Robert W. St. John Sr.
1925 - 2019
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St. John, Robert W. Sr. TROY On December 31, 2019, the Christmas angels lifted up our dad, Robert W. St. John Sr., to sleep in Heavenly peace. Now he finds comfort and joy with his lifelong dancing partner, Anna, who predeceased him in 2009 and his namesake, Robert Jr., who died in 1992. When you look up "generous" in the dictionary, you will find a photo of our dad. To say that Bob - spelled forward or backward the same way - was a generous soul is an understatement. He was a gentleman's gentleman. A lifelong resident of the Capital District (almost 70 years in Troy alone, living on Ida Hill in the same house where he took up residency with his bride, Anna Marino, in 1946), Bob has been involved in the local scene for most of his 94 years. Born in Albany on November 23, 1925, to Eugene and Catherine (Hall) St. John, Bob was their first-born son and the second of six children. He was educated in Albany Schools. Like many of his colleagues, he served in World War II, drafted in 1943 and entered military service in 1944 at the pinnacle of the war. He served in the Army Air Corps from 1944-1946 with the 74th Bomb Squadron, 6th Air Force at the rank of staff sergeant, flight engineer on the B17. His orders included Texas - flight engineer/crew chief; Arizona - gunnery instructor; California - B17 specialist training; North Carolina - prep for Panama Canal position; and Panama Canal - where he flew submarine patrol guarding of the Canal. Following his honorable discharge, he attended H.V.C.C. and R.P.I. for continuing education after returning from military service. Briefly stated, he was of that "Greatest Generation" living among us on Ida Hill and the last of that greatest generation to depart from the Watervliet Lodge of Elks 1500. A talented florist, Bob worked at Sanbrook Wholesale Florist and owned a flower shop in Troy. His flexibility and gifts would later manifest themselves when he went on to work at Simons Machine and Tool as a licensed electrician. From this work experience, Robert went on to Continental Can Company as a master electrician. The love of his life was focused on his 60 years of marriage to Anna Marino of Troy. She would lure him to the riverfront community where they raised five children, all of whom attended Troy schools. He enjoyed the joyful camaraderie of his two local grandchildren and delighted in the spirited imagination of his great-granddaughters, Evelyn and Cecilia. One of the sustaining principles of Bob's life has been volunteerism. He has provided a wonderful role model for his children in this regard as he served on the Electrical Board of Troy, volunteered for over 40 years in various roles that included chaplain's aid and receptionist at Samaritan Hospital, served in leadership and volunteer positions (grand exalted ruler and district deputy) in the Watervliet Elks Lodge 1500, was a member of the North Albany American Legion Post 1610, and offered his time in ministry in his Catholic Community both at St. Francis de Sales, Troy (as trustee, lector, eucharistic minister, and usher) and at Our Lady of Victory Parish, Troy (as greeter, lector, eucharistic minister, and usher). It was never uncommon for us to be late for a holiday dinner because our father. As a member of the St. Vincent de Paul Society, he was often called upon to deliver a holiday meal or a bag of gifts to a family in need on Christmas Day (long before any organized effort by parishes), or had to deliver a Christmas gift to our local pastor. It can honestly be stated that we have never heard our father speak ill of anybody. Certainly, this is an extraordinary fact for anyone's life! As his children, he encouraged us to do the same. Be kind in all ways and always: he taught us that, if you can't say anything nice about somebody, don't say anything at all. Once you met Bob St. John, he never forgot you and you probably never forgot him! A sociable, kind and jovial man, his sparkling blue eyes, warm, inviting smile, and spirited Irish charm welcomed you into his circle and you were always a part of that hospitality, a legacy that he and his wife passed onto his children. His tenacity for life was evidenced in his survival of five cancers. Our dad loved life and all that it brought to him and that he gave to it. He was strong, faithful, and tenacious. He wasn't going down easily. As a life-long resident of Troy, Bob St. John was a living legend among us - an example of kindness, hospitality and friendship that we hope exemplifies and shapes the community we all strive to create. He was deeply honored when named the grand marshall of the 50th and final Troy Flag Day Parade in 2018. Bob's spirit will provide the permeating presence for those he leaves to mourn his passing his children: Vincent St. John (Sharon) of Middleburgh, Fla., Sister Patricia St. John, CSJ of Albany, Ann Marie St. John-Grover (Andy Dicke) of Clifton Park and Eugene St. John (Donna) of Troy; his grandchildren: Michelle Valente (Steve), Nicholas St. John (Veronica), Ryan Sandifer and Russell Sandifer; his siblings: Eugene and Arnold St. John, and Marie Hilliker (Don); and his sisters-in-law: Carol Marino Delano and Theresa Marino. The family favorite, "Uncle Bob," cherished his nieces and nephews, and gladly welcomed their spouses into our extended family. In addition to his wife, Anna, and son, Bobby (aka Saintzie), Bob was predeceased by his father- and mother-in-law, Vincent and Mafalda Marino; his son-in-law, Howard Grover; his siblings, Catherine Reese and DuWayne (Jeeper) St. John; his sisters-in-law, Mary Marino and Dorothy St. John; his brothers-in law, Pasquale Marino, Vincent Marino Jr. and Edward Reese Sr.; and his nephews, James St. John and Edward Reese Jr. Our family wishes to extend deep gratitude to all those who cared for our dad at the Cancer Treatment Center at St. Mary's Hospital and through the Saratoga Hospice team. You were our Christmas Angels. In addition, we are thankful for the many friends at Samaritan Hospital and Northeast Health who so lovingly enriched our dad's long life. Relatives and friends may call at the Bryce Funeral Home, Inc., 276 Pawling Ave., Troy on Sunday, January 5, 2020, from 4-7 p.m. The funeral service will be held on Monday at 9 a.m. at the funeral home and at 9:30 a.m. in Our Lady of Victory Church, Troy where a Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated by Reverend Randall Patterson, Pastor. Entombment will be in St. Mary's Cemetery Mausoleum, Troy. In lieu of flowers, the family encourages donations to The Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet, Development Office, 385 Watervliet Shaker Rd., Latham, NY 12110. To sign the guestbook, light a candle or for service directions, visit

