The Transylvania Times -

John Robert Mantell Jr. (Bob)


Last updated 9/7/2020 at 1:22pm

John Robert Mantell Jr. (Bob), went home to be with the Lord Wednesday, Aug. 26, 2020. He was a devoted husband, a loving father, and steadfast friend.

He was born May 15, 1930 to John Robert and Thelma Haugh Mantell in Frederick, Md. He graduated from Frederick High School before working for Western Union, and then the Maryland State Road Commission.

He met his wife, Mary Louise Hutchins, through mutual friends, and married in 1950. They celebrated their 68th wedding anniversary before Mary Lou’s passing.

Shortly after marrying, he was hired as a cryptographer in the communications center with HQ 2nd Army. Six years later he began working for the National Security Agency. Due to the nature of his work, there was much secrecy surrounding his responsibilities and travels. He spent over 23 years with NSA before retiring as a Special Research Analyst.

While home, he enjoyed spending time with his family. He shared his love of crabbing, bowling and amateur radio with his children.

Many people around the world knew Bob by his call signs, K3BYV, and PZ5DX.

He and his wife, Mary Lou, moved to Brevard after he received a job offer at the Rosman Tracking Station until the government closed the facility.

After making Brevard their home for 17 years, they moved once again, this time to Waxhaw, N.C., so they could devote more time volunteering with JAARS. In 2013, they moved one last time to Plantation Estates in Matthews, N.C.

He is survived by his sons, John Robert III and wife, Carroll, of Waxhaw, William and wife, Rosalie, of Chestertown, Md., and daughter, Karen and husband, Ralph Strader, of Charlotte, N.C. He was loved and known as Opa by his grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

Upon learning of his passing, many people commented about his dry sense of humor, and that he had a twinkle in his eye, like he knew a secret. And we all knew he was first rate at keeping secrets.

A Celebration of Life service will be held Saturday, Sept. 19, 2020, at 2 p.m. at Christ Covenant Church, 800 Fullwood Dr., Matthews, N.C.

At a later date, the family will hold a graveside service at Baldwin Methodist Church in Millersville, Md.


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