J Robert “Bob” Peltz – Memorial Page

Springs of Suntree

J Robert Peltz, 90, died Saturday February 20, 2016 at home. Bob was born to Albin and Ann Peltz in Schuyler, Nebraska in April 1925.

Bob was a loving husband, father, grandfather, great grandfather, and was also the consummate engineer and physicist. As a young boy, Bob built his own radio from parts cannibalized from appliances around the house and neighbors. The device produced so much radio energy that the FCC arrived a few days later with a cease-and-desist order as he was interfering with civil aviation!

At seventeen, Bob enrolled at Creighton University in Omaha but after his first semester he was able to get his parent’s permission to enlist in the Navy. He began his service at Great lakes Naval Station north of Chicago. The attack on Pearl Harbor showed the Navy how lacking they were in qualified RADAR electronics technicians. To remedy this, they developed the Navy Electronics Train Program (ETP) which has been described as the most challenging training program of WWII. The crucial part was finding the best and brightest students with the aptitude for the secret RADAR electronics discipline – the “Eddy” test screening program did this.

Bob in the Navy - Korean War
Bob in the Navy – Korean War

Not only did Bob pass the “Eddy” and complete the ETP with honors, within two years he became an ETP instructor at nineteen – possibly the youngest instructor in the program. It has been asserted that the ETP and the resulting Navy predominance in the understanding and use of RADAR may have been more influential in winning WWII than the Atomic bomb. Bob trained on Naval RADAR theory and operations at Oklahoma A&M, Treasure Island in San Francisco, and taught at Navy Pier in Chicago. Many of the older recruits had trouble understanding the electronics training material but young Bob thoroughly understood it and would tutor them. At Navy Pier the brass recognized Bob as a teacher and he was stationed there as an instructor for the duration of WWII. By the war’s end he was a Chief Electronics Technicians Mate – likely the youngest Chief in the Navy at that time.

After WWII and his honorable discharge from the Navy, Bob enrolled at St. Lawrence University in Canton, NY, in 1946. In 1947 he met his future wife Jane. Bob worked for Sylvania in New York City in the summer of 1948 where Jane resided. After graduation he had a permanent job with Sylvania and the couple married in August 1950. They eventually had four sons and one daughter (Rob, Steve, Rick, Dave, and Lorri).

Bob stayed in the Inactive Navy Reserve and the couple had been married six months when Uncle Sam called him back to active duty for the Korean. Bob was put on government work but after another six months the couple was off to Norfolk for Bob to teach electronics at the Naval Radio Material School there.

After his second discharge from the Navy, Bob worked for Sylvania Electronics in Queens, New York. A year later the family moved to Emporium, PA, the original home of Sylvania. Bob then transferred to Warren PA, when the company became GTE Sylvania. Being an exceptional, creative innovator through his career, Bob received twenty-eight patents and numerous Proprietary Trade Secret Awards for electronics, mechanical, thermodynamic, fabrication, and processing inventions.

Bob & Jane - Buckaloons
Bob & Jane – National Ski Patrol – Buckaloons

Always being an adventurer with his partner Jane, he took up skiing joining the National Ski Patrol at Buckaloons Ski Area in Youngsville, Pennsylvania. They served on the Patrol for nineteen years. He actively skied into his late seventies. Bob also was a founding member of the Kinzua Dive Team and performed numerous underwater search and rescue activities for the local authorities. He achieved SCUBA instructor level for both YMCA and PADI certifications. Bob served on the Warren, area School Board as President and was heavily involved in YMCA and church activities.

Bob on Snoopy
Bob on Snoopy

Bob always had a boat — be it an air boat in Nebraska on the Platte River to building a small pram and fixing-up a hydo-plane speed boat to refurbishing an aluminum boat into SNOOPY, that served as the family dive platform. As “empty nesters”, Bob and Jane move up to the Brass Ring, a 32’ aft-cabin Carver, and his current boats — Duet and 2 inflatables. All of them provided great adventures on many waterways across the continent. Bob was always one to share a “beer and a sandwich” with everyone he met.

