Robert "Bob" Burns Staib
May 7, 1921 – November 6, 2019
Robert (“Bob”) Burns Staib, 98, passed away peacefully on November 6, 2019, in Lake Wales, FL. He was born on May 7, 1921, to Frank Staib and Dorothy (Rearick) Staib in Monongahela, PA.
After graduating from Monongahela High School in 1939, he married Virginia Kerr in 1940 in Pittsburgh. In 1942, Bob completed his bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from the Carnegie Institute of Technology (now known as Carnegie Mellon University). He attended Officer Candidate School in April 1943. He was stationed in Europe in the Signal Corps attached to Supreme Headquarters Allied Expeditionary Force (SHAEF). In the Battle of Normandy, he helped establish effective communications between aircraft and tanks.
Army Capt. Robert Staib was assigned to the 926th Signal Battalion and the Tactical Air Command. He served in Normandy, Ardennes, Central Europe, Northern Europe, and Rhineland, and was wounded in action in Belgium on December 28, 1944. Bob was awarded the World War II Victory Medal, a Purple Heart, the European-African-Middle Eastern with six service stars, and the Meritorious Service Medal. On July 14, 2014, for his service to help liberate France during WWII, Staib was awarded the Legion D’Honneur, the highest decoration in France.
A kind, gentle, modest man, Bob rarely spoke about his war experiences. Over time, the family learned that while in Germany, he helped to liberate Buchenwald concentration camp. Bob was proud to have helped one Polish captive, known as “Buchenwald Benny,” by having him assist Army personnel and ultimately arranged for him to come to the United States.
Upon returning from the war in 1946, Bob joined the construction department at Ohio Edison. His Signal Corps experience was leveraged by Ohio Edison to radio equip all of their vehicles. As he advanced, he was assigned construction projects to build new, ever-larger power plants throughout Ohio. Although an electrical engineer, he was well known for his expertise with concrete. Bob managed the construction of four, 700-foot single concrete pour smokestacks at the W. H.. Sammis power plant in Stratton, Ohio. He was promoted to head the corporate construction department and moved to Akron, Ohio, until his retirement in 1983. Robert and Virginia traveled extensively in their motorhome to the western US, Alaska, Mexico, and Central America. Robert was a lifelong member of the Lutheran church, an Army Reservist until 1952, and a member of the Scottish Rite order of the Masonic Lodge in Steubenville, Ohio, having joined in 1954.
After retirement, they moved to Bettendorf, Iowa, to be near their children and grandchildren. They also bought a winter home in Lake Wales, Florida. Robert and Virginia divided their time between Iowa and Florida until Virginia’s health no longer permitted travel. While in Florida, Bob and Virginia were regular fixtures at the Disney resorts. They attended a park almost daily and saw shows so many times that the hosts often reserved a spot for Virginia’s wheelchair. Virginia passed away on November 3, 1998.
In 1999, Robert reconnected with his high school sweetheart Anna (Stahl) Miller. They spent 13 years together moving between Iowa, Pennsylvania, and his vacation residence in Florida. Bob and Anna enjoyed visits from their children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren, and were fervent card players, especially Skipbo. Anna passed away on December 10, 2012.
Robert Staib is survived by his son, Robert (Virginia) Staib Jr., Lake Wales, FL and daughter Carol Sue Staib, Bettendorf, IA; grandsons William (Jennifer) Staib, Coralville, IA and James (Ellen) Staib, St. Louis Park, MN; and great-grandchildren, Matt (Sizi) Staib, Catherine Staib, Becca Staib, Cassie Staib, Anna Staib, Will Staib and Alex Staib. He was preceded in death by his parents, his wife Virginia Staib, and his partner Anna Miller. Services will be held at Runge Funeral Home on November 15, 2019, Davenport, Iowa, with visitation scheduled for 10 am to noon with services following. Robert will be buried with military graveside rites at 1 pm on November 15, 2019, at the Rock Island Arsenal National Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be sent to King’s Harvest Pet Rescue Memorial.
