Bob John Robison
Navy Captain, Lobbyist
Bob John Robison, 82, a retired Navy captain who headed the Washington office of the Hill & Knowlton public relations firm in the early and mid-1980s, died Aug. 7 at a hospital in Williamsburg. He had congestive heart failure.
After retiring from the Navy in 1967, Capt. Robison worked nationwide for companies that had a defense contracting arm. He did lobbying work for ITT International; was executive vice president of public relations for General Dynamics Corp.; and was acting head of government relations for FMC Corp., where he played a key role in getting the company's Bradley Fighting Vehicle funded and operational.
He headed Hill & Knowlton's Dallas office before coming to its Washington office in 1981.
In the late 1980s, he formed Robison International, a defense consulting business whose clients included FMC, McDonnell Douglas Corp. and British Aerospace.
He was born in Burkburnett, Tex., and raised in Dallas and Baton Rouge, La. He served as a Navy pilot in the Pacific theater during World War II, at one point jettisoning airplane fuel from his carrier after a kamikaze attack during the Leyte Gulf campaign.
Remaining in the Navy after the war, his later assignments included Senate liaison officer for the Navy, executive officer of the aircraft carrier Independence and captain of the oiler Severn. In the early 1960s, he was a political science graduate of George Washington University.
His decorations included the Distinguished Flying Cross, three awards of the Air Medal and the Navy Commendation Medal.
He moved to Williamsburg from Washington in 1994.
His wife of 60 years, Marion Wilder "Nan" Robison, died in 2003.
Survivors include two children, Robert G. Robison of Scarsdale, N.Y., and Suzanne Spooner of Baltimore; and five grandchildren.
Wallace Jay Nichols
Army Officer, Architect
Wallace Jay "Nick" Nichols, 97, a World War II Army veteran and Washington-area architect, died of cardiac arrest August 3 at Inova Fairfax Hospital in Falls Church. He had lived in Northern Virginia for 50 years.
Col. Nichols was born in Rochester, N.Y., and graduated from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in 1933 with a bachelor's degree in architecture. He served in the Civilian Conservation Corps in Idaho for a year and then was called to active duty in the Army in 1939 as a cavalry officer.
During World War II, he commanded the 745th Tank Battalion. His battalion landed on Omaha Beach on D-Day in support of the 1st Infantry Division and fought in every major battle in Central Europe. His decorations include the Legion of Merit, two Bronze Stars and the French Croix de Guerre.
Col. Nichols stayed in the Army after the war and served as executive officer of Combat Command A of the 4th Armored Division. He also was chief of the Combined Arms Division of Arnold School at Fort Knox, instructor of intelligence at the Command and General Staff College at Fort Leavenworth, chief of the Military District of the District of Columbia and chief of staff of the Organization and Training Division of reserve components at the Pentagon. He retired in 1961.
After his retirement, he became an associate in the District architectural firm of Faulkner, Kingsbury and Stenhouse. He guided several projects to completion, including the old Virginia Hospital Center-Arlington; Beauvoir, the elementary school at the Washington National Cathedral; additions to St. Agnes HealthCare in Baltimore; additions to Providence Hospital and Columbia Hospital for Women, both in the District; and renovating the Patent Office Building to accommodate the National Portrait Gallery. He worked as a hospital consultant for several years before retiring a second time in 1979.
Col. Nichols was a member of the American Institute of Architects, Pi Kappa Alpha Fraternity and the Army Navy Country Club.
Survivors include his wife of 63 years, Verna Perkins Nichols of Springfield; a son, David Van Doren Nichols of Murfreesboro, Tenn.; two sisters; four grandchildren; and three great-grandchildren.