To continue his legacy of service and personal responsibility, he leaves behind five grandchildren: Christina, John-Paul, Bobby, Jordan and Brennan.
In memory of Bob, root for the Wolverines this year, hope the Tigers do better next baseball season and raise a glass of bourbon on the rocks to a true “officer and a gentleman.”