Robert Graulty

Obituary
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Robert T. Graulty COLUMBIA, SC - Robert Thomas Graulty, 84, of Columbia, SC, passed away on April 1, 2013, at his son's home in Augusta, GA. Robert was born on July 22, 1928, in Troy, NY, to Thomas and Elsie Graulty. His older sister, Elaine Case, and younger brother, Tucker Graulty, predeceased him. He was married to Jacquelyn Anne Shields, also of Troy, at St. Patrick's (Troy, NY) in 1950. Jacquelyn passed away in June, 2012. He is survived by his seven children: Kevin (Cheryl), James (Kathy), Mark, Karen, Dianne (Jon), Dan (Jessica) and John (Sue), as well as 16 grandchildren and 4 great grandchildren. Robert was a wonderfully loving husband and father. He often referred to fatherhood as a man's “most important job,” and his children benefitted therefrom greatly. Likely due to his strong faith and his upbringing during the Great Depression, Robert was an incredibly charitable soul. Whether quietly helping an individual struggling to make a mortgage payment, buy some groceries, or make that critical connection for a job interview, or in more open, collaborative ways, he always felt an obligation to help those less fortunate. He often reminded his children of his definition of abundance, growing up in one of the wealthiest nations on earth, with caring parents, that you were well off and therefore had a responsibility to help others. As a founding member of St. Germaine's Roman Catholic Parish in Bethel Park, PA, he worked tirelessly with members of that community to build a school and church from the ground up, and then worked hard to engage that community in good deeds. Parish Council notes from the late 1960's revealed his progressive stance on several matters, including support for the ordination of women. As part of the Horning Progressive Association in Baldwin Township, PA, and S.H.A.R.E. (South Hills Association for Racial Equality) he befriended a nearly invisible and primarily African American community trapped in an old coal mining patch in the middle of white suburbia and helped them get to a better place. In Columbia, SC, he and his wife worked on several Habitat for Humanity projects, and even after they lost their ability to drive, they regularly coordinated with Meals on Wheels to deliver hot meals to shut-ins, taking extra time at each stop to visit with recipients. Robert and his deceased partner, Jackie, left this world a far better place. Robert graduated from the Christian Brothers high school, La Salle Institute, Troy, NY, in 1945. He graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering from Kings Point Merchant Marine Academy, New York, in 1949. Robert had a long and impressive career in engineering. He began his professional life as a Field Service Engineer for American Locomotive Co. (ALCO), in Schenectady, NY, from 1950 - 1955. He moved on to Westinghouse, where he worked as an engineer in U.S. Naval Nuclear Power Systems at the Westinghouse Bettis Atomic Power Laboratory, Pittsburgh, PA. 1955 -1982. He was assigned Chief of Automation, Manufacturing Automated Project (M.A.P. Line), Westinghouse Commercial Nuclear Fuel, Columbia, SC., in 1982, and was later named Quality Assurance Engineer, New Production Reactor at the Westinghouse Savannah River Site, Aiken, SC., 1988. Robert was a member of the National Society of Professional Engineers, and the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE). In lieu of sending flowers, please make a contribution to the Southern Poverty Law Center at www.splcenter.org.

Published in The Record on Apr. 9, 2013
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