Bob in Nebraska
Bob in Nebraska

Bob retired from GTE Sylvania to form his own consulting business and to travel with his wife Jane. In 1994 they moved to Florida to enjoy year round weather, boating and

Bob diving 2010
Bob diving 2010

SCUBA diving. Bob and Jane were world travelers visiting numerous countries and having many adventures across the US, and Canada. They could be found every year on the road in their mobile home towing one boat or another.

Italy 2006
Italy 2006

One of their adventures was taking their boat, the Brass Ring, from Melbourne, FL, up the intra-coastal waterway to New York state into the Erie Canal through Lake Erie and then down the Ohio River to the Tennessee Tombigbee waterway and back to their home in Florida. Read Bob’s book on their adventures “Mutiny On The Brass Ring“. Bob and Jane were still actively traveling and camping until this past January.

Long Point camping 2016
Long Point camping 2016

Bob’s ability to tell stories, his humor and wit – even when he was not feeling well—will be terribly missed, but will bring gentle smiles to us all forever . He managed to tell stories and jokes on all occasions, even until his last moments. Bob’s adventurous spirit, his humor and love of life, family, and friends lives on in his wife, Jane, and his children.

Warren Times Observer Allegheny Kinzua Country Magazine article on Bob Peltz – Warren’s Modern Day “Wizard”.

Celebration  slide show for Bob Peltz

Additional contacts can be made through lapeltz@msn.com

Bob holding Jane's hand at the Swing Concert January 2016
Bob holding Jane’s hand at the Swing Concert January 2016

28 thoughts on “J Robert “Bob” Peltz – Memorial Page”

  1. Jane, we are saddened to hear about Bob. What an amazing life he and you had together. This is such a nicely written memorial for a truly special person who apparently lived his life the way he wanted. Made me smile reading it and remembering him at the luncheons. If there is anything you need, just let us know. Patty and Lee Romano

  2. It was always fun to be with “Cuz” Bob, Jane and family. Remember well the trip to the Three Sisters in King’s Bay (Crystal River, FL) and diving with “Gramma Ann” later that day at Banana Island. Not many people would have taken their mother who was around 90 or 95 SCUBA diving! Then again, where did they learn their adventure from?

    1. Thank-you! Yes he believed that everyone, as long as they were willing, could do anything! Thanks for sharing!

  3. Jane Cordes Simanis here, Walter and Edna’s daughter. We lived in Lombard, West of Chicago, at the time Bob was at Navy Pier, and he used to drive out to visit us. My brother, Charles and I were kids, and loved the visits of our sailor cousin. And we loved his car which had all kinds of amusing gizmos that Bob had mounted on it: horns, whistles, train sounds…..and on the back, a metal painted face that could stick it’s tongue out at a tail-gaiting car. He called it “Frenchy.”
    He smiled forever.

  4. Jim and I feel very blessed to have met you and Bob. We are very saddened to hear of his passing. We enjoyed sharing food and conversations over the SOS luncheons. We enjoyed hearing the stories of your boating and camping adventures, since we also had a camper. I’ll never forget how Bob helped Jim figure out how to fasten the bike rack on the back of our camper. He sent us to the best welder for the job. God bless you. Cinda

  5. What a wonderful story…yet it’s all true. He was my very favorite Uncle. Always smiling, always making everyone around him smile as well. I am quite certain he was welcomed into heaven by his dear parents, his Grandparents, and other family members, including his “sis”, my Mom. We send our love and prayers to all. Jan

  6. My heart goes out to you and your family! I have so many wonderful memories of your Dad, (your parents) Hanging out at your house on 5th avenue in Warren, learning to ski with your Dad at Buckaloons, boating at Kinzua. He will truly be missed. Love to all of you…may your wonderful memories keep him alive. Please give my love to your Mom also! Beautifully written tribute BTW!

  7. Bob Peltz was one of those people who, when you are growing up, you realize that you should pay attention to. What a well-lived life he had. He was also the one who fished me out of the Allegheny Reservoir when I broke my eardrums on my first open water dive.

