Robert William Kropf
Robert William Kropf
  • October 4, 1925 - March 20, 2017
  • Wake Forest, Virginia

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Robert W. Kropf, formerly of Unionville, PA passed away on March 20, 2017, at Wake Forest, NC. He was born in Gary, IN, in 1925 to the late Edward C. and Ida (Mendenhall) Kropf.

His mother's family were early founders of what is now known as Mendenhall, PA. His earliest American ancestor was George Maris, who came to Pennsylvania in the 1660s and went on to become a Member of Pennsylvania's Colonial Assembly from 1685 to 1695 and as a Member of the Provincial Counsel in 1695.

"Bob" Kropf attended the Horace Mann School of Gary, IN, for 13 years, graduating in 1943. While still in high school, he matriculated at Purdue University, where he graduated with a B.S. in Chemical Engineering in 1948. His college career was temporarily interrupted while he served in the U.S. Army at Ft. McClellan, Ft. Bragg, and Ft. Knox during 1945 and 1946. He sometimes recounted that the U.S. Army's plans for him to attend language training school at Yale were scuttled when the bomb was dropped in Japan.

He worked in production and sales for E.I. DuPont his entire career, first in Cleveland, OH, followed by Wilmington, DE; LaPorte, TX; Wilmington; and Chicago, IL, before returning to Wilmington.

In 1958, he married Dorothy Guy Echols of Staunton, VA; their marriage lasted 42 years, until her passing in May 2000. During their married life, they lived in Houston, TX; Wilmington, DE; Naperville, IL; and Unionville. He retired in 1985 and then served as the Rector's Warden at his church, the Episcopal Church of the Advent. An avid bridge player, he played whenever he could find a game, including once on a sand dune in a Moroccan desert. More than once, he introduced himself: "My name is Bob Kropf, do you play bridge?" He was a long-time member of the Every Other Wednesday Bridge Club in Kennett Square, the "Old Men's Bridge Group" in Wilmington, the Kennett Golf & Country Club-where he ran the duplicate bridge group-and the DuPont Golf & Country Club. Despite his aversion to sports beyond ping-pong and croquet, he was a long-time volunteer for Tenni-Tour, a local fundraiser his wife helped organize for community tennis programs.

Bob and Dot had three children: Edward C. Kropf, now of Wake Forest, NC; Richard T. Kropf, now of Tampa, FL; and Dorothy E. "Dee Dee" Scarborough, now of Manhattan, NY. Together with his wife, Bob traveled the world, including all fifty states and more than 48 foreign countries; highlights included going by helicopter to Mendenhall Glacier in Alaska and traveling by train across the southern coast of Australia. They were avid vegetable and flower gardeners for many years. In 2005, he moved to Wake Forest, NC, to live with his eldest son and daughter-in-law. He was a member of St. John's Episcopal Church in Glasgow, VA. His five grandchildren also survive him.

A graveside service will be held at 11:00 a.m. on Saturday, April 1, 2017, at Thornrose Cemetery in Staunton, VA, where he will be interred next to Dot. The service will be conducted by the Rev. Janet Echols.

Donations in his memory may be made to The Gypsy Hill Express, P.O. Box 1313, Staunton, VA, 24402; The Glasgow Branch of the Rockbridge Regional Library, 1108 Blue Ridge Road, Glasgow, VA, 24555; or St. John's Episcopal Church, Glasgow, VA, 24555.

Arrangements have been entrusted to the Staunton Chapel of Reynolds Hamrick Funeral Homes.