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Mourning Dr. Robert P. Banaugh

Tradition in Action fulfills the sad duty of informing our readers that we lost a long time collaborator, Robert P. Banaugh, Ph.D. He passed away on June 15, 2016, at 3:00 pm. He died of cancer at age 93. Until the last days – on June 11 – although in the hospice for terminal care, he was very lucid talking emphatically on the phone about the necessity to fight to stop the crisis in the Catholic Church.

Robert P. Banaugh
Recently, he sent TIA two substantial series of articles to publish at our will. Our readers will see them being posted from time to time. We think that to post the last collaborations of this valorous crusader of the Catholic Cause is the best tribute we can pay to him.

We did not inform our readers before, because we only received the news from his family today, June 21, Below, we reproduce the family note, followed by the eulogy his children wrote.

May Our Lady receive and reward the soul of one who held high the flag of her Cause.

Pie Jesu Domine, dona ei requiem.



Family Note

Dear Friends and Family,

I am very sorry to inform you that my father, Bob Banaugh, died on Wednesday June 15 at 3 pm. His passage was peaceful and there were four of us children present - his son Bob and three daughters, Weezy and Laurie and Marj. He leaves behind seven living children (his oldest, Liz, died in 1990), 22 grandchildren and 26 great grandchildren so far.

The rosary will be Sunday June 26 at 4 pm at Hennessy Funeral Home in Spokane Valley. The funeral requiem Mass will be Monday June 27 at noon at the funeral home and the burial will be at 3 pm at the VA cemetery in Medical Lake, WA. Dad will be buried with Mom as they both wanted.

We will miss him enormously, he was full of love and gratitude and joy till the moment of death, just a beautiful man. His faith was a shining model for us and he has set a high bar for us children to follow in his example. Please pray for the repose of his soul.


     Mary aka Weezy Banaugh Muth

P.S .- Attached is a copy of the eulogy that we children wrote for him. It gives more details of his life and may be of interest to you.


RIP Banaugh Eulogy

Today is the celebration of the life of our dad, Robert P. Banaugh. He was a beautiful man. Dad was our rock of faith, he was our lifelong supporter, he was our hero and he loved us unconditionally. Dad left us at the age of 93 Wednesday June 15 at 3 pm which is perfect for dad because that is the time of Christ’s death as well. He leaves a huge hole in our hearts as he was the glue that kept the family together. For him, mom, his kids and the traditional Catholic faith were everything. His middle name should have been “sacrifice” because dad epitomized that virtue.

He was born in Los Angeles on Oct 27, 1922, the only child of a school teacher and an engineer. He went to Pasadena City College for 2 years and then transferred to UC Berkeley. He arrived at Berkeley with $25 in his pocket, no place to stay, no place to work, no idea where the campus was even located. He walked up to campus and knocked on doors at fraternity houses, asking for work, and got a job washing dishes. He lived in the room off the fraternity kitchen where they had stored their beer.

During his first semester, the Pearl Harbor attack occurred and dad volunteered for service in the Army Air Corps. Sometime during that first semester he met mom at a Newman Hall dance where they were both washing dishes. He went off to Darwin, Australia after receiving bombardier training as a member of the Flying Circus, 380th Bomb Group. He was on the Rollings crew and his plane was Six Bitts. They flew B24 Liberators for the 5th Air Force division.

Meanwhile he and mom grew their relationship through correspondence. The letters advanced from “your friend, Bob” to “all my love, Bob”. Obviously a romance was brewing. He left service as a first lieutenant with a bronze star after completing his required number of 40 missions. He returned to UC Berkeley, the romance picked up where the last letter left off, and they were married on July 6, 1946 after he completed his education.

He taught for a brief time at El Cerrito high school and then returned to Berkeley to get a master’s degree. He then took a job at Lawrence Livermore National lab and worked there with Klaus Fuchs, Edward Teller, etc. for several years on the timing mechanism for the A bomb. He went back to Berkeley while working there and received his PhD in Mechanical Engineering.

He developed the boundary element method for his PhD and he was always proud of the ground-breaking nature of this work. It allowed the development of sonar and enabled engineers to build jet engines quiet enough to put a pilot on the plane. He is probably the only genius that we kids have ever personally known. And somehow through all of this he was the most humble and selfless man and fathered and raised 8 children!

Dad and Mom moved to Missoula in 1964 where he took a dual appointment at the University of Montana – full professor of mathematics and director of the computer science center. He then went on to found the computer science department at UofM. He led the computer science department through many years of growth and technology changes.

Dad and Mom bought 46 acres in Miller Creek in 1965 and built their dream home in 1968. Dad loved being a “gentleman farmer” and tried to raise every animal imaginable – chicken, ducks, cows, sheep, horses, a donkey and a pack of dogs. He retired from the University in 1984 and taught part time there for several years.

Dad had heart bypass surgery in 2005 and after the summer of 2006 he realized that he couldn’t maintain the Miller Creek property so he and mom moved to Spokane to be closer to Cathy, Laurie and Peter. They built a full and happy life in Spokane with their children and grandchildren. Mom’s death last year in February left dad alone and missing her after 68 years of marriage. We had another wonderful year with Dad for which we are all very grateful. It gave us the time and opportunity to know him better and the honor of helping him in return for all his years of sacrifice.


Blason de Charlemagne
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Posted June 21, 2016


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