The Rev. Robert K. Sweet, 85, Indiana, Pa., formerly of Bedford, was called home Sunday to join so many of his loved ones in heaven.
He was born in Altoona, son of the late Chester E. and Marie (Emeigh) Sweet. He married H. Kathryn Holler on Sept. 17, 1948, and she preceded him in death on Oct. 19, 2002.
Bob's early life was committed to service. In his young adult life, he served as a corporal in the U.S. Army Air Force with the 366th Bomber Squadron from 1945-47. Throughout adulthood, he served his community through local government as a Bedford County commissioner and county treasurer for 12 years and as the chairman of the Republican Party. He served as a leader in numerous organizations, including as president of the Southern Alleghenies Planning and Development Commission, president of the Bedford County Republican Club, president of the Southwest Commissioners Association and co-founder of the Bedford Kiwanis Club, where he served as lieutenant governor of Division 10. He was active in numerous other organizations.
Bob's life of service continued as a spiritual leader. He received his master's degree from Lancaster Theological Seminary after completing his undergraduate work at Penn State University. His ministerial work began at Salem United Church of Christ in Martinsburg and continued as he served the UCC congregations in Hollidaysburg and Williamsburg. He also served as minister of Christ's Church located in Old Bedford Village. He was the past president of the United Church of Christ Juniata Association.
In 1975, Bob started work as administrator and director of Old Bedford Village. He was responsible for building and staffing the village, which opened to the public in 1976. He retired as president in May 1997.
In addition to service to his community, Bob was also committed to his family. He was an accomplished son, a devoted and loyal husband to Kathryn, an unconditionally supportive father to his daughters, Candy and Iris, and a generous and loving grandfather to his granddaughters, Tannen, Megan, Nicole and Brittany, and to his eight great-grandchildren. He is also survived by two sisters: Nellie Sypherd and Joyce Walls.
He was preceded in death by a brother and two sisters.
As a friend, Bob was known to be loyal and dependable. He was always there to provide counsel and a kind ear, and he was the first to lend a hand to those in need. Although those he leaves behind will miss him deeply, they take comfort in knowing he will be greeted in heaven by so many loved ones who have awaited his arrival. He embarks upon this final journey with the quiet confidence of a man of great faith who truly lived a life of honor.
A memorial service will be held at 6 p.m. Saturday, July 13, 2013, at Old Bedford Village. Interment will be held at Bedford County Memorial Park.
Arrangements are by Louis Geisel Funeral Home, Bedford. Online condolences may be expressed at www.geiselfuneral.com.