Robert B. Roth Sr., 86, civil engineer

Robert B. Roth Sr., 86, of Bryn Mawr, a civil engineer and decorated Korean War veteran, died of lung disease Monday, Nov. 21, at Bryn Mawr Hospital.

Mr. Roth graduated from Olney High School. While serving in the Marine Corps Reserve during World War II, he earned a bachelor's degree in civil engineering from Yale University.

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Robert B. Roth, Sr.

Mr. Roth was working for an industrial-paint firm, Oliver B. Cannon & Sons, and was married with two small daughters when he was recalled by the Marine Corps in November 1950. He was sent to Korea the following March.

On Sept. 17, 1951, First Lt. Roth was hit in the left arm with enemy shrapnel. According to a story in The Inquirer, he had written to his wife that he had been in combat for 125 consecutive days when he was wounded.

He received a Purple Heart and a Silver Star Medal for what the Marine Corps citation called "conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity as a rifle platoon commander in action against enemy aggressor forces in Korea." The citation said he had "coordinated a surprise attack on the enemy and bravely led his men forward through increasing hostile fire."

After his discharge as a captain, Mr. Roth returned to Oliver B. Cannon & Sons in Southwest Philadelphia. He eventually became president and owner of the company, and retired as chairman in 1990.

Mr. Roth served on the advisory board of AAA Mid-Atlantic. He was past president of the Yale Club of Philadelphia and past commodore of the Yacht Club in Brant Beach, N.J., where he had a vacation home.

He enjoyed racing his sailboat, playing the guitar, tennis and travel, his cigar, his martini, a wonderful meal, and dancing to a good old country song, his family said.

Mr. Roth's wife of 40 years, Patricia Blasius Roth, died in 2008. A daughter, Deborah Ludman, died in 1982. He is survived by daughters Patricia Lauer and Kaycee Byrd; sons Robert Jr., Charles, and Steven; seven grandchildren; four great-grandchildren; and longtime friend, Barbara Lee.

A funeral will be at 2 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 3, at Radnor Methodist Church, 930 Conestoga Rd., Rosemont, Pa. 19010.

Donations may be made to the church.

 


Contact staff writer Sally A. Downey at 215-854-2913 or sdowney@phillynews.com.