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Published: 10/16/2012

Oct. 15, 1917 - Oct. 14, 2012

Plumber added Oregon job to his lengthy career

BLADE STAFF

Robert A. Webb, a former plumber who had a long career with the city of Oregon as streets director and water commissioner, died Sunday in Orchard Villa Nursing Home, Oregon. He was 94.

His daughter, Susan Padley, said he moved into the nursing home two years ago after breaking his hip. She said he suffered from dementia but had been in good health. He died one day shy of his 95th birthday.

“He had a great sense of humor. He was making puns all the time,” she said.

Mr. Webb had worked for a construction company and plumbing business before joining the city of Oregon in 1961. He was hired to be the then fledging city’s streets superintendent, overseeing paving and plowing of the community’s roadways.

Three years later, he was appointed superintendent of water distribution and directed the planning and building of the water plant and distribution system. He switched back to the position of streets superintendent in 1970. He retired in 1983.

“He really loved the job and working for the city,” his daughter said. “It just fit his personality in figuring out what needed to be done and using employees to the best of their knowledge and skills.”

Mr. Webb married the former Kathryn Buck on May 31, 1944. They were introduced by a mutual friend in 1941 before he enlisted in the Navy. She died Jan. 25, 2011.

Mr. Webb was born in Toledo and his parents moved to Bono in Jerusalem Township when he was young. His father was the village justice of the peace and managed vacation homes in the area.

Mr. Webb graduated in 1936 from Clay High School and then went to work for the former A. Bentley & Sons, a general contracting firm.

He went into the U.S. Navy, in which he served in the SeaBee construction battalions during World War II. Mrs. Padley said he helped build a hospital and the roads to get to the facility, which was located in the South Pacific.

After serving two tours, he was discharged in 1945. He worked 12 years for George Gilsdorf Plumbing before going to work for Oregon. He was a member of Local 50 Plumbers and Pipefitters Union.

Mrs. Padley said that in retirement her father worked in the garden at her parents' home, which he had built himself. She said her parents also traveled extensively with family and friends, with many trips taking place in the couple’s motor home.

Mr. Webb belonged to First St. John Lutheran Church, where he volunteered by working on projects in the church and cemetery. He also was a member of the German American Swiss Society and volunteered for the group at the annual German American Festival.

Surviving are his sons, Tom and Richard; daughter, Susan Padley; five grandchildren, and seven great-grandchildren.

Visitation will be at 11 a.m. Friday at Eggleston Meinert & Pavley Funeral Home, Millbury Chapel, 1111 Woodville Rd., followed by services at 1 p.m.

The family suggests tributes to Hospice of Northwest Ohio.



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