Lt. Col. Robert Lewis Alter (USAF-ret) passed away on July 2, 2020, at his home in Wesley Woods in Newnan, Georgia, with his wife by his side.
Robert was born in Goodland, Indiana on July 31, 1922, to Christmas Eades and Dorothy Price Alter at their 1858 homestead farm. He was educated in the Goodland schools, and he worked the farmland with his father until he enlisted in the United States Air Force on July 9, 1940.
He later entered Purdue University, from which he graduated in 1950 with a Bachelor of Science in Aeronautical Engineering. After serving in the Air Force as a pilot for 27 years, Robert joined the Research and Development Department of the United States Navy, from which he retired after ten years.
He met Martha Stansell Davenport and they married in March of 1980, establishing a home in Easley, South Carolina in a house Robert built himself. While in Easley, Robert was an active member of Easley Presbyterian Church, where he served as an Elder and devoted his time in various church organizations. He was an active member of the Easley Lions Club. In addition, he was a licensed locksmith.
Robert and Martha lived in Easley until 2008, when they moved to Newnan, Georgia, to be closer to their daughter. Robert continued his life of service after joining Newnan First United Methodist Church where he especially enjoyed the music and devoted his time as a helper in the kitchen on Wonderful Wednesdays. A lifelong craftsman, Robert had an appreciation for the woodwork in the church buildings and would assist in painting and polishing the historic areas of worship. Serving others was what made Robert the happiest.
Robert is survived by his wife Martha S. Alter of Newnan, Georgia; his daughter Debbie (Jeff) Pruett; his grandchildren Kirk (Amy) Pruett, Kevin (Rosanna) Pruett, a great-granddaughter Mila Rose Pruett, Kasey Pruett and his fiancee Katie Greenwood, all of Baltimore, Maryland. Robert also is survived by his stepdaughter Beth D. (Jeff) Williams and step-grandchildren Alex, Daven, Katie Beth, and Abby of Newnan, Georgia; his sister Carolyn A. Reffe (Roger) of Roanoke, Indiana; his brother Ralph D. Alter of Myrtle Beach, SC; a stepdaughter-in-law Cynthia Davenport and step-grandchildren Caleb, Aaron, Rachael, and a number of nieces and nephews. Robert is predeceased by his parents, his first wife Evelyn Sharp Alter, his son Robert, Jr., his stepson Greg Davenport, brothers Don Alter (Marilyn) and Dean Alter (Katy), and sister-in-law Holly Alter.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be given as follows: Easley Presbyterian Church, 200 South First Street, Easley, SC 29640; or Newnan First United Methodist Church, 33 Greenville Street, Newnan, GA 30263.
A memorial service will be held on August 2, 2020, at 4 p.m. in the chapel at McKoon Funeral Home in Newnan, Georgia. Visitation will be at 3 p.m. Inurnment will take place at Arlington National Cemetery on a later date.
Condolences may be expressed to the family at www.mckoon.com
McKoon Funeral Home & Crematory (770) 253-4580.