Robert Browning Trainer, age 95, passed away peacefully on Dec. 23rd, 2013 at The Hallmark, a retirement community in Houston, surrounded by members of his family. “Bob” was born in New York City on May 15th, 1918 to John Newlin Trainer and Caroline Okie Browning Trainer. He was a graduate of Phillips Exeter Academy (1934), Harvard College (1938), and Harvard Law School (1941). He married Mary (“Polly”) Ilsley Uihlein from Milwaukee, Wisconsin on July 10th, 1941. Bob joined the Navy in 1938 as a junior officer having completed the Naval ROTC program at Harvard. In 1941 Bob joined the “active” Navy and served throughout the war on the USS Denebola in the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans and in the Mediterranean, rising to the rank of Lt Commander with the position of the XO of the Denebola. After the War Bob worked for White and Case, the law firm in New York. In 1948 he and Polly moved to Milwaukee where he joined the Joseph Schlitz Brewing Company and worked in various roles until his retirement in 1978 with the title, Senior Vice President. After Polly’s death, he married Shirin Devrim in 1973, a well-known Turkish actress who taught at Carnegie Mellon and Stanford University and acted in repertory theaters throughout the U.S. and Turkey. They lived in New York City for 30 years until her death in 2011, after which Bob moved to Houston.
Bob served for many years on the boards of the Milwaukee Blood Center, Columbia Hospital, Milwaukee Downer College, First Wisconsin National Bank (now US Bank) and Schlitz, all in Milwaukee. Bob also served on the boards of Cruz del Campo, a brewery in Seville, Spain, Robert College in Istanbul, McCarter Theater in Princeton, NJ and was on the Advisory Council of the Near Eastern Department of Princeton University. He was an avid hunter and tennis player.
Bob is survived by Robert Trainer Jr. (Mary) of Houston, Charles Trainer (Anne Booth) of Milwaukee, Stevens Trainer (Tricia) of Seattle, eight grandchildren including Molly Trainer Arreola (Javier) of Mexico City, Julia Trainer, Robert Trainer III (Carrie) of Houston and Caroline Trainer Frantz (Ed) also of Houston. Bob additionally has eight great grandchildren.
The family would like to thank the wonderful staff of The Hallmark where he lived the last three years and especially Ibrahim (Ibo) Gul, his loyal caregiver, companion and friend for the last four years. Bob will be missed by his family and friends.