Robert Trower, 51, designed systems for post office

November 26, 1998|By Robert Hilson Jr. | Robert Hilson Jr.,SUN STAFF

Robert "Nino" Trower, a U.S. Postal Service executive who helped design and manage computer systems to analyze and collect information on mail carrier routes nationwide, died Sunday of cancer at Anne Arundel Medical Center.

Mr. Trower, 51, of Chester in Queen Anne's County, worked for the postal service for 25 years and was responsible for implementing its National Directory Support System.

That system is used to manage all address information for automated processing throughout the country.

"He had a lot of insight and a lot of ideas to improve the mail that he was able to put to use for the betterment of delivery," said John Fettors, a former co-worker. "He always wanted to improve things, and he worked to do it."

In addition, Mr. Trower was the postal executive responsible for the initial nationwide deployment of the Remote Bar Coding System that allowed for automated processing of hand-written mail addresses.

At his death, he was a member of a task force seeking to expand the postal service's Internet commerce presence.

"He had a lot of interests and was somewhat of a maverick in his field," said James Winburn, who worked with Mr. Trower through the 1980s. "It's one thing to have an idea; it's another thing to have that idea realized. He realized his ideas."

A native of Washington, Mr. Trower received an associate of arts degree from Strayer Business College in 1967, his bachelor's degree from the University of Maryland, College Park in 1969 and a master's degree in business administration from Loyola College in Baltimore in 1973.

After graduation, Mr. Trower worked various jobs at Florida's Goddard Space Flight Center, including work on the first Skylab mission and many of the manned Apollo missions.

For many years in the 1960s, Mr. Trower was an accomplished singer and guitar player with several area musical groups. His groups toured the East Coast and made several recordings, from which Mr. Trower continued to receive royalties.

"He loved to sing, and he was very good at it," said his wife, the former Barbara Kelley, whom he married in 1993.

Mr. Trower was an avid boater and a member of the Kent Island Yacht Club. He also belonged to the Bay Country Area Moose.

Services were held yesterday.

Pub Date: 11/26/98

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