Robert J. Macbeth, VA official

Robert J. Macbeth
Robert J. Macbeth
Posted: September 22, 2013

 Robert J. Macbeth, 95, former data-processing director at the Veterans Administration in Philadelphia, died Monday, Sept. 16, of respiratory failure at Stapeley in Germantown.

Mr. Macbeth, a native of Charleston, S.C., spent most of his life in Germantown and Mount Airy.

He graduated first in his class from Avery High School for Coloreds, his family said. His skill at math and his personal drive propelled him toward higher education. So did family support.

"He was the youngest of seven brothers and sisters, and they helped him out," said his daughter, Marion.

In 1940, he earned a bachelor's degree in mathematics from Hampton Institute, now Hampton University.

After marrying the former Edna Williamson, Mr. Macbeth was drafted in May 1943, during World War II. He served in the Army Corps of Engineers, Engineer Aviation Depot Company.

On May 12, 1945, he was awarded the Bronze Star Medal for meritorious service in connection with military operations. He was discharged in December 1945 with the rank of master sergeant.

The couple's first child was born in Richmond, Va., in 1948. Mr. Macbeth was offered a job with the Veterans Administration in Philadelphia, and in the fall of 1951, the family moved north. Early in 1952, a second child was born.

Mr. Macbeth worked at the VA for 30 years, retiring as director of data processing.

He was active in his community and church. He spent more than 20 years on the vestry of St. Luke's Episcopal Church in Germantown and was church treasurer for many years.

He also was active in the Philadelphia Club of Frontiers International, where he held the post of national treasurer.

In addition to his daughter, he is survived by a brother; two grandchildren; and nieces and nephews. A son, Robert Jr., died earlier.

A 9 a.m. viewing Saturday, Sept. 21, at St. Luke's Episcopal Church, 5421 Germantown Ave., Philadelphia, will be followed by a 10 a.m. funeral. Burial will be in the churchyard.

Donations may be made to the Philadelphia Club of Frontiers International, 7715 Crittenden St., Philadelphia 19118.


Contact Bonnie L. Cook at 610-313-8102 or bcook@phillynews.com.

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