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Robert C. Pianta
Viewing: January 13, 2019 (Sunday) from 2:00 to 4:00 p.m.
Service: January 14, 2019 (Monday) at 11:00 a.m.
Location: St. Rose of Lima Parish, 11701 Clopper Road, Gaithersburg, MD

Robert C. Pianta, of Germantown, MD, passed away on January 6, 2019.  Bob was the beloved husband of Mary Ann; father of Bob Pianta (Ann), Beth Barbera (Joe), Chris Pianta (Kathryn), Tom Pianta (Wray), Ann Kollegger (Chris), and the late Kathy Ierardi (Mario).  Bob was grandfather to: Meghan, Tony (Sammi), Tim, Katrina, Anna-Marie (David), Chris (Laura), Andrew (Kristen), Brian (Nina), Francis, Cara, Adam, Mira, Alexa, Madeline, Alex, and Elizabeth.  He was the great-grandfather to Ethan, Madison, Logan, and Natali. 

Born and raised in Essex, CT, Bob met the love of his life Mary Ann, from Brooklyn, NY on the beach one day in Old Saybrook, CT.  That introduction launched Bob and Mary Ann into a relationship of more than 63 wonderful and inseparable years together.  There was never any doubt that his wife and family were Bob’s greatest sources of joy.  

Bob was the youngest of 11 children; his parents were immigrants from Northern Italy and his life was grounded in values of humility, responsibility, and caring for others.  He graduated from the University of Connecticut, the only sibling in his generation to attend college.  After college graduation Bob served his country as an Army lieutenant — he was assigned to a unit in Southern France and at the age of 23, Bob led a group of men responsible for the re-purposing  of unexploded munitions from WWII. As they launched their lives together in separate continents, Mary Ann and Bob exchanged letters every day of his assignment. 

Almost immediately upon returning from France, Bob married Mary Ann on Nov 5, 1955. He then began a successful career as a salesman  for Upjohn pharmaceuticals in Boston, MA.  He and Mary Ann had four children while living in the Boston area. As family was the most important thing in the world to both Bob and Mary Ann, they relocated to Old Saybrook, CT to be near all of their parents and extended family. 

At that point, Bob began a long career in retail store management, operating the Old Colony Package Store in Old Saybrook.  Bob and Mary Ann developed great friendships with the members of their church community of St John’s Catholic Church and in the broader community.   Bob was an active member of the Old Saybrook Jaycees, the St John’s Knights of Columbus, and the St John’s Men’s Club. In nearly every organization in which he was a member, Bob served in leadership roles and could often be seen serving pancakes or hamburgers, organizing fundraisers, setting up and taking down tables, packing clothes for the poor, or folding church bulletins.  

Throughout their lives together Bob and Mary Ann were tireless contributors to their church communities and their faith played an essential part in their life together, and for Mary Ann, it still does.  Mary Ann and Bob led parish initiatives and taught in the catechism classes at St St.John’s. They had two more children while residing in Old Saybrook.  

Bob loved working in retail and always wanted to run a hardware store, so the family moved to Chester, CT and Bob managed Bacon Brothers Hardware store in Middletown, CT for more than twenty years.  Hardware was the perfect fit for Bob, as there wasn’t anything he couldn’t fix or build. Store customers sought him out as the consummate problem solver for everything from plumbing to electrical, or carpentry work.  He loved to help people solve problems. 

Bob’s kids referred to him as “The Old Master” and asked him for advice on any home project for which they needed help.  After he retired from the hardware business, he and Mary Ann moved to Germantown, MD.  They immediately became very active members of the St. Rose of Lima parish, and enjoyed strong relationships with many friends in the parish.  They even held their 60th Wedding Anniversary party at the parish hall. 

In retirement, Bob became an expert wood worker, and donated his wares each Christmas for the St Rose of Lima Christmas sale.  One of his life’s proudest moments was when he was asked to make a cross for Pope Francis, and the parish priest from St. Rose of Lima gave it to the Pope. 

Bob was a man who appreciated tradition and he developed many for his family: playing bocce at a backyard picnic; becoming Santa on Christmas Eve for his grandchildren and great-grandchildren; making sausage from his father’s recipe and assuring all his progeny got to partake; crabbing in Long Island Sound; and fishing in Chincoteague, VA to name a few. 

Bob will be missed by many, many people; he truly was a foundation for the lives of his children, grandchildren and great grandchildren, cultivating in all an unwavering commitment to family that flows through generations.  He will be remembered as a loving husband, father, grandfather, and great-grandfather; a humble man of honesty, integrity, and faith. 

Friends may call at the DeVol Funeral Home, 10 East Deer Park Drive, Gaithersburg, MD, on Sunday, January 13, from 2pm to 4pm. 

A Mass of Christian Burial will be offered at St Rose of Lima Parish 11701 Clopper Road, Gaithersburg, MD  20878 on Monday, January 14 at 11 am. 

A luncheon will follow in the Parish Hall.  

Internment will be private.


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