Robert “Bob” Eugene Pell, 84, of Etowah died on April 7, 2019, at the Elizabeth Hospice House in Flat Rock, NC, surrounded by family. Bob and his wife, Marijane, retired to Etowah 19 years ago from Mexico, MO.
Born in Joliet, IL, Bob was the older son of Helen and Allen Pell. As a young teen, he worked at Woodruff Golf Course where he learned to play and became a skilled golfer, lettering in both high school and college. In the Chicago area, he was a local celebrity due to winning numerous golf tournaments, including the Chicago Tribune tournament, the biggest tournament in the Chicago area. Pell family homes were always stuffed with his trophies.
Bob was very patriotic and served in the United States Army and Army Reserve. He was the first member of his working-class family to attend college, and was awarded golf scholarships. He graduated from the University of Illinois with a Bachelor’s degree in Ceramic Engineering.
Bob was a loyal man who spent his career with A.P. Green Refractories. He started his career with Illinois Clay, which was soon purchased by A.P. Green Refractories. At A. P. Green, he served in a number of management and leadership positions. At the time of his retirement, Bob was Director of Sales Engineering. He relocated his family, as needed, to assist the company, moving from Chicago Heights, IL, to Birmingham, AL, to Pittsburgh, PA, and then to the company’s headquarters in Mexico, MO. Bob lived in the era of conducting business over golf and enjoyed club memberships wherever he lived — particularly at the most difficult course in the U.S., Oakmont Country Club outside Pittsburgh. Oakmont frequently hosts USGA and PGA championships.
Bob loved sports and enjoyed playing games – croquet, badminton, tennis, racquetball, chess and card games. He was the life of the party, always ready with a new joke and a laugh. He loved to take his wife to dances, play bridge with friends, and engage in long games of chess. He had a challenge out to his children, and grandchildren, that the first one to beat him would receive $50.00. He passed away, an undefeated man.
Bob cared deeply about American history, particularly the Civil War. His books and family vacations often included visiting a major Civil War battleground or memorial.
Bob was also the family documentarian, toting a camera everywhere he went, capturing every birthday, holiday, and trip on film. He and Marijane traveled (sometimes with family, sometimes by themselves). His favorite trips were to Bangkok, Thailand, Singapore, and a three-week trip with Marijane around Alaska. During his last week of life, his family enjoyed watching films and slide shows with him, laughing and crying together, sharing memories.
To his family, Bob was a symbol of what a classy guy was, and showed what it meant to have and to live a life of character. We will deeply miss his quiet kindness.
Bob is survived by his wife of 59 years, Marijane, their four children, Elizabeth Pell of Brevard, NC; Linda Pell of Sewickley, PA; Rob Pell of Pittsburgh, PA; and Jennifer McKee of La Plata, MD, and five grandchildren: Darah Boucher, Lewis Pell, Robert Pell, Brianna and Derek McKee.
The family is receiving friends to celebrate his life Friday, April 12, 4:00-6:00PM at Etowah Valley Country Club and Golf Lodge. In lieu of flowers, Bob would appreciate contributions to either: The First Tee https://thefirsttee.org or the Disabled American Veterans https://davhendersonvillenc.com.