“Bob” Robert John Troha, 82, a lifelong resident of Saint Marys passed away on Saturday, June 25, 2016, surrounded by family. He is survived by his five children, Steve Troha of Saint Marys, John (Phuong) Troha of Vietnam, Jennifer Brem of Saint Marys, Amy (Rod) Anderson of Saint Marys, and Janine Laughner of Saint Marys; eight grandchildren, Steven Troha, Jeremy Brem, Cody Laughner of Los Angeles, Janae Anderson, Trey Anderson, Tyler Troha, Shawnee Troha, and Sundance Troha; his brother, Jerry Troha of Saint Marys; and twelve nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his wife, Mimi; brother, Jim (Pierre); and his parents, John and Katie Troha, who immigrated from Slovenia and Croatia.
Bob was born on December 3, 1933 at Andrew Kaul Memorial Hospital in Saint Marys, PA. He attended Central Catholic High School from 1947 to 1949, and graduated from Saint Marys Area Public School in 1951. Bob graduated from Bryant and Stratton College in Buffalo, NY in 1953 with a degree in Accounting and Business Administration. Upon graduation, Bob began work at Speer Carbon Company before enlisting in the United States Army where he served as Personnel Administrative Specialist until he was honorably discharged in 1955. Bob then began his professional working career at Keystone Carbon Company as a salesman in the Thermistor Division where he was responsible for international sales for the next forty years and retired without one recorded sick day during his entire professional career. From 1984 to 1993, Bob was the owner of the Thompson & Montgomery Ready Mix Concrete Plant. Since his retirement from Keystone until his passing, Bob has been employed as a sales consultant for COMTEC Manufacturing providing the powdered metal components used in Zippo Lighters to Zippo Manufacturing Company, USA. He was also a Zippo Promotional Products Representative and an Independent Zippo Distributor for the northwestern Pennsylvania area and was the “Founding Father” of Zippo Viet Nam. Bob was President and Secretary of the SNPJ (Slovenian National Benefit Society) Lodge #581 from 1982 to present. He was instrumental in initiating the PA Cleanways cleanups on Jackson Road. Bob was Chairman of the Young Democrats from 1970 to 1990 and he also served as the Saint Marys Benzinger Township Tax Collector from 1970 to 1974. He was also on the Board of Directors of Phoenix Educational Foundation since its initiation in 2011. He was the local liaison between Elk County Catholic High School and the Phoenix Education Students from Viet Nam who also knew him as “Grandpa.”
Bob married the love of his life, Mimi Fritz, who he always called his beauty, on May 10, 1958. He enjoyed his children and grandchildren and loved going to the camp every day. He also enjoyed fishing and hunting at Swissmont, hand feeding the birds, polkas, and playing cards with his friends and his hobby of selling Zippo merchandise at the Hazen Flea Market where he made many friends. He loved going out to eat, his martinis, and the “scenic route” to any destination. He enjoyed working in his vegetable garden. As well, he enjoyed sharing his Slivovitz with everyone.
Bob was a member of Sacred Heart Church. He was a veteran of the United States Army having served during the Korean War. Bob was an avid Pittsburgh Pirates and Steelers fan and coached Knothole (Little League) Baseball for many years as well as playing softball and going bowling in his youth.
Bob’s memberships included the Polka Boosters, Croatian Fraternal Union, SNPJ, Zippo Collectors Club, Case Collectors Club, Knights of Columbus, Catholic Men’s Fraternal, Saint Marys Moose, Saint Marys American Legion, Saint Marys Sportsmen, Saint Marys Beagle Club, and the YMCA. Even though he did not belong to the Ridgway Elks Club, he made many new friends there.
A Mass of Christian Burial for Robert J. “Bob” Troha will be celebrated in the Sacred Heart Church on Wednesday, June 29, 2016 at 11:00 AM, with the Rev. Eric Vogt, OSB, pastor, as celebrant. All are welcome to attend and celebrate Bob’s life. Full military rites will be accorded by the Saint Marys Servicemen’s Burial Detail. Burial will follow in the Saint Marys Cemetery. Visitation is at the Lynch-Radkowski Funeral Home on Tuesday from 2:00-4:00 and 6:00-8:00 PM.
The family would like to acknowledge the caregivers at Penn Highlands Hospital, caregiver Ann Hoffman, HA (Pham Viet Na) who is a dear friend of the family, the Community Nurses and Hospice in Saint Marys for their care and dedication.
Donations can be made to Girl Scout Troop 20234, c/o Amy Anderson, 510 Light Road, Saint Marys, PA 15857 or to the Phoenix Educational Foundation, c/o 131 Bennett Road, Saint Marys, PA 15857.
Online condolences may be offered at www.lynch-radkowski.com.