Robert Allan Box, 69, of West Chester, PA, died at home peacefully on March 1, 2019 after a courageous two-year battle with cancer.
He is survived by his wife, Mimi Baumgardner Box, with whom he celebrated 46 years of marriage in January; children Lauren Box Hegarty (Patrick) of West Chester and Dan Box of Houston; three beloved grandchildren: Ryann, Quinn, and Sean Hegarty; brother Barry Box of Scranton; and numerous brothers-in-law, sisters-in-law, nieces, nephews, and friends who will remember him for his sense of humor, devotion to family, and sense of integrity. He was preceded in death by his parents, Ralph and Elaine Box (nee Simmons) of Hawley, PA.
Born and raised in Hawley, PA, Bob graduated from Wallenpaupack Area High School in 1967. He attended Drexel University, earning a BS in civil engineering in 1972 making many lifelong friends along the way, including his Alpha Pi fraternity brothers. He later received his master's in civil engineering from Villanova University.
After a five-year period of employment with PennDOT, Bob worked for Chester County as the County Bridge Engineer from 1977 to 1985 before joining the Delaware River Port Authority. After serving in the engineering department, and eventually as Chief Engineer for DRPA, Bob was named general manager of the Port Authority's high-speed rail line, PATCO, in 2002. He retired from PATCO and the Port Authority in 2011, having established a reputation for integrity and a focus on safety. In addition to the professionalism and leadership he brought to each position, his most visible legacy may be the movable "zipper" barriers that divide opposing traffic on DRPA's bridges, which Bob fought for and which have saved countless lives since their installation under his watch.
In retirement, as he had throughout his life, Bob found great enjoyment in time spent outdoors. He was a member of the Beach Lake Hunting and Fishing Club since 1968, where he would spend much of the fall scouting, hunting, or working at the cabin.
He put his building and engineering skills to use for the club, leading efforts to build a new cabin which he saw completed in 2015, marking the first time Bob was able to shower indoors during a hunting trip! A member of the Yacht Club of Sea Isle City, he also took an active role in building their modern club facilities, which completed in 2013. His other creative endeavors included renovating daughter Lauren's historic 1760's Philadelphia row home, and numerous landscaping, home improvement, and furniture projects-most of which were over-engineered and will stand as lasting tributes for years to come.
Above all, Bob always made family his top priority. He cherished his wife and loved the life and family they built together. His children's accomplishments filled him with a quiet pride. And in later years, his grandchildren filled his days with immense joy-and he theirs, as their beloved "Bobbo." His family's hope is that his grandchildren will continue to know his love of adventure, sense of humor, and devotion to family through stories shared by those who loved him.
Mimi, Lauren, and Dan also wish to express their gratitude to those who cared for Bob during his illness: the medical teams at UPenn; the nursing, therapy, and hospice professionals at Bayada; and the home health aides from the Pennsylvania Agency of Nurses. Their care and dedication, along with the innumerable acts of kindness from family and friends, have been a blessing to Bob and his family.
Friends and family are invited to his visitation Thursday, March 7, 2019 7:00-9:00 p.m. at The Donohue Funeral Home, 1627 West Chester Pike, West Chester, PA 19382 (610) 431-9000 and to his morning visitation Friday, March 8, 2019 10:00-11:30 a.m. at Saints Simon and Jude Church, 8 Cavanaugh Ct., West Chester, PA followed by his Mass of Christian Burial at 11:30 a.m. Interment Saints Peter and Paul Cemetery, Springfield, PA.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Project HOME, 1515 Fairmont Avenue, Philadelphia, PA 19130.
Published in News Eagle from Mar. 4 to Apr. 3, 2019.