Robert grew up in the Govans section of Baltimore City. He was the only child of the late Claudia O. nee Fair and Robert Gempp Sr.
He attended local schools and graduated from City College where he played football and was a member of the track team.
Bob joined the Navy Reserves in 1949. For his summer duty he was assigned to a Destroyer Escort and sailed to several of the islands in the Caribbean. He then decided to join the regular Navy and upon completion of his boat training at Great Lakes, was assigned to re-commission the USS Luzon in Beaumont Texas. The ship sailed to Norfolk,VA,where it was scheduled to sail to Plymouth England. When the Korean War started, the Luzon was assigned to the west coast via the Panama Canal. On Christmas Eve 1950, the Luzon got underway for Sasebo, Japan. Sasebo served as the staging area for troops and ships that were to serve in Korea. The Luzon’s duty was to serve with the minesweepers off the Korean coast.
After returning to the U.S. by way of Hawaii in 1952, Bob was transferred to a ship in Alaska. He eventually caught up to the U.S.S. Moctobi at the very end of the Aleutian chain of islands in the Bering Sea. After six months of service , the Moctobi sailed to Kodiak and then to its home port in Hawaii. Bob rose to the rank of first class petty officer before being honorably discharged from the Navy.
Bob tried several jobs before deciding on a career at the “Baltimore News American” newspaper. While working at the paper he attended Baltimore Technical Institute where he studied electronics, made possible by the G.I. bill. He completed he studies in 2 ½ years.
In 1957 he married Ruth L. Stewart nee Sturgis. Ruth had two children and within several years Ruth and Bob had two daughters. They raised their fourchildren before Ruth’s death in 1979.
During Bob’s 30-year career at the News American, he served two terms as a Union President before being promoted to a management position in the circulation department. After serving as department head, he was transferred to the production side of the operation to serve as Production Superintendent. Bob remarried in 1983 to Gloria Mae Hurdle nee Barnhart. They eventually moved to Harford County where Gloria was a nurse with the Harford County Health Department.
After their retirement they traveled to many places in Europe as well as the states. They enjoyed mostly their trips to Germany, Hawaii and the Bahamas before Gloria’s death in 2001. In 2003, Bob reconnected by phone with Carol Hundt who had moved to Florida and in 2005 he made the trip south to meet up with this dear old friend and next door neighbor from Ridgley Oak Rd. They had both lost their spouses several years before. Carol and Bob hit it off from start and were very blessed to have 8 years together to travel and enjoy each other’s company. Bob moved to Crystal River, Florida in 2009 where he enjoyed fixing up his home, which he called “Shangri-La”.
In addition to traveling, Bob enjoyed playing golf where he met some of his closest friends.He was the founder of the “Old Timers Golf Association” in Aberdeen Maryland.
He was a member of Holy Cross Lutheran Church for 40 years where he served several years on the church council.
Bob was a member of several service organizations including The American Legion Post #183, and Post #39, as well as the V.F.W. Post #9083.
Bob is survived by his children: Claudia Harris, Brenda English and William Stewart. His grandchildren: Mark Rosenthal, Jamie Stewart, Lauren Miller, Craig English Jr. , Lindsay English, Luke Harris and Zach Harris.
Bob was very blessed to have so many wonderful friends and other family members in his life and for that we know he was very grateful.
Family and friends will honor Bob's life at the family owned Evans Funeral Chapel and Cremation Services- Parkville, 8800 Harford Road on Friday from 3-5 & 7-9PM. A funeral service will be held Saturday 11AM at Holy Cross Lutheran Church. Interment Moreland Memorial Park. Memorial contributions in Bob's name may be made to Metro Maryland Youth for Christ, 8900 Belair Road, Baltimore, Maryland 21236.