Robert Horsch, son of Augustus and Nellie Finn Horsch, passed away peacefully on April 19, 2022.
Bob was a kind and loving husband, father, grandfather, great-grandfather, and friend to all who knew him. He will be remembered for his sense of humor, his compassion, his humanitarianism and his ability to pull off a good practical joke. He gave with open hands and an open heart and without the need for recognition.
Bob was born in Medford, Mass., and grew up in South Weymouth, Mass., and one of his fondest childhood memories was seeing the Hindenburg fly over. He joined the US Army at the age of 17, serving at Ft. Dix in New Jersey for two years and finishing high school before his discharge in 1948. He graduated from Theil College, Greenville, Pennsylvania, in 1952, where he met his wife of 58 years, Joan.
He worked for Park Davis as a pharmaceutical representative where he received and distributed the first polio vaccines in Pennsylvania. He graduated from the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine in 1959 and completed his residency at Hamot Medical Center in Erie, Pennsylvania.
He moved with his family of four children to Westfield, NY in 1960, where he practiced family medicine for 18 years. He moved to Abingdon, Virginia, in 1978 and practiced at Russell County Medical Center until his retirement in 1995. During his time in practice, he cared for thousands of babies, performed countless surgeries, and received numerous honors, including recognition from Paul Harvey and Contemporary Surgery Magazine for being the first doctor to use a laparoscope to diagnose appendicitis.
He was a volunteer civilian doctor in Vietnam during the conflict and represented the Rotary Club of Westfield, NY as a volunteer doctor in Bolivia. While traveling the world, he was the guest speaker at the Rotary Club of Bangkok, Thailand.
He valued education as illustrated through his provision of education for his children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren, and other relatives and friends.
Bob was a devoted and passionate member of the Virginia Creeper Trail Club and served on the board of directors until his death. He was a member of the Lunch Bunch group of retired men who met weekly for no purpose other than to eat and chat. He was a founding member of Eagle Ridge Ski Resort, which later became part of the Kissing Bridge group of resorts.
Left to cherish her memory are her children: Mary Beth Pierce (Danny) of Columbus, Ohio and her children: Nathan, Ashley and Luke; Amy Smith (Dan) of Abingdon, Va.; and their children: Alex and Evan; Susan Molzan of Houston, Texas; and her children, Sophie and Sarah; and Thomas Horsch, of Abingdon, Virginia. Judy Horsch Baxter, his only remaining sister, resides in Florida. She took great pride in her five great-grandchildren, who brought her much joy as she grew older.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests that contributions be made to the Virginia Creeper Trail Conservancy, PO Box 2382, Abingdon, Va. 24212, or Sinking Spring Presbyterian Church, 136 E. Main St., Abingdon, VA 24210.
An informal celebration of life will be held on Saturday, May 7, 2022, which would have been Bob’s 93rd birthday, at 5 p.m. at Forest Hills Chapel of Farris Funeral Service, 19415 Lee Hwy., Abingdon VA 24210 , with the Rev. Kevin Campbell officiating. A reception for family and friends will be held on Saturday beginning at 4 pm in the Forest Hills Chapel prior to the service. A zoom link to the service will be made available upon request by emailing [email protected] Guests are encouraged to share their memories and express words of condolence and sympathy by visiting www. farrisfuneralservice.com and signing the online guestbook.
The family of Robert Franklin Horsch, MD is being cared for by Farris Cremation and Funeral Center, 19415 Lee Hwy., Abingdon, VA 24210 (276-623-2700