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Messinger Mortuaries
8555 E. Pinnacle Peak Road
Scottsdale, AZ 85255
(480) 502-3378
Celebration of Life
Thursday, Apr. 18, 2019
2:00 PM
Grayhawk Golf Club
8620 E. Thompson Peak Parkway
Scottsdale, AZ
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Robert Lee (Bob) DeProspero


1938 - 2019 Obituary Condolences
Robert Lee (Bob) DeProspero Obituary
Robert (Bob) Lee DeProspero

Scottsdale - Robert (Bob) Lee DeProspero, 80, of Scottsdale, Arizona (formerly of Clifton, Virginia), passed away on March 4, 2019 after a valiant battle with amyloidosis of the heart. Bob was an exceptional man. He was a respectful, honest, loyal man, who served this country in the United States Air Force and the United States Secret Service, his community by teaching and coaching at Madison High School in Fairfax, Virginia, and coaching and mentoring many young boys in wrestling in the Northern Virginia area; however, he will ultimately be remembered as a loving and nurturing husband, father, and Pee Paw.

Bob was born on December 31, 1938 in Morgantown, West Virginia to the late James L. DeProspero and Bessie Kovach DeProspero. Following graduation from West Virginia University in Morgantown, Bob married his soulmate and the love of his life, Patricia Ann Townsend, on December 20, 1959. A true patriot, and wanting to serve his country, Bob enlisted into the United States Air Force in September, 1960. He was assigned to Travis Air Force Base, and in conjunction with his military duties, was a wrestler and coach for the Base wrestling team. He was honorably discharged as a 1st Lieutenant on August 26, 1963. From September, 1963 until June, 1965, Bob worked as a Biology Teacher and Wrestling Coach at Madison High School, in Fairfax, Virginia.

Recruited by the United States Secret Service, Bob began a highly esteemed career in June, 1965, protecting this nation's leaders such as President Dwight D. Eisenhower, President Lyndon B. Johnson, Vice President Spiro T. Agnew, President Gerald Ford, Vice President Nelson Rockefeller, and President Jimmy Carter. In November, 1980, Bob achieved his professional career goal as Special Agent in Charge of the Presidential Protective Division, protecting President Ronald Reagan. Respected as the ultimate authority in protection, Bob implemented integral protection practices and methodologies, many of which remain as protocol in the Secret Service today. Bob retired from the U.S. Secret Service as Assistant Director of Training on March 25, 1986. He then served as President of O'Gara Protective Services until 1995.

Bob had a true passion for the sport of wrestling, many times stating that wrestling was the hardest of sports, yet provided the most rewards, namely character, discipline, commitment, and self-motivation. In 1972, Bob began one of his most personal accomplishments by coaching wrestling to elementary and middle school boys (including his son, Bobby) in the Springfield, and Fairfax, Virginia area, that eventually expanded to the entire Northern Virginia region. Throughout the next 14 years, Bob was coach, advisor, counselor, and sometimes father to hundreds of boys, some of whom achieved their personal goal of High School State Champ, and collegiate accomplishment. As a result of Bob's success in coaching, he was credited by many Northern Virginia high school wrestling coaches for their respective team and wrestler achievements. Many of the boys Bob coached remained in close contact with him until his passing.

During his incredible time on this earth, Bob was very proud to receive many honors. In addition to numerous U.S. Air Force and U.S. Secret Service awards, Bob was named Outstanding West Virginia Italian American in 1985. In October, 1992, he was elected into the West Virginia University's School of Physical Education Hall of Fame, and in October, 1995, he was inducted into the same University's Academy of Distinguished Alumni. In April, 2008, Governor Manchin, III proclaimed Bob to be a "Distinguished Mountaineer". In June, 2016 a documentary about Bob's life, entitled "The Man Behind The Suit", was released.

Although Bob had a highly successful profession life, Bob often declared that his unwavering love for his family was first and foremost, and that his life has been blessed. He is survived by his beloved wife, Patricia A. DeProspero, daughter, Robin L. DeProspero-Philpot (Bill), of Leesburg, Virginia, son, Robert N. DeProspero (Debbie), of The Colony, Texas, grand-children, Haley Nicole Horton, Ashley Rose DeProspero, Robert Nicos DeProspero Philpot, Anthony Carlos DeProspero Philpot, great grandchildren, David Travis Horton, Cash Waitman Barnhill, Carolina Rose Barnhill, Addison Lee Horton, and brother, James L. DeProspero (Peggy), of Hamilton, Virginia.

A Celebration of Life will be held on Thursday, April 18, 2019 at 2:00 p.m. Family and friends will be received at Grayhawk Golf Club, 8620 E. Thompson Peak Parkway, Scottsdale, Arizona, 85255.

An inurnment will be held at the Arlington National Cemetery on a future date.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the in memory of Bob, link as follows: https://support.woundedwarriorproject.org/default.aspx?tsid=10043&ovr_acv=id=5246.

He has achieved success who has lived well, laughed often, and loved much . . . . . . . whose life was an inspiration; whose memory a benediction. (Bessie Anderson Stanley)
Published in The Arizona Republic on Mar. 10, 2019
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