AIKEN, SC - Surrounded by loved ones, Robert Groom Pistole passed into the arms of his Savior, October 9, 2023.
“Robert” to his family, and “Bob” to friends and colleagues, he was born September 21, 1937, in Liberty, TN, to parents Robert “Harris” Pistole and Imogene “Jean” Pistole. The family moved many times during Bob’s childhood, but he always considered Liberty his home and had many fond memories of this special place. He graduated from East Nashville High School where he was a linebacker on the football team and then began a life-long love for Rocky Top and the University of Tennessee where he graduated in 1959 with a degree in Industrial Engineering. During his college days, Bob was a member of Phi Sigma Kappa fraternity and began his military career as a cadet in the ROTC, earning the rank of Lt. Colonel at the time of his commencement.
After college, Bob was commissioned as 2nd Lieutenant in the US Army and after attending officer training and Ranger School at Ft. Benning, GA, was stationed in Butzbach, Mannheim and Frankfurt, Germany. In August 1960, Bob married his German sweetheart, Marlene Fisher, and their daughter, Theresa Jean, was born in Frankfurt in 1962. Captain Bob Pistole left active duty in the Army in 1963 and moved to Newark, OH to begin his career as an engineer with Owens Corning Fiberglas and embarked on a professional journey filled with accomplishments and friendship spanning 35 years.
Throughout his career, Bob managed manufacturing activities at both the plant and divisional levels and was appointed to several prominent positions; VP of Corporate Engineering, VP of Industrial Materials Group, and Vice President of Operations before his retirement in 1997. While with OCF, Bob traveled extensively throughout the US and abroad, with responsibilities and influence across at least twenty-one cities and countries. Bob visited Canada, Mexico, Brazil, Wales, England, Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Finland, India, Iran, Korea, France, Belgium and Japan to share ideas and facilitate international business development.
In 1998, Marlene passed away and Bob’s brief retirement ended when he returned to work as a consultant and then as President of Advanced Glassfiber Yarns (AGY) Aiken, a joint venture between OCF and Porchet Industries, France. Before relocating to Aiken, SC, Bob met his “soul mate”, Rose Ann Booth, Sylvania, OH. Never one to hesitate to make a good decision, Bob proposed, and he and Rose Ann married in 1999. The happy couple moved to Aiken in January 2000 and Bob continued his passion for work and international travels with AGY until his retirement in 2002. Together, Bob and Rose Ann built TWO homes where generations of their blended family continue to gather in friendship and love.
Surviving Bob are wife, Rose Ann, and children: Theresa Pistole Smelser, Charleston, SC; Jenny Booth Pitcher (Jim) White Lake, MI; Amy Booth Beck (Brian) Atlanta, GA; grandchildren: Audrina Traci Smelser, Chicago, IL; Mitchell Harris Smelser, San Diego, CA; Katherine Amy Bullock, Detroit, MI; sister Aundrea Pistole Wilson (James) Greenwood, SC, and many loved nieces and nephews.
Bob was deeply rooted in faith and involved in many church and civic organizations and activities. He was born and raised in the Baptist faith and honored God all his life by ministering to others through membership in various church committees. He and Rose Ann found their church home at Aiken’s First Baptist Church where he served as Deacon, Stephan Minister, Finance Committee Chair, Foundation Committee Chair and Sunday School teacher. He was a member of the Building Restoration, Properties, Personnel, and Nominating Committees. Bob gave generously to his church through stewardship and shared time and talents.
The Aiken community was important to Bob and he was an active member of the Rotary Club as a Paul Harris Fellow. He spent many days and wore out many pairs of jeans on construction projects with Habitat for Humanity and the United Way Project Vision. He was Chairman of the Board for St. Luke's Hospital, Maumee, OH and President of the Board for Aiken’s Community Medical Clinic. Bob’s genuine care and concern for others extended beyond his family and his church as he shared his blessings freely with others through a lifetime of volunteer activities.
Bob will long be remembered for his examples of wisdom, kindness, and generosity. He was deeply devoted to his family, his work, and his faith. He juggled those fragile balls of life and never dropped one. He loved spending time with family, tending to his rose garden, fixing things around the house, travel, reading and watching the Vols dominate college football and women’s basketball.
A Celebration of Life service will be held Saturday, November 4, 2023, at 11:00am at Aiken’s First Baptist Church. Visitation will be at 10:00am in the church parlor. Interment will take place in the church’s Memory Garden immediately following the service.
In lieu of flowers, memorials made in Bob's name may be directed to: Aiken's First Baptist Church, 120 Chesterfield St., N., Aiken, SC 29801 or the American Diabetes Association, www.diabetes.org.
“Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness.” Matthew 25:23.
SHELLHOUSE FUNERAL HOME, INC., 924 HAYNE AVE., AIKEN, SC 29801.To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Robert Groom "Bob" Pistole, please visit our flower store.
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