J. Robert ‘Bob’ Spahr, 89, lifelong farmer, Rohrer’s Quarry driver, collected vintage automobiles

By on December 21, 2016

J. Robert “Bob” Spahr, husband of the late Naomi Spahr; and the father of James Spahr, Strasburg; and Joanne Spahr Welsh of Kennett Square; died Dec. 12, 2016. He was a month shy of his 90th birthday, a fact he could never quite accept.

Bob was a lifelong farmer, working his ancestral property two miles southwest of Lititz. The 72 acres had been purchased from Thomas and Richard Penn in 1750 and passed down through his family. He milked cows until the age of 58, after which he went to work for Rohrer’s Quarry, Lititz. He drove the water truck there for 23 years before retiring.

A stoic German, Bob was a quiet man with simple tastes, strong ethical and moral standards, and the ability to experience devastating emotions and rise above them. In 1939, at the age of 12, lightning struck his family’s barn, setting it ablaze. When he and his father discovered their hired man was missing, Bob took a flashlight into the horse stable, found the man overcome by smoke and pulled him to safety. At that time, and until the age of 15, he served as his mother’s nursemaid. She died in 1942 of Parkinson’s Disease. A man of few hobbies, he did collect antique and classic cars, focusing primarily on Cadillacs.

While dairying took up most of his time, Bob took interest in civic activities. He was a member of the Penn Township Zoning Hearing Board and was a long-time member of Pennsylvania Farmer’s Union, serving as a delegate on numerous occasions.

Along with his two children, Bob is survived by his daughter-in-law: Judy (Westley) Spahr; son-in-law: Donald Welsh; four grandchildren: Jeremy Spahr (Lara Nosek), Stewartstown; Christopher Spahr (Shannon), Strasburg; Rachel Welsh, Philadelphia; James Welsh, Washington, D.C.; and five great-grandchildren: Jordan, Laiken, Aston, Treson, and Jonathan Spahr.

He will be greatly missed by his children, who are the direct beneficiaries of his many good traits.

Services were held Dec. 17 at Zion Evangelical Lutheran Church, East Petersburg. Interment was in the adjoining church cemetery.

If desired, contributions in Bob’s memory may be sent to Hospice and Community Care, P.O. Box 4125, Lancaster PA 17604-4125.

To send the family online condolences, visit BuchFuneral.com. Buch Funeral Home, Manheim, handled the arrangements.

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