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Published in Albany Times Union from Jan. 4 to Jan. 5, 2020.
Calling hours
04:00 - 07:00 PM
Funeral service
09:00 AM
Mass of Christian Burial
09:30 AM
Our Lady of Victory Church
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Memories & Condolences
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15 entries
January 17, 2020
I am so sorry for your loss. He was the nicest man..always had a smile when I saw him at Samaritan Hospital. My thoughts and prayers are with your family.
Marybeth Ratigan-Shiland
January 8, 2020
I am sure Bob will be missed by all who knew him. My sincere condolences to Anna and family. Sorry I was unable to attend the wake service by the Elks as I was out of town at the time.
Terry Turner
January 6, 2020
My condolences to the st John family,my thoughts and prayers are with you. Joanne yerden
January 6, 2020
Our thoughts and prayers are with the St. John family during this difficult time. Mr. St. John was a true gentleman and will be missed by all!! May the memories of him help to ease the hurt!!

Lisa and Mark Balistreri
Lisa Balistreri
January 6, 2020
Dear Sr. Patti, I am so very sorry to hear about the loss of your Dad. He will be forever with you in your heart until you meet again. Sincerely, Beth Hotaling
January 5, 2020
My condolences to the family
Hal Zinnershine
January 5, 2020
My prayers and condolences to Bob's family & friends. His warm, friendly smile and kind words were always a blessing to see and hear when Ted & I would see him at one of the Elk Lodges.
Jean Mauger
January 4, 2020
Eugene, my condolences go out to you and your family.

The 11th hour is among us.

Joe Gregory
January 4, 2020
To all of Bob's Family: Bob was a wonderful Friend to our whole Family and especially to my late Dad, Jack McNulty. We are very sorry for your loss.
Mike McNulty
January 4, 2020
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January 4, 2020
Our deepest sympathies to the entire St. John family. Your dad will be missed by many folks but they will always have fond memories of his jovial friendship.
I remember when he was the Watervliet Exalted Ruler, we were in Atlanta, GA., at the Grand Lodge Convention, riding a bus to the convention center, Bob was busy trading his "Year of the Shrimp" pins. He was slightly upset when someone from Newport, KY didn't want to trade, that's when we offered the original, Bob himself. This experience has been a great joy for many of us over those years. He was also so proud of his "Not To Tall" elk pin.
Bob has been a friend for many, many years, he and his lovable laughter will be remembered forever.
Dolores & Ron Olson
January 4, 2020
Eug, Sr.Pat, and the entire St John fam.
No greater loss, the Patriarch, having met this gentleman and knowing his influence. You all have been blessed with the invaluable lessons for life, as he lived it.
Raise a glass , say a prayer, live as he did and this world still has hope..
January 3, 2020
Bob use to come into City Hall when I worked there. We always had a great conversation which I enjoyed very much. He would then move on to various departments and enjoy conversations with them. My condolences to all family members.
Ret. Off. Paul M. Carney
January 3, 2020
Robert Bob) was a true gentlemen's gentlemen. What a great person. As a female elk, he made me feel accepted and welcomed. As a person, his human qualities will never be seen again. He was one of the best. We both enjoyed seeing him inside and outside the Elk environment, such as in the Price Chopper parking lot. Great person. I know he will be missed by everyone who knew him.
Carol and Paul Sponsble
January 2, 2020
The only man that got away with calling me tiny. To say Mr St John had a impact on my life would be an understatement. Besides my own Father he was instrumental in keeping Eugene and myself in line. Thank God he did. Who knows what Eugene and I would have got into.

He was always ready for whatever the moment demanded. Most of the time something hilarious you would have never expected. He was a true icon to me and to everyone he encountered. Not to mention the energy when he was together with his wife (my mother from another brother) The way he could make her laugh. Infectious.

I am sorry he is gone but I'm glad they are together again. I have always had a hard time thinking about them being apart.

Rest well my friend. And thank you.
Vince Hourigan
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