  8. What an interesting individual Bob Peltz was. I had the opportunity to take an electronic class that Bob taught @ 1979 or 1980. Beyond being a bona fide genius, Bob was a gifted teacher with the ability to “dumb down” the subject matter until he could transfer knowledge. Later when I worked at Sylvania I had an opportunity to see some of the equipment that Bob had designed, which was ahead of it’s time. Bob was one of the few real geniuses I’ve ever met and was a true gentleman to boot. If he wasn’t smiling he always looked like he was on the verge of smiling. My condolences to his family. Seeing his history I see a life well lived.

  9. I was only over to the house on 5th a few times, but Bob left an impression on me I never forgot. He showed me the “wall of patents” and I was just enthralled by the various basement workshops and his versatility of skills, and his ability to manufacture commercial dies right in the basement. He really became a personal inspiration to me, not just Rick’s cool dad. He’s probably the reason I went formal with my own copyrights – a real person could actually do such a thing.

    I’ve tried to pass that through to my own sons as well, but at the root of it all was Bob. It lasts well into the future.

  10. I enjoyed growing up with the Peltz family and got a ton of advice from Bob that has stayed with me my whole life. The best advice he ever gave me was when we would sit down at the picnic table on the back porch at the house on 5th street and if we were having spaghetti that I better get a meatball before everyone else got them all and to not get stabbed by a fork when doing it. He touched so many lives in a positive way and will be missed by all of us.

  11. I will never forget this wonderful man and the love his family had for him. He left a great legacy to this family and his laughter even the day before he passed stays with me. I have helped a lot of families during this time but I must say this one was unique and I will always smile when I think of how he left us laughing as his wife and son cleaned out the light bulbs and decided that was the best time to slipaway. God Bless all of you and I keep you in my heart. I’m sorry I can’t attend take care sincerely Barbara

  12. Bob and I worked together in Emporium in Commercial Engineering and later in the New Products Section. I always admired his scientific creativity and people-personality, a rare combination indeed. I recall that one of his patents at that time was a unique feature for auto engines.

    We traveled to meetings, some. He knew all the people and all the ropes, where to stay and the best restaurants! Bob was so quick. We shared a penchant for one-liners, but invariably when something would strike me funny at a meeting, in the second it took to formulate my punch line I would realize Bob was already saying it.

    Like all of us, Bob could make a mistake but, in his self deprecating way, he would turn it into humor. I’m reminded of the time he came into the plant a little late one morning and was regaling everyone with the story of how, in his haste, he had thrown a bucket of hot water “right through” the frozen windshield of his car!!

    After Bob and Jane moved to Warren, we lived for a few years in the Peltz’ home on Sylvan Heights, which he had designed and built. My sister in law now lives in the house across the street from it, which he also designed, built and lived in! Both are fine homes and I understand he did the same thing at a couple of more places around the country.

    Bob was (and is) my idol.

  13. What an amazing man with fantastic life experiences! It must have been a joy to know and be around Bob and his family. I never personally met Bob or wife Jane or daughter Lorri; however, I have had the honor and privilege of our lives intersecting in a most uncommon and surprising way. For that I will be forever grateful.

    I so enjoyed reading this beautiful tribute to Bob. It was wonderfully written.

    Peace be to all his family and friends. I know he will be missed beyond measure.

    Karen M. Freeman
    Cherry Log, GA
    02 Apr 2016

  14. Jane and Family,
    I just recently heard of Bob’s passing and offer my parents (Dan and Kay’s) and my condolences. While most of our interactions was through scuba instruction and the dive team, I so enjoyed Bob’s enthusiasm for everything, his smile and that dry sense of humor was intoxicating. He was a good man and will be missed.

    Jeff Wilson

  15. I can see where some of Lorri’s energy and inspiration came from. I’m sure he was proud of her and all that she is doing. Happy is the parent whose arrows, once launched, travel further than had been imagined!

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