Robert "Bob" I. Bostian, 99, of Bellefonte, passed away on Monday, February 19, 2019, at Atlantic General Hospital in Berlin, Maryland. Born in Sunbury, on January 28, 1920, he was the son of the late Irvin C. and Edith V. (Long) Bostian. On November 9, 1941, in Sunbury, he married the love of his life, Mary E. (Woodcock) Bostian, who preceded him in death on November 14, 2018, after sharing 77 years of marriage together.
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Robert was a 1939 graduate of Sunbury High School. He enlisted in the United States Army in December 1940 and served until he was honorably discharged as Corporal in August 1945. Bob was a member of the 190th Field Artillery Battalion. They trained first in the U.S., and later in England in preparation for the D-Day landing. After landing at Normandy, they participated in many of the great battles of World War II, including the Battle of the Bulge. They and their fellow members of the Greatest Generation continued the fight until Europe was liberated. During his time in the service he was awarded the Good Conduct Medal, American Defense Service Medal and the European, African, Middle Eastern Service Medal with 5 Bronze Stars. After serving in the Army, he attained his Bachelor of Arts in 1948 and his Master’s degree in Education in 1951, both from Penn State.
After graduating from Penn State, Bob got an industrial arts teaching position in the Bellefonte Area School District. He spent his entire teaching career in the Bellefonte school system, mostly at the junior high and middle school levels. For most of his career he taught wood shop and drafting. Later, when the new middle school was opened, he taught ceramics, printing and leather work. It is not unusual to hear from his former students about the impact he had on their lives and the projects made under his direction that have remained in their families. During his time as a member of the faculty Bob was active in the Bellefonte Teachers Association and served as its President.
In addition to his teaching career, Bob was also well known as a talented carpenter, cabinet maker, and handyman. He did this type of work during summers and weekends during his teaching career and continued to do so long after he retired from teaching.
Robert is survived by one daughter, Cynthia G. McDaniels (Edward), of Dagsboro, DE, and two sons, Robert I. Bostian, Jr. (Deborah), of Seekonk, MA, and James A. Bostian (Tammy), of Hanover, PA; seven grandchildren and 11 great-grandchildren.
In addition to his wife and parents, he was preceded in death by two brothers, Jack O. Bostian and Leonard C. Bostian.
Robert was a member of St. John Lutheran Church in Bellefonte where for many years he was chairman or member of the property committee. Additionally, he was a member of the American Legion Post 33 in Bellefonte, and a life member of the PSEA (Pennsylvania State Education Association), NEA (National Education Association), and PSERS (Pennsylvania Public School Employees’ Retirement System) and the 190th Field Artillery Group Association.
The community and children were very near to Robert’s heart. He was Cubmaster for Pack 36, Scoutmaster for Troop 36, and council member for Troop 36 for many years. He volunteered for many years at the YMCA, where he earned the Volunteer of the Year.
There will be a public viewing held on Monday, February 25, 2019, from 10am-11am at St. John Lutheran Church at 216 N. McAllister Street, Bellefonte. Funeral services will immediately follow at the church at 11am with Rev. Will Osman officiating. Burial with full military honors will follow at Centre County Memorial Park in State College.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made in Robert’s memory to St. John Lutheran Church at 216 N. McAllister Street, Bellefonte, PA 16823.