November 21, 2012

Bobbie L. Donald, 84, an electrical engineer who retired in 1989 after working more than 25 years at the old Defense Communications Agency, died Nov. 3 at Reston Hospital Center. He was a Vienna resident.

He had a stroke, his son Bruce Donald said.

Mr.. Donald began working in 1963 at what is now the Defense Information Systems Agency, part of the Defense Department. Earlier in his career, he worked for the now-defunct Hughes Aircraft Co. in Long Beach, Calif., and the American Machine and Foundry Co., a bowling equipment manufacturer.

Bobbie Lester Donald was born in St. Paul, in southwest Virginia, and he grew up in Arlington County, where he was a 1946 graduate of Washington-Lee High School. In 1957, he received a bachelor’s degree in engineering at George Washington University.

He served in the Army and then the Air Force between 1947 and 1954, part of the time as an assistant air attache at the U.S. Embassy in New Delhi.

He was a member of the Masons, the Elks and the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers.

His first marriage, to Barbara Taylor, ended in divorce. Survivors include his wife of 40 years, Wilma Gates Donald of Vienna; two sons from his first marriage, Bruce Donald of Petersburg, Va., and Robert Donald of Orlando; two stepchildren, Penny O’Donnell of Olney and Peter Pantazopoulos of New Market, Md.; and two grandchildren.

— Megan McDonough