Robert Kenneth Vinson, First Sergeant, US Army Retired, passed away in his Newport News home surrounded by family on June 3, 2022. He was born in Canton, Mississippi on January 8, 1939, to Jessie Hildreth Vinson and Maggie Jewel Anderson. Robert served in the Mississippi National Guard 1955-1957 before joining the US Army in September 1957. He married the love of his life in July 1958 while stationed at Fort Sill, Oklahoma. During his military career he was stationed at Maison Forte, France 1960-1963, Fort Meade, Maryland 1963-1967, Qui Nhon, Vietnam 1967-1968, Fort Eustis, Virginia 1968-1971, Cam Ranh Bay, Vietnam 1971-1972 and finally at Fort Eustis, Virginia where he served as a transportation instructor and was First Sergeant of the 508th Transportation Company until his retirement in August 1977. He was awarded the Bronze Star, Good Conduct Medal (6th award), National Defense Medal, Vietnam Service Medal, Vietnam Campaign Medal, Vietnam Cross of Gallantry with Palm, Driver Mechanic Badge and the Meritorious Service Medal. Second only to raising a family and serving his country, he was most proud of being asked to help raise the flag at Fort McHenry during a visit in August 2015. After retirement, he worked at Denbigh Auto Parts 1977-1978, Howmet Corporation (now Howmet Aerospace) 1979-1994 and Wilcox Bait and Tackle for many years.
An avid outdoorsman, Robert was a past member of Banbury Hunt Club and a lifetime member of Colonial Flat Iron Hunt Club and Lafayette Gun Club. He took numerous hunting trips with family and friends where countless memories were made. His time in the military took him to many new places but he said the best trips were with family throughout the United States, Canada and Europe.
Left to cherish his memory is his wife of 63 years, Barbara Weeks Vinson, children Veloyce Reichl and Kenny Vinson (Kim), grandchildren Bobby Sanetta (Krystal), Jennifer Brown (Justin) and Madelynn Vinson and great-grandson Nathan Brown. He is also survived by nephews Jimmy Vinson (Lois), Billy Vinson (Deborah) and Ben Gardner, cousins Mike and Terry Towles as well as half-sisters Jessie, Evelyn, Sandy, Liz and Sallie. The family would like to give special thanks to the medical team at Riverside Hospital and the hospice team at Traditions Healthcare, especially Naomi and Ninja, for the care they gave him during his last few weeks.
Visitation will be held at Altmeyer Funeral Home – Denbigh Chapel, Friday on June 10th from 6-8pm. Services with full military honors will be at Peninsula Memorial Park on Saturday, June 11th at 11am.