Written by Bebe Faas Rice
Audrey Robey met her future husband, Dick, at a crowded, noisy party follow- ing the 1952 Army-Navy game. Navy had won, and Dick, a midshipman at the Academy, was there with a pack of jubilant classmates. He was at one end of the room and she was at the other, but he stood out, she says, because he was “ jumping up and down.” On one of his jumps, their eyes met and - bingo! - the spell was cast.
But wait – there’s more. The reason he was jumping up and down was because he’d seen her from afar when she entered and was now trying to find her in the crowd. They spent the evening talking, she walked him to the train, he invited her to the St. Valentine’s Day party at the Academy and two years later, upon his graduation from the Academy, they were married.
Audrey and Dick are both East-Coasters. Dick was born and grew up in Ar lington, attending St. John’s College High School and Bullis Prep prior to his acceptance at the Naval Academy. Audrey was from Jersey City, NJ. A born “number cruncher,” as she puts it, she was taking college classes in business and accounting when she was offered a job by the Colgate-Palmolive-Peet Company in their accounting department, so she quit college and was working there when she met and subsequently married Dick. Their first duty station was Long Beach, CA, with Dick serving on a destroyer minelayer...and Audrey
having their first child, a son. They would ultimately parent six: three boys and three girls.
After Long Beach, Dick applied for the U.S. Submarine School in Groton, CT. It was a one-year course, followed by the young family moving to Virginia Beach and Dick’s first tour as a submarine officer. Then back to New Lon- don, where he served aboard the Robert E. Lee, the third nuclear-powered ballistic missile submarine to join the fleet.
Dick was gone a lot during that time, Audrey says. Home for five months. Away for five. The separations were hard, but there were now a growing number of little ones running around the house to keep her busy, along with many friends. Close friends. Helping friends.
“The submarine service is a very close community,” Audrey says. “Every crew member and every spouse are dependent upon someone else for his or her well-being and safety. People look out for each other. Those were good days for us and our family.”
Dick retired after 24 years of active service. Over those years, he’d served on a number of submarines, to include command of the USS Grenadier at Key West. In addition, he’d attended the Army War College and been on the staff of the Naval Submarine School and the Office of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. His final active duty assignment was with the Office of the Naval Inspector General.
After retirement, he worked for Tracor, Inc., a major North American defense electronics contractor, and following his second retirement, they moved to Bethany Beach, DE, where they built a large home and settled back to enjoy the sun, the beach, their family and their friends.
Dick passed away two years ago. The house seemed too large without him. Audrey and her children, in touring possible retirement communities, visited Falcons Landing and liked what they saw. At the present moment, Audrey is in the midst of unpacking but is looking forward to soon becoming an active member of our community.
Welcome, Audrey, to Falcons Landing!