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Bob Waxman’s legacy lives on at Webster Field

St. Inigoes, Md. — Known for his benevolence and leadership throughout his career as a civil engineer, Bob Waxman passed away on Aug. 8 at age 93. An easily recognizable figure in the community, Waxman’s greatest legacy can be found tucked away in St. Inigoes, where he devoted countless hours into developing the Webster Outlying Field Annex.

The University of Maryland and George Washington University graduate first found himself in St. Mary’s County back in 1949, where just two years later he would start his career at the Patuxent River Naval Air Station.

Not long after beginning his career, Waxman found himself leading as technical director for the “Navy Air Navigation Electronics Program,” as the program would be making its transitioning relocation from the Naval base over to Webster Field.

The Webster Field Annex has grown substantially as a result of Waxman’s dedication. It is now home to multiple Naval Air Warfare Center Aircraft Divisions, the St. Inigoes Coast Guard Station, and a component of the Maryland Army National Guard. Throughout his time at the Navy facility, Waxman reportedly increased their annual budget from $300,000 to upwards of $600 million by his retirement in 2006.

However, the World War II veteran’s interaction between Congressional leaders, specifically around the time of the 1993 Base Realignment and Closure(BRAC), is what truly makes Waxman’s legacy so tremendous. House Majority Leader, Rep. Steny Hoyer (MD-05) garnished a tremendous amount of constituent support as a result of working with Waxman to keep Webster Field as a hub for unmanned aircraft interactions.

The relationship between the two gentlemen grew stronger over the years, to the point where Hoyer would reportedly call Waxman on his birthday every year. The Democratic leader put out a statement last week, speaking only the highest praise about the “Mayor of Webster Field,” the name many people knew Waxman by.

“Bob was one of the finest people I've ever met, and I'll miss him greatly,” Hoyer’s statement reads. “Under his leadership, Webster Field saw unprecedented growth and expansion and survived five rounds of base closures and realignments. I worked closely with Bob to prevent the closure of Webster Field, and I can say with confidence that the installation would not be what it is today without his leadership and his tireless efforts to grow its business and ensure that the federal government knew how essential the base and its work was to the military… he cared deeply about the base and its employees.”

Following his retirement, Waxman served as a senior consultant at The MIL Corporation for 10 more years and was a past recipient of the Navy Distinguished Civilian Service Award. He is survived by his wife Ruth Heilbrunn Waxman of 65 years, his four children, his 10 grandchildren, and his well-rooted legacy at Webster Field.

Contact Zach at zach.hill@thebaynet.com.

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