Robert J. Rechs, recently of National City, passed away in Auburn June 9.
Services are pending.
He was born in South Gate, Calif., Aug. 31, 1935. He was the second of four sons born to Albert and Elsie Farrell Rechs. He attended local schools there.
While still a teenager, he traveled the Alcan Highway and hitchhiked to all but a few of the 48 states. After serving in the U.S. Army, he attended Compton College and graduated from the University of Miami in aviation management. He became a pilot and an international figure and author in hot-air ballooning. Bob flew more than 75 different makes and models of aircraft in more than 100 countries. Always an adventurer, he believed that if you owned more belongings than you could fit in your vehicle, you owned too much.
He met his wife, Eliane, while working for Pan American Airlines in Brazil. During his aviation career, he also served as a mechanic, flight instructor, flight engineer and pilot examiner. In his later years, he served as a volunteer, rebuilding antique train equipment for the San Diego Electric Railway museum.
Bob leaves his wife, Eliane Palota Rechs, of National City and three brothers, John of Pineville, La., Bill of Grass Valley and Bernie of Marysville, as well as many nieces and nephews.