Cover photo for Robert Purdy Fishburne's Obituary
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Robert Purdy Fishburne

May 12, 1949 — November 3, 2023

Arlington, VA

ARLINGTON, VA - Dr. Robert Purdy Fishburne, 74, beloved husband of Katherine Sheetz “Kathy” Fishburne, passed away Friday, November 3, 2023.

Memorial services for Dr. Robert Purdy Fishburne, Jr, 74, of Arlington, Virginia, will be held Saturday, November 18, 2023, at St. Thaddeus Episcopal Church, Aiken, South Carolina. There will be a family graveside service at 11:00 A. M.

Born in Columbia, South Carolina, he was the son of the late Robert P. Fishburne, Sr. and L’Artigue Griffin Fishburne. He grew up in Spartanburg, South Carolina and later moved with his family to Statesboro, Georgia where he graduated from Statesboro High School in 1967. He received his MA from Georgia Southern University and his PhD from Memphis State University in 1976 with a specialty in Aerospace Experimental Psychology.

He served as an officer in the United States Navy from 1970 until 1974. While in the navy he developed computer assisted training programs for the C-5 Galaxy and C-130 Hercules aircrafts and other DOD programs. After leaving active duty he pursued a civilian career in aerospace experimental psychology until his retirement.

He was a member of Outstanding Young Men of America, Sigma Xi Scientific Research Honor Society, The Huguenot Society of South Carolina and for over thirty years a member of Saint John’s Episcopal Church of McLean Virginia.

During his years of retirement he was active with the senior citizen community of Arlington. His love of music led him to form the popular percussion group, Drumming Circle which met regularly and will continue in his honor at Langston-Brown Community Center.

 He is survived by his wife of 43 years, Katherine Sheetz Fishburne of Arlington, Virginia; sister Emily F. Ballard (Ed) of Rock Hill, SC; brother-in-law Steve Sheetz (Ashlyn) of Augusta, Georgia; four nieces: Bryson Allison (JP) of Georgetown, South Carolina, Katherine Sims (Chandler) of Smyrna, Georgia, Beth (Frank) Townsend, Aiken, South Carolina, Julie B. Dressler of Rock Hill, South Carolina, and eight great nieces and nephews.

Robert will be affectionately remembered for his love of God, generosity, great sense of humor and his love of music.

In lieu of flowers memorials may be made to St. Thaddeus Episcopal Church, 125 Pendleton Street, S.W., Aiken, South Carolina 29801 or a charity of one’s choice.

SHELLHOUSE FUNERAL HOME, INC., 924 HAYNE AVE., AIKEN, SC 29801

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Robert Purdy Fishburne, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services

Graveside Service

Saturday, November 18, 2023

Starts at 11:00 am (Eastern time)

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St. Thaddeus Episcopal Church Cemetery

125 Pendleton St SW
Aiken, SC 29801

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