Robert Frederick Gicking

Robert Frederick Gicking, 91, Hollidaysburg, died Sunday at The Lutheran Home at Hollidaysburg.

He was born in West Pittston, Luzerne County, son of the late Lester and Myfanway (Richards) Gicking. He married Margaret Ruth Williams on May 11, 1949, in Mount Carmel, and she preceded him in death on May 24, 2010, after having shared 61 years of marriage.

Surviving are a son, William Robert and wife, Kathy (Mountain); four granddaughters: Jill (Brian) McConnell of London, England, Julie (Bill) Hanlon and Joy (Brian) Bell, both of Hollidaysburg, and Jennifer Marcy of Harrisburg; 10 great-grandchildren: Ethan and Parker McConnell, Bill, Colleen, John and Lucy Hanlon, Joanna (Brian) Gossett and Alyssa, Abigail and Gavin Bell; and two nieces: Janice Slater Parks and Karen Fisher, both in New Jersey.

He was preceded in death by a sister, Elizabeth Slater.

Bob was a graduate of West Pittston High School. He was a U.S. Army veteran of WWII, having served in Germany and France as a member of the 320th Engineer Battalion, 95th Infantry Division, which had been responsible for rebuilding bridges the Germans had destroyed as well as setting and detonating land mines.

After an honorable discharge, Bob graduated from the Pennsylvania State Police Academy, after which he served for 31 years, retiring as a lieutenant from Troop G in Hollidaysburg in 1978. He then served as the Altoona-Blair County Airport manager until 1980, when he joined the Blair County Sheriff’s Department as a deputy under Sheriff Eugene Wegemer. Later he served as a tipstaff at the Blair County Courthouse under Judge Richard Behrens, Judge Hiram Carpenter and Judge Jolene Kopriva until his retirement. He made many friends while he was at the courthouse.

Bob was a member of the Hollidaysburg Church of the Brethren, where he served on several boards. He also belonged to Portage Lodge 220, F&AM, for 67 years, the Ancient Accepted Scottish Rite, Valley of Altoona and the Jaffa Shrine.

He loved his grandchildren and great-grandchildren as they were the light of his life. He and his wife loved to take them on summer outings to Knoebels Grove, Elysburg. He enjoyed working on his lawn and polishing his cars, and he collected model state police cars. He also enjoyed doing crossword puzzles, including the one in the Altoona Mirror. During their school years, he was an avid fan of his granddaughters’ sporting events and musical programs, and he also enjoyed watching baseball and golf.

Bob was a devoted husband and a loving father to his son and daughter-in-law, and he was cherished by his granddaughters and their husbands and his great-grandchildren. He left a legacy of love and will be missed.

Friends will be received from 2 to 4 and 6 to 8 p.m. Thursday at Sorge Funeral Home Inc., Hollidaysburg, where a public funeral service will be held at 10 a.m. Friday, July 18, 2014, by the Rev. Marlys Hershberger. A private graveside service will be held at Alto-Reste Park Cemetery with full military honors accorded by the Blair County Veterans Honor Guard.

Memorial contributions may be made to SouthernCare Hospice or the Hollidaysburg Church of the Brethren.