Robert Theodore Cerwin, 97, died Saturday, November 8, 2014 at his home in Raleigh, with his family by his side.
Bob was born November 19, 1916 in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. After graduating from Bethlehem High School, he attended Pocatello College in Idaho. After college, he joined the United States Coast Guard, serving from 1939 to 1945, and rising to the rank of Chief Bosun's Mate. While in service, he was stationed off the coasts of Iceland and Greenland during World War II, where he participated in extensive anti-submarine warfare in the North Atlantic Theatre. After the war, he worked as an administrative officer at The United Nations, and in 1949, he joined the New York City Police Department. While on the force, he rose to the rank of Detective First Class, and remained within the Ballistics Department for his entire career.
Bob was a nationally recognized ballistics expert, and was called upon to testify in hundreds of crime cases as an expert witness. He was a frequent lecturer at the New York City Police Academy, and also taught lecture series at John J. College of Law, Brooklyn Law School and the War College in Washington, D.C. In addition, he was selected as Adjunct Consultant to the Warren Commission. In 1977, after retiring from the NYPD, Bob moved to North Carolina. The following year, he joined the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation as a Special Agent in ballistics. In 1989, Bob retired from the SBI, but continued to serve as an independent ballistics consultant.
He was preceded in death by his loving wife of 68 years, Blanche Frances Cerwin, as well as his youngest son, Kenneth Walter Cerwin, United States Marine Corp. He is survived by his oldest son, Dr. Robert A. Cerwin and his wife Bonnie Francis. Also surviving him are his two Grandchildren, Christina C. Allen (husband William) and Robert A. Cerwin, Jr. (wife Erika), and four Great Grandchildren, Eliza and Alexander Allen, and Katherine and Robert T. Cerwin, II.
The family extends a special appreciation to Dr. Patrick O'Brien and Dr. Charles Mangano, as well as caretakers Ms. Gloria Phillips and Ms. Carol Gable, for all of their loving support and care.
Calling hours will be held on Sunday, November 16, 2014 from 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. and again from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. at Brown-Wynne Funeral Home at 300 Saint Mary's Street in Raleigh, NC. On Monday, November 17, 2014, a memorial service will be held at White Memorial Presbyterian Church in Raleigh, NC at 2:30 p.m. There will be a private burial at Oakwood Cemetery.