Robert McCleary Suckling

Feb. 27, 1932 - June 13, 2017

Robert McCleary Suckling, 85, formerly of Altoona, passed away Tuesday afternoon in Bethany Village, Mechanicsburg.

He was born in Hollidays-burg, son of the late Melvin E. and Rosanna B. (McCleary) Suckling. On Feb. 12, 1956, he married MaryLou M. Morris in Williamsport.

Surviving are his wife, MaryLou of Mechanics-burg; four children: Dawn Morden of Altoona, Kevin (Louise) Suckling of Altoona, Scott (Lori) Suckling of Cornwall on Hudson, N.Y., and Lisa (Paul) Cronin of Harrisburg; five grandchildren: Jamin Morden, Nicole (Nemo) Ashong, Chelsea Cronin, Matthew Suckling and Kayleigh Suckling; a great-granddaughter, Aubree Cronin Washington; and many nieces and nephews.

He was preceded in death by a grandson, Brian Morden; and a sister, Margaret Meadows.

Robert was a 1949 graduate of Hollidaysburg High School. He attended Penn State Altoona and, in 1955, he received a Bachelor of Architecture from Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh. He was a retired captain of the U.S. Army, where he was a photo interpreter and involved in military intelligence.

He became a registered architect in Pennsylvania in 1961, Maryland in 1973, New York in 1973, Ohio in 1973, West Virginia in 1973, Kentucky in 1978, Virginia in 1982 and North Carolina in 1992. In 1973, he also became a certificate holder with the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards.

From 1957-61, he worked as a designer and job captain for Hayes Large Architects (Hunter, Campbell and Rea, Architects); designer and job captain for Nicholas J. Fiore, AIA, Altoona (1961-62); designer and project manager for N. Grant Nicklas, AIA, Altoona (1962-64); project architect for Pietrolungo and Kimball, Architects & Engineers, Ebensburg (1964-66); project coordinator, specification writer and project manager for Hayes, Large, Suckling, Fruth and Wedge Architects (Campbell, Rea, Hayes and Large Architects) in Altoona, Harrisburg and Pittsburgh (1966-74); and from 1974 until his retirement in December 1994, he was partner of Hayes Large Architects (formerly Hayes, Large, Suckling, Fruth and Wedge Architects) in Altoona, Harrisburg and Pittsburgh.

From 1961 until the present, he was an AIA member emeritus of the American Institute of Architects and on the Accessibility Advisory Board with the Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry.

His past professional affiliations included: the Council of Educational Facility Planners, where he was an international board member; Pennsylvania Society of Architects Central Pennsylvania Chapter/AIA, where he was a past officer; Pennsylvania Society of Architects Middle Pennsylvania Chapter/AIA, where he was president; Mount Aloysius College, where he was vice chairman and a member of the board of trustees; National Fire Protection Association Architects/

Engineers and Building Code Officials and Health Care Sections; American Association of Hospital Planning; Society of Fire Protection Engineers; Pennsylvania School Board Association, where he was chairman and a service associate member of the advisory council; and Pennsylvania Department of Education, where he was a member of the advisory committee on school construction.

Robert was a member of the Rotary Club of Mechanicsburg from 2004 until the present; St. Timothy Church, Camp Hill; Juniata Lodge No. 282; Free and Accepted Masons, Hollidaysburg; Mount Moriah Royal Arch Chapter No. 166, Hollidaysburg; Mountain Commandery No. 10 Knights Templar, Altoona; and Jaffa Shrine Temple, Altoona. He was also a member of Hollidaysburg Chapter No. 471 Order of the Eastern Star, where he was a worthy patron from 1997 to 2007; Pennsylvania Grand Chapter, Order of the Eastern Star, where he was grand sentinel from 2002-03; a library volunteer and member of the model railroad club at Bethany Village, Mechanicsburg; and a plural member of Astro Chapter No. 380, Berlin.

Additionally, he was a former member and a Paul Harris Fellow of the Rotary Club of Altoona from 1973 to 2004; a member of Zion Lutheran Church, Hollidaysburg; council president of First Lutheran Church, Altoona, from 1984-85; a life member, past president and gift shop volunteer for Altoona Hospital Auxiliary; a member of Altoona-Blair County Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors, where he was chairman for the 1986 Annual Dinner; a member of the Harrisburg Area Chamber of Commerce; a 12-year member of Altoona Area School District Instrumental Music Parents Association Executive Committee; a neighborhood commissioner for Boy Scouts of America; a member of the executive board of Camp Sequanota; a member of the Private Industry Council of Blair County; a member of the board of directors at Allegheny Lutheran Home; and a member of Alpha Phi Omega, National Service Fraternity.

Robert’s extensive traveling took him to the Soviet Union, the Peoples Republic of China and Hong Kong, Egypt, Mexico, Australia, Tahiti, Greece, Aruba, Granada, Barbados, Martinique, Curacao, Puerto Rico, the Canary Islands, Spain, Argentina, the Falkland Islands, Chile, Austria, Germany, the United Kingdom, France, Switzerland, Italy, Canada, Hawaii, Venezuela, the Panama Canal Zone, Alaska, Denmark, Norway, Estonia, Sweden and Russia.

Friends will be received from 2 to 4 p.m. Monday, June 19, 2017, at Duncansville Evangelical Lutheran Church, where a funeral service will be held at 4 p.m. Monday, Pastor Jaime Olson and Vicar Amanda McCaffery officiating. Interment will be at Presbyterian Cemetery, Hollidaysburg. Arrangements are by Plank, Stitt & Stevens Funeral Home, 421 Montgomery St., Hollidaysburg.

The family asks that donations in memory of Robert be made to the Brian Morden Foundation, 2809 Columbia Drive, Altoona, PA 16602.

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