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Robert Pisto

1921 - 2014 | Obituary Condolences
Robert Pisto Obituary

Robert Rocco "Bob" Pisto passed away peacefully at his home in Albuquerque, N.M., with family at his side, Friday, June 6, 2014, the 70th anniversary of D-Day. At age 93, we can simply say "natural causes."

Bob was born March 13, 1921, in Cambria, Wyo., the eldest of Tony and Grace Pisto's five children. He lived briefly in Sheridan before his family settled in Gebo, where he remained through high school. He attended Gebo High and later Hot Springs County High School in Thermopolis, graduating in 1939 as class salutatorian.

During the Great Depression, he served in the Civilian Conservation Corps, fighting coal fires and sending his earnings home to help his family.

He attended the University of Wyoming for two years before joining the Army Air Corps as a second lieutenant. He piloted B-24 bombers for the remainder of World War II, flying missions over northern Germany and earning the EAME Air Medal with two campaign stars. He remained in the Air Force Reserve until 1970, retiring with the rank of major.

Bob completed his civil engineering degree after the war and married the love of his life, Margaret Elizabeth Laird, in December 1947.

He was a lifetime member of Sigma Chi and the Elks Club and was active in Rotary and other civic organizations.

Bob and Margie had two children, Laird Anthony Pisto (wife Julie Bauer Pisto) of Gig Harbor, Wash., and Helen Denise Pisto of Albuquerque; and two much loved grandchildren, Kirsten Marie Pisto of Ballard, Wash., and Anthony B. Pisto of Chehalis, Wash.

He is predeceased by his wife of nearly 50 years, Margaret; brother, David Pisto; and sisters, Mary Lou Harbicht and Helen Cabre.

He is survived by his children, grandchildren and beloved brother, Wayne Pisto, also of Albuquerque.

Bob's sense of family included every Pisto in this country and Italy, as well as Margie's extensive clan of Lairds, Hayes and numerous kissing cousins. Bob was close to his mother-in-law, Viva Laird; her brothers, Buster and Lourie Hayes; and Margie's siblings, of whom Eloise Shaw of Worland, Wyo., is the sole survivor. He was absolutely considered a member of Herm and Lil Bauer's family of Salt Lake City as well.

Bob was a land surveyor and licensed civil engineer, working on transmission lines, power plants, dams, nuclear facilities and a variety of projects in the Western states, Alaska and Canada.

Bob and Margie had homes (and lots of parties) in Casper, Wyo., Quesnel, BC, Salt Lake City, Richland, Wash., and Idaho Falls, before retiring and moving to Albuquerque to concentrate on golfing and gardening. He made lifelong friends in every town and on every project, notably those he designated "The Big Job."

Bob and Margie shared a joy for life and participated to the fullest. To watch them dance together was enthralling — and made you believe in forever love. They golfed for fun and with passion. Both won tournaments, shot several holes-in-one and were members of many country clubs, including Casper Country Club, Willow Creek Country Club, Idaho Falls Country Club and Tanoan Country Club. They played golf throughout the U.S., Canada and Northern Europe. Bob golfed regularly through age 91 and thought it was sissy to use a cart. He listened to every Wyoming Cowboys broadcast, except when attending games in Laramie. He eventually came to forgive his children for not choosing the University of Wyoming.

Bob loved to drive the vast open stretches of the American West and could tell you to the minute the time it would take to drive between any two points — and the best places to stop for pie along the way.

In his youth, he spent entire summers roaming the Big Horn Mountains, fishing, hiking, camping and exploring. His love of the outdoors lasted his entire life.

He passed his considerable drawing skills along to his granddaughter, Kirsten, and his gardening skills to his grandson, Tony.

He was a friend and mentor to generations of kids, those in the family and those in the neighborhood. He had a great sense of humor, and was known to invest hours pulling off practical jokes on friends and family. Many have not fully recovered to this day.

Following cremation in Albuquerque, a big party and celebration of Bob's life will take place Saturday, July 26, in Thermopolis, Wyo., where he will be buried alongside his lifelong love and best friend, Margie. For details, go to or email for more information.

Remembrances may be made to the University of Wyoming Foundation or any .

The family wishes to thank Bob's many caregivers and especially his hospice team from Advantage Home Care & Hospice, who all provided tremendous support over his final months.

Please visit our online guestbook for Bob at

Published in Post Register from June 22 to June 23, 2014
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