J. Robert Nuss

J. Robert Nuss Jr.

Monday, January 2nd, 1939 - Thursday, May 21st, 2020
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James Robert Nuss, Jr., 81, of State College, died on Thursday, May 21, 2020, at home. Born January 2, 1939, in Kingston, Luzerne County, PA, he was the son of the late Rebecca M. (Branch) and J. Robert Nuss, Sr. On October 27, 1972, in Bellefonte, he married M. Suzanne Lyons, who survives.

Bob was a 1956 graduate of Kingston High School. He received his B.S. (1960), M.S. (1962), and Ph.D. (1967) degrees from The Pennsylvania State University, all in Horticulture.

Bob began his professional career with Penn State in 1966 and retired in July 2000 as Professor Emeritus of Ornamental Horticulture. He was the Cooperative Extension Specialist for ornamental horticulture and presented talks and educational programs for home gardeners and commercial crop producers across the Commonwealth. He started and was actively involved with the statewide Master Gardener program. Bob taught, even after retirement, many of the classes for volunteers who went on to assist county Extension staff in answering questions related to home horticulture.

Each fall from 1969 until retirement he taught the undergraduate course “Ornamental Plant Materials” in the Horticulture Department, as well as plant identification for the Turf Short Course. From 1983 to 2000 he wrote a weekly gardening column, “Roots,” which appeared in newspapers across Pennsylvania and beyond. Bob also participated in a number of radio and television programs.

During his tenure at Penn State he served on many department, college, and university committees, and had numerous professional affiliations.

Bob was an avid trap shooter and participated in matches around Pennsylvania, as well as at his home club, the Philipsburg Rod and Gun Club, where he was a past president and director. He was a member of the Cameron County Bucktail Rod and Gun Club, Pennsylvania Rifle and Pistol Association, National Muzzle Loading Rifle Association, and a life member of both the Amateur Trapshooting Association and the National Rifle Association.

During the fall he enjoyed small game hunting and deer hunting with a flintlock rifle. Bob was at home in the outdoors and often hiked the woods of Pennsylvania. He also loved annual visits to the Maine coast. His second home was “Almost Maine,” their cabin in Sullivan County (PA). He and Sue had several extended vacations to the western United States, visiting many national parks and Native American sites.

Bob hand crafted traditional leather items used by muzzleloader hunters and other outdoorsmen, which he sold through his craft business, “Nuss Lederarbeiten.” The family joke was that he gave away more than he sold! Bob had a quick wit and a dry sense of humor that could be missed if you weren’t paying attention.

In addition to his wife, Bob is survived by his sister, Virginia Michael (Barry Lind) of Lakeville, ME; niece Becky Michael (Melvin Maxwell), Naples, FL; and nephew Bobby Michael (Cindy) and children Brooklynn and Bowden, of Enterprise, AL. Also surviving are his wife’s family, Rebecca and John Peplinski, Pennsylvania Furnace; Joanna Lyons, Bellefonte; Michael and Dana Mauger, Encinitas, CA; Bethany, David, Jacob, and Emma Lucas, Lynn Haven, FL; and Wesley, Christina, and Robert Mauger, Huntingtown, MD.

Funeral arrangements are private and under the direction of Wetzler Funeral Service, Inc. in Bellefonte.

In lieu of flowers, donations are welcome to the Sullivan County Food Pantry, PO Box 55, Dushore, PA 18614, or Centre County PAWS, 1401 Trout Road, State College, PA 16801. Please note “In Memory of Bob Nuss” on any memorial contribution.
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Service Details

  • Service

    Private at the convenience of the family
  • Interment

    Private at the convenience of the family
    206 N. Spring Street
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email


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Bobby and Cindy Michael

Posted at 02:36pm
With loving memories of Uncle Bobby
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A memorial tree was planted in the memory of J. Robert Nuss

Winand Hock

Posted at 02:32pm
Dear Sue and Family,
It is with much sadness that I learned of the passing of Bob. He and I spent many hours together during our Extension careers. He was a fun guy to be around and I learned much from him. He was a real asset to the Dept. of Horticulture and the College of Ag. Sciences. My deepest condolences to all the family.
With deepest sympathy,
Win Hock

Bobby Michael

Posted at 02:28pm
Uncle Bobby was a great Uncle to us. Lots of great family memories with you all from Jopas chair to weddings, graduations, and at Almost Maine. Very thankful of all the opportunities we had to see you all.

Earle Robbins

Posted at 08:10am
Will miss Bob. He was a good friend. While working for PSU Cooperative Extension, he was the "Go to person" for any issues dealing with horticulture. We did many Master Gardener walks with the public around Wellsboro..always informative and great evenings.
We also spent numerous hours chasing pheasants and groundhogs in Tioga County and always recieved play by play accounts of his hunts if I was not available to go along. R.I.P. my friend !

Betsey Howell

Posted at 04:58pm
Sue, I am so very sorry about Bob. I know he was the love of your life and you will miss him, but I hope you can find some comfort knowing he will always be with you and will continue to watch over you. Hugs

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