Robert E. (Bob) German Jr., 40 year resident of Dallas, and native of Williamsport Pa., died Monday July 23, from long term complications suffered as the result of a stroke. He passed peacefully in his sleep, in the company of friends and in no pain.
Bob German was born in Williamsport, Pa. in December 1930 and lived most of his young life in Newberry. He was raised in a home headed by his father who was running the Wildwood cemetery as a fifth generation of German to do so and by a mother and aunts who filled the home with overwhelming amounts of great cooking and family love. He had the distinction of being a player on one of the first Little League teams in 1939, was known for his hitting and not his fielding. Bob's childhood and adolescence, while spanning the Great Depression and War years, were filled with many friends, an extended family full of love and warmth, and from his perspective those years were both magical and happy beyond belief.
After graduating Williamsport High School (Class of 1949) and an adventurous post graduation U.S. wide road trip, Bob enlisted in the United States Marine Corps in 1949, served during the Korean conflict and was most proud of the fact that he qualified "Expert" as a Marine Corps Rifleman. Bob actually held the range record at Parris Island for a number of days in 1949. Many friends and family often heard him comment that the one debt of gratitude he could never repay was the debt he owed the Unites State Marine Corps it was a life shaping and hugely positive experience. Attending Bucknell University in Lewisburg, Pa., on the G.I. Bill, Bob was a member of the Kappa Sigma Fraternity, served as a Sophomore and Resident Advisor at some of the dorms, lettered in wrestling and boxed intramural. He also started a thriving sandwich and snack business for the dorms and filled his fraternity duty by waging war on the Fiji's next door. Majoring in liberal arts, the intention was always to follow up Bucknell with Law school, but instead accepted an internship with the Pennsylvania Railroad when the PRR was the second largest corporation in the world - and thus started his career in Personnel and Human Resources. After college graduation and accepting the new job, Bob married a neighborhood and college friend (Diann Kay Mussina-also a Newberry native) in 1956 and started his own family in 1957.
Robert E. German Jr.
His corporate career path started with the PRR and took him to Magnivox Research Labs and Gillette. But his career didn't really hit its zenith until 1972 when he interviewed with University Computing Corporation (a Dallas based software and IT company) and its founders Sam and Charles Wyly. This new job started a 20 year relationship with Wyly organizations that included Bonanza Steak Houses, USA Cafes, Sterling Software, Five M Nurseries and ultimately the Michaels's Stores. The entrepreneurial, organizational, and managerial culture of these organizations gave Bob's career the environment he needed to thrive and the principals and cohorts would become lifelong friends.
In 1992, while VP of HR at the Michael's stores, Bob sustained a cardiac illness that resulted in a stroke and this for the most part ended his days in Corporate America. After rehabilitation and some convalescence he embarked on the next renaissance of his career and perhaps the most rewarding period of his life he became a substitute teacher in the Richardson (Texas) Independent School District. Bob so much loved the companionship, energy and friendship that he experienced in teaching that he would become absolutely ebullient on mornings when he knew he would be teaching at one of his favorite Richardson ISD schools. There is no doubt that these teaching jobs gave him purpose and great enjoyment and absolutely extended his life. He was ever grateful to the RISD for their faith in him and dearly loved the students, faculty and staff of these institutions. His days of teaching in the Dallas area ended in September 2011 as his illness became more apparent.
Bob German is survived by a long term companion and friend, June Warrington Williams; a dearly loved brother and sister in law, Fred and Mickey German of Williamsport, Pa.; a son, Rob; a daughter, Lois Parker and his grandchildren, Courtney and Lindsey Parker, all of Dallas.
A viewing was held in Dallas on Friday July 27. A graveside service will be held at the family gravesite in Wildwood Cemetery in Williamsport, Pa. on Tuesday July 31 at 1 p.m. This graveside service is open to all friends and family in the Williamsport area that would like to attend. In lieu of flowers, please make a donation to a veteran's organization of your choice.
Lastly I would like to just say "Thanks" to all the dear friends and associates that made my father's life so much richer. Bob was an absolute "people person" and it was his friendships, acquaintances and family that made him feel wealthy. To all those who were part of my Dad's life thank you. He very much cherished his memories and friends in Williamsport.
I know I will see my Dad again. I only hope that when I do that we will be embarking on another of our famous road trips from the 50's, 60's and 70's to visit family, new cities and friends. We will be in the old Chevy station wagon, it will be a crystal azure day, there will be nothing but open road in front of us, a forgotten tune on the AM, the sing of bias ply on the macadam, a grocery bag of snacks between us, firecrackers flying out the rear window and both of us with our eyes peeled for Oklahoma State troopers on Route 66. Godspeed Pop!
Arrangements are in the care of the James C. Maneval Funeral Home, Ltd., "A Life Celebration Home," 500 W. Fourth St., Williamsport.
To share your fondest memory of Robert visit www.lifecelebration.com.