Robert Elsworth "Bob" Elyard, born January 26, 1944, died January 19, 2019, of heart arrythmia as the primary cause of death, followed by complications from Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) at Alaska Regional Hospital in Anchorage, Alaska.
Bob Elyard was born in Washington, D.C., the son of Curtis Hartman Elyard, a machinist, and Viola Virginia Likins, who lived in Davis, West Virginia.
He graduated from Shaw High School in East Cleveland, Ohio on June 4th, 1961, spent some time doing odd jobs. Bob joined the Air Force in 1962, and began to see the world, serving as a publicity officer with NASA, and later a broadcaster during his 8 years in the Air Force.
After the Air Force, he met and married Shirley Mott, working for a number of radio stations in Maryland and Pennsylvania, including WQCM (formerly WHAG) as a Public Services Director, programming public service announcements in 1974.
Bob rejoined the US Armed Forces in 1974, this time enlisting in the Navy. During his naval career, he served aboard the USS Damato (DD-871)and the USS Valdez (FF-1096), as an Electronics Warfare Technician (Second Class). In 1981 he advanced to JO1 (Petty Officer, First Class) with a focus on broadcasting and journalism, and was assigned to Elmendorf Air Force Base, where he worked for the Armed Forces Radio and Television Service (AFRTS). His career in broadcasting continued as he was stationed in Antigua, West Indies, and in 1984 with his work with the Far East Network at Yokota Air Force Base, Japan where he hosted the “East of Midnight” radio show.
After his final transfer to Adak, AK, Robert retired from active duty military service on June 30th 1989. He and his family moved to Wasilla, AK, where he worked as a publicist for the Mat-Su School Board, as a broadcaster for KMBQ, and started various business ventures, including a desktop publishing company (Desktop Designs), an internet cafe (The Cyber Shack), and a local television station—LMTV (Lazy Mountain Television). He continued his education late into life and graduated from Wayland Baptist University in 2012 with a degree in broadcasting.
Robert was an avid collector of electric model trains throughout his life, and instilled that same love in his children and grandchildren, with whom he would often build layouts and setups. He was also fond of playing backgammon and pinball, and kept vintage pachinko machines from his time in Japan.
Robert is survived by his three adult children (Theodore, Shenandoah, and Scott), his wife of 48 years, Shirley Elyard, and his grandchildren, Justin and Jarrod.