Robert grew up as the oldest of five siblings in the Pittsburgh area. He eloped with Myrle Casarietti during a severe snowstorm in February 1940, and the couple was married for 72 years before Myrle passed away in 2012. He has four children, nine grandchildren and six great-grandchildren.
Robert worked at the Standard Machine & Supply Company and J&L Steel before enlisting in the US Army during World War II. He served in the Army as a Technical Sergeant in the 3rd Battalion of the 42nd Infantry Rainbow Division in Austria, Germany and the historic Battle of the Bulge in France. After the war, he worked at Del Monte Foods and Ferrari in Las Vegas (where he had a Ferrari as a company car), and he even enjoyed working part-time after retirement.
Never-ending curiosity has always been one of Robert’s partners in life. To this day, he is interested in science, particularly astrophysics and string theory, and has instilled his curiosity into his family. He regularly builds circuits using solar panels, lights, AM/FM radios as well as his own projects. Robert is currently pursuing more information about drones.
In addition to science, Robert also loves art and music. He helped his children with artistic projects while they were in school and also drew elaborate pictures on his children’s and grandchildren’s packages from Santa. He often listens to and watches opera arias and André Rieu, and he plays the harmonica – he even calls his family members on their birthdays to serenade them with a live performance of “Happy Birthday.”
Robert says his good genes, strong family ties and good diet all helped him reach 100, as well as his passion for lifelong learning. He explained it simply: “You have to stay interested in the world around you.”