Robert Campbell MacCleave (May 23, 1938-March 21, 2021)

MacCleave, Robert Campbell, 82, passed away peacefully at home in Moseley, Virginia, on March 21, 2021. Thanks to all the family and friends who have reached out with help, comfort, and condolences. Bob was born in Newton, Massachusetts, on May 23, 1938. He was preceded in death by his father, Milford MacCleave and his mother Isabel Sanderson MacCleave. He is survived by his wife of 36 years, Linda Bates MacCleave, and several cousins, in-laws, nieces, nephews, great nieces, and a great nephew.

Bob spent much of his youth on Long Island, New York. He had fond memories of taking a bus to the Museum of Natural History or spending the day at Coney Island. As a youngster, he was interested in scouting. He attained the rank of Eagle Scout in 1954. He graduated from Hempstead High School in 1956. Bob was one of the top students in math and science and was recruited by Virginia Tech. He and 3 others drove down from New York. He told the story of finding this super-highway on the map that might shorten the trip. They had found Skyline Drive. Bob attended Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, Virginia, which Bob always referred to as B-burg University and graduated with a degree in Chemical Engineering in 1962. He held several engineering positions after graduating, but he spent the longest time in his career at Allied-Signal at the Chesterfield plant where he excelled in processing of nylon production and introduced computers to the process. His innovation and expertise were well known. He enjoyed the work so much that he turned down several opportunities for promotions. He wanted to manage production, not people. He retired in 1997 after having been promised a lucrative retirement package if he would stay on for another year.

Bob was an avid golfer and bridge player. He played and managed leagues for Allied-Signal. He continued to play golf after retirement as long as he was physically capable. He stopped playing, but he never gave up his clubs. He started playing duplicate bridge in the early 1980s and eventually achieved the rank of Silver Life Master. His main contribution to Richmond bridge was being part of the team of people who started the program called Friendly Bridge. It was through Friendly Bridge that lessons and games for beginners caused bridge in Richmond to flourish. He was also known for his expertise and fairness as a director, as well as a magician with the ever-evolving computer-assisted scoring that made its way into duplicate bridge in the early 2000s. Bob is a member of the Hall of Fame for the Richmond Bridge Association and the Goodwill Committee for District 6.

Bob was known for his sense of humor, his large laugh, and his ever-present unlit cigar. He loved science fiction movies, especially Star Wars, Harry Potter, and Lord of the Rings. He loved audible books, primarily detective mysteries. He also loved his cats and is survived by Sunny and Ali MacCleave, who will miss him very much.

Bob’s life will be celebrated at a reception at a later date when we can gather safely to share stories and memories. Friends and family will be invited as soon as the event is planned. Please give to a charity of your choice in Bob’s memory. His favorite charities were the Richmond Animal League and Feedmore.


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