Robert A. Szyper, remembered


For my father’s birthday, and for posterity, I’ll post the full version of the obituary I wrote for him here, along with photos I would have liked to share at his memorial.

Bob Szyper passed away on August 3, 2019, 9 months after being diagnosed with an aggressive form of gastric cancer.

Bob, born November 5, 1948, grew up in Pittsburgh. Family was extremely important to him. He hosted multigenerational gatherings up until a month before his death, when he welcomed his sisters and their families for the Fourth of July.

Community minded, Bob was a supportive neighbor, helped organize annual reunion picnics for his high school class at St. Canice, and enjoyed regular lunches with his “old dudes” band of friends.

Bob enjoyed travel, good food, and time at the Jersey shore. He was a Steelers fan, a skilled gardener, a crossword puzzle whiz, and a regular on his exercise bike and rowing machine. He was quick to do a favor for a friend, eager to share a story, and generous in his time and attention.

Bob taught English for over 30 years at Chartiers Valley High School, including a period teaching AP English, when he discovered “literature is more than just dead white guys,” an epiphany that excited him. His students enjoyed his humor and passion.

He was a devoted putzer who (proudly) used MacGyver as a verb. He followed politics closely and lived for a good New Yorker cartoon, texting them to his daughters regularly.

Bob was a devoted husband, a loyal friend, an occasional curmudgeon, an engaged father, a sharp wit, and a proud papap who endured many hours on hard benches watching his grandson play baseball.

Bob is survived by his wife Roberta (Robie), his daughters, Andrea and Lauren, grandson Robin, sisters Beverly and Cathy, nieces and nephews and their families, and several prolific tomato and cucumber plants. 


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