Commander Robert Vail Hirstein, USN retired, 93, of 100 East Ocean View Avenue #708, Norfolk, Virginia died July 1, 2019 at home. He was a retired US Naval Officer who served in World War II, the Korean War, and the Vietnam War. He also worked as a ship safety analyst for 15 years at the Naval Safety Center in Norfolk.
CDR Hirstein was born in Fairbury, Illinois in 1926. He enlisted in the US Navy in May, 1944 and served 2 years in the Western Pacific in an LST. He was discharged in June of 1946. After graduating from Butler University in Indianapolis in 1950 and receiving a commission, he returned to active duty during the Korean War. He remained in the Navy until retirement in 1971. Serving on seven ships, his last billet was as executive officer on the USS Sirerra AD-18. He also had a tour as a history instructor at the US Naval Academy and a tour as a logistics representative Western Pacific for Commander Cruiser/Destroyer Forces.
In 1967, he and his family returned to the US from Japan and settled in Norfolk where he remained until his death. One of the joys of his life was the winning of the World Series by the Chicago Cubs in 2016. He did not think it would happen in his lifetime. It also should be noted that he shot his age in golf in 1977.
The love of his life, Nancy S. Hirstein, died in 2010. He is survived by his son, James S. Hirstein and wife, Clara of Ribeauville’, France; daughter, Ann S. Maydosz of Norfolk; son, William S. Hirstein of Elmhurt, Illinois; and sister, M. Louise Perkins of Indianapolis, Indiana. He is also survived by six lovely, bright grandchildren, his cherished nieces and nephews, and their accomplished children. He was grateful to Gaye for the light she brought to his last part of his life. We thank his incredible caregivers and the wonderful support of Grace Hospice for helping him live his final years joyfully and on his terms.
Inurnment will take place at Arlington National Cemetery at a later date. To express online condolences, please visit www.vacremationsociety.com.