Cdr. Robert Richard Niemczyk, USN (Retired),73, passed away peacefully at home on April 9, 2021, after a battle with ALS.  Robert proudly served 22 years in the United States Navy as a helicopter pilot [ R- 11834 ], retiring as executive officer of Mayport Naval Station.  He will be deeply missed by his family: Pamela, his wife of 50 years, Todd (son) and Meghan, Rebecca (daughter) and Keith, and his grandchildren, Hannah, Jack, and Chad.  Robert was an avid fisherman and loved a good story.  The family will honor him at a Catholic Mass on June 1, 2021, at 11:00 a.m. at Holy Spirit Catholic Church followed by interment at the National Cemetery with military honors.  In lieu of flowers, contributions can be made to the ALS Foundation, or the Mayo Clinic,, in his honor.  In his memory the following poem is dedicated:

A Pilot’s Final Flight

Upon departing your last port of call,

Regrets jettisoned into the blue sea,

For the ocean is large and we are but small,

The bosun pipes not for sorrow but glee.

Strike eight bells, your earthly watch concluded,

Take to the sky in a whir and hum,

Men line the rails, white gloved saluting,

Heaven bound, your duty honorably done.

So lift to the sky, throttle increase, pitch rising,

Fear not death, for in life’s joy we shared,

And take to heaven’s never ending horizon,

Be at peace, knowing we are under your care.

Like an eternal star, over us you shine,

While flying is heavenly, to hover, divine.

Fair Winds and Following Seas.