ROBERT J. VOLPE, age 71. Beloved husband of 48 years to Rose (nee Troia). Loving and devoted father of Michelle Volpe-Kohler (Christian) and Christopher. Cherished grandfather of Cash and Luca. Dearest son of Antonio and Emilia (nee Presutti). Dear brother of Delia Castelli (Frank, deceased) and Mario (Marisa). Also survived by nieces, nephews, cousins and many dear friends. Former pharmacist at Parma Community Hospital. Bob passed away suddenly due to COVID-19.
Robert John Volpe was born in Mulhouse, France, on November 16, 1949. When he was five years old, his family moved to Italy, and in 1955 his father emigrated to the United States aboard the Andrea Doria. Then on Good Friday in 1957, Robert and his mother, sister, and brother set sail on the ship Saturnia to meet his dad in the U.S.
When they arrived in New York City, they stayed with family in Brooklyn and then took a train to Lorain, Ohio, where his father had found a job and a home. Growing up in Lorain, Robert and his brother, Mario, walked to and from school together and, according to their sister, Delia, spent all of the money they earned through paper routes and other jobs at the local burger joint. Lorain is also where Robert met his best friend, Ron Kopco. They remained close friends for the rest of his life.
Robert became a naturalized U.S. citizen in 1967 and graduated from Admiral King High School in 1968. He knew from an early age that he wanted to become a pharmacist, which is what he ended up studying at the University of Toledo. During his sophomore year in college, he was featured in Lorain’s newspaper for having the highest grade point average at Toledo’s College of Pharmacy.
He graduated from college in June of 1973 and began working at Parma Community General Hospital. Robert worked as a pharmacist in various positions at Parma Hospital for the entirety of his 40-year career. Early on, he also taught pharmacy courses for a few years at Cuyahoga Community College.
In 1971, Robert met Rose for the first time at his brother Mario’s wedding to Marisa: Robert was the best man and Rose was the maid of honor. They immediately hit it off. On weekends he would travel four hours from Toledo to see Rose in Monaca, Pennsylvania. The two of them married on September 22, 1973, and honeymooned in Miami. They had two children, Michelle and Christopher.
Robert had a great love for all types of music—from rock and roll to classical. Some of his favorite were The Beatles; Led Zeppelin; The Rolling Stones; Pink Floyd; Jimi Hendrix; ZZ Top; Crosby, Still, Nash & Young; Simon & Garfunkel; Santana; Hall & Oates; Phil Collins; Haydn; Mozart; Verdi; and Beethoven. He passed on his musical tastes to both of his children. They grew up playing his record collection on the family stereo, learning how to sing, harmonize, and write songs.
He enjoyed traveling, especially in the American west. Some of his favorite destinations included Nevada, Arizona, San Francisco, Washington, DC, and Disney World. Robert also loved watching sports and collecting sports memorabilia.
But what he loved most of all—in addition to his family, including his two grandsons, Cash and Luca—was Rose’s cooking. He always raved about her red sauce, meatballs, and spaghetti.
Robert is dearly missed by all of his family, friends, neighbors, and former colleagues. He was a beloved husband, father, grandfather, brother, brother-in-law, uncle, and friend. He will be remembered for his generosity and gentle soul.
Mass of Christian Burial Friday February 19, 2021 St. John Bosco Church at 10:00AM, (while practicing social distancing and the use of masks). Interment Woodvale Cemetery. Arrangements entrusted to the A. RIPEPI & SONS FUNERAL HOME, 18149 BAGLEY ROAD, MIDDLEBURG HEIGHTS (WEST OF I-71).
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