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Robert Allen Nafis
May 3, 1928 ~ August 12, 2020 (age 92) 92 Years Old
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Robert Allen Nafis 92 resident of Kendal at Ithaca, formerly of Centerport N.Y. died Aug. 12, 2020. He was born in Rockville Center Long Island, son of Elsie and Frederick Nafis, and grew up in Lynbrook NY, attending the Malverne School system and Cornell University (BEE in Electrical Engineering 1949). He married June Christiansen of Huntington NY in 1951. Bob spent his entire career with Grumman after winning a Grumman scholarship and starting as a systems engineer. In 1957 he was responsible for the design and development of the Digital Integrated Attack Navigation Equipment for the Navy A6 series all weather carrier aircraft, followed by the E2 AEW series. After attending MIT Sloan Industrial Masters program in 1964-6 was appointed as Director of ASW programs at Grumman. In 1969 he became the Program Manager for the F-14 Tomcat Navy fighter. In 1972 he was a founder of the Grumman Data Systems Corporation, serving as VP, then President. In 1982 he moved to VP Grumman Corporate Development. In 1984 he was named President of the Grumman Electronics Division. He retired in 1990, remaining as senior management consultant until 1993. In 1999 he joined the Board of startup Princeton Optronics. He also served on the advisory committee to the Cornell School of Electrical and Computer Engineering for many years. Bob was campaign manager, then President and Chairman of the Board of the United Way of Long Island for a period of 20 years, and coach of the Huntington Kickers U18 soccer team for 10 years. He sang tenor in UMC choirs for over 40 years. He has been a mentor to the Cornell Men’s and Women’s soccer teams since arriving in Ithaca in 1996. He served 9 years on the Board of Kendal at Ithaca and chair of the property committee for 7.
He is survived by his wife June, daughter Dian Nafis-Reed (John) of Corvallis OR, son Douglas (Janice) of Mt. Prospect IL, son Christopher (Sue) of Vischer Ferry NY, and granddaughters Danielle Reed, Debra and Heidi Nafis (Doug), and Sarah, Rachel, Kathryn and Laura Nafis (Chris). He was predeceased by his sisters Doris McKee of Slingerlands NY and Carolyn Morrison of Warsaw IN, and brother Warren Nafis MD of Glendora CA.
Funeral plans will be private with burial at Pleasant Grove Cemetery in Ithaca NY. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to St. Paul’s Methodist Church in Ithaca, NY.