Robert J. Skrzyniarz
Robert J. Skrzyniarz, age 82, passed away on Friday, Nov. 18, 2022
Left to cherish his memory are his children: Bessie Clark (Robin) and Richard Skrzyniarz; grandchildren: Henry and Elliott Clark; sister, Emily Skrzyniarz; former spouse and best friend, Nancy Skrzyniarz; former son-in-law, Tom Clark; as well as many nieces, nephews and friends.
Bob is preceded in death by his parents, Casimir and Caroline Skrzyniarz; and his son, Robert Skrzyniarz, Jr.
He was born in Dunkirk, N.Y., a tiny town filled with polish immigrants and most of his family, to Caroline and Casimir “Cash” Skrzyniarz and had a beautiful baby sister, Emily. They had a farm, a band, a clan of many aunts, uncles, and cousins to which he was very close.
His father, “Cash” owned a construction company where Bob worked laying brick throughout his childhood and teens. Bob’s dad had big aspirations for his son and never wanted him to do the backbreaking work and fostered Bob’s big heart and spirit for life and learning.
Robert enlisted in the ROTC and began college at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute at the young age of 16. He graduated in three years and then served his time in the military, that paid for his Civil Engineering degree, overseas in Germany. He was responsible for post World War II removal of land mines and the reconstruction and rebuild on behalf of the Army Corps of Engineers.
After he served overseas, he continued his military service with the Corps designing and building the interstate system in California throughout the 1960s. He worked primarily on infrastructure projects throughout his career. Most notably he was the lead civil engineer on the light rail system: “the T” in Pittsburgh, PA. He designed and led the rebuilds of virtually every school project in western PA, including Bessie and Richard’s Alma Mater, South Park High School. He was quite proud of “his” soccer stadium, Highmark Stadium. He concluded his long list of municipalities and schools with Mt. Lebanon High School in 2018 and retired shortly after. Bob always worked to better his community and chose to use his skills to make the most beautiful, long standing impact. His work and chosen materials were nothing short of flawless. He was a lover of the environment. He used sustainable materials before it was ‘cool’. He loved what he did and he did it with immense purpose and love. Education was extremely important to him, not only did he lovingly help to craft school facilities, but also gave to various educational foundations throughout his life.
Bob passed along both his hands on skills and love of learning to his living children, Rich and Bess. It began with projects such as their bookshelves, dog houses and back patios at very young ages. Rich and Bess were along for the ride through forbidden tunnels, trailers, and various project sites. A lover of the environment and outdoors, Bob loved to spend time with his children and grandchildren fishing, exploring and taking in beautiful days. He was exceptionally competitive. He taught his children how to shoot pool and played almost daily. A favorite family tradition where he will be most missed will be the day after Christmas where the family gathered together to shoot pool.
In his spare time, Bob loved playing softball and hockey. He never missed his weekend day at the track, live jazz at his favorite venues, and his Pens and Steelers games.
His grandsons: Henry and Elliott were his absolute pride and joy. The first time he met each baby, the man’s eyes never lit up as much. He was known for the best snuggles that could calm even the fussiest child. He taught his grandsons to fish before they could walk.
Family and friends will be received on Tuesday, Nov. 22 from 2-4 and 6-8 P.M. at the Jefferson Memorial Funeral Home, 301 Curry Hollow Road Pittsburgh, PA 15236.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be held Wednesday, Nov. 23, at 10 A.M. at Mary, Queen of Peace Parish, St. Mary of the Mount Worship Site, 407 Grandview Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA 15211. Please meet at church.
Interment will take place at Jefferson Memorial Cemetery.
Memorial contributions may be made in Bob’s name to the Casimir and Caroline Skrzyniarz Memorial Scholarship at www.nccfoundation.org/ skrzyniarz-scholarship.
Condolences may be left at www.jeffersonmemorial. com.