- Frank A. Staib, Father (deceased)
- Dorothy Staib, Mother (deceased)
- Virginia Staib, Wife (deceased)
- Robert (Virginia) Staib, Son
- Carol Staib, Daughter
- William (Jennifer) Staib, Grandson
- James (Ellen) Staib, Grandson
- Matt (Sizi) Staib, Great Grandchild
- Catherine Staib, Great Grandchild
- Becca Staib, Great Grandchild
- Cassie Staib, Great Grandchild
- Anna Staib, Great Grandchild
- Will Staib, Great Grandchild
- Alex Staib, Great Grandchild
- Anna Miller, Partner (deceased)
- William Staib, Pallbearer
- James Staib, Pallbearer
- Will Staib, Pallbearer
- Alex Staib, Pallbearer
- Catherine Staib, Pallbearer
- Cassie Staib, Pallbearer
- Robert Staib, Jr,, Honorary Pallbearer
- Matthew Staib, Honorary Pallbearer
- Kings Harvest Pet Rescue
10:00 am - 12:00 pm
838 E. Kimberly Rd.
Runge Mortuary Chapel
838 E. Kimberly Rd.
Robert "Bob" Burns Staib
November 14, 2019
I have known Bob all my life, our families were best friends, and Carol is like a sister, we grew up together. I will miss his kind and genial presence and am grateful to have such good memories. My heart goes out to all the family.
Robert Staib Jr
November 14, 2019
I had the honor of being part of the last 12 years of Dads life while we lived only 4 doors away. From all of the "Bob Staib" stories there are several that make you smile and appreciate the fact that his premier basic quality was "problem solver extraordinaire" whether it is the "Buchenwald Benny" story where he tried to help right a huge real wrong during the war or the "200 gallon gas tank in the back of his TravellAll" story where he solved an imagined 1973 gas rationing problem (when he was returning from a 13 week trip to Central America)" . When he saw any problem, he carefully analyzed it and figured an appropriate solution sometimes "normal" and sometimes "off the chart". His expertise with concrete was well documented, but what impressed me the most was on our first visit to his new home in Akron, Ohio when his was the only home on the street with no snow on the driveway or sidewalk. I asked him why, and he said. "I don't like shoveling snow so I developed a special concrete blend that had high thermal transfer and buried wires before they poured the driveway and sidewalk." All like it was perfectly normal. The thing that impressed me the most was his solutions always worked. He was a hard act to follow.
Dad we will miss you forever. I will miss our talks where I tried to drag out as much information about WW2 as possible. It has only been the last few days where family members have done research into what happened, that I now fully understand why you did not want to talk about it. The bottom line is how much we all owe you and all of our Veterans who went to war to solve a wrong, but did as much good as they could along the way. Because of them, we can all be here today.
November 13, 2019
"Dad" was my father-in-law for 40 years, from August 1964 until October 2004. I remember him for his love and support during the good times and the not-so-good times. My love for him never ceased! A kind, optimistic man who made the word "clever" all capital letters. Remember all this as you grieve. Hold tight to the memories.
November 13, 2019
Carol - My heart goes out to you at this time. It's sad to say goodbye to a parent. I recently had to do that with my Mom.
Holding to the Promise of God that we will all be reunited one day makes it more of a "see you later" than goodbye.
I enjoyed seeing the pictures when you visited your Dad. He must have been a wonderful Father as evidenced by how well you turned out. Peace and healing to Your heart and to the rest of your family is my Prayer.
November 11, 2019
Rest in peace gentle soul. I may of never met you but I've known of you for years through you daughter Carol who loves you so very much. You will be greatly missed.
November 10, 2019
Although I didn't know Robert Sr all that well, my few interactions with him impressed me with his calm, friendly manner. My deepest condolences to all members of his family and his friends. May he rest in peace.