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Obituaries

April 19, 2013

Robert Michael Vancko

Robert Michael Vancko

ALBANY — Robert Michael Vancko, Ph.D., beloved husband, father, grandfather, brother and uncle died, suddenly at age 70 after a brief illness on April 17, 2013, in Albany.

Bob was born in Johnson City on Sept. 15, 1942, the son of Michael and Mary (Delovich) Vancko. Bob grew up in Lopez and Williamsport, Pa., enjoying music and playing baseball. He developed a lifelong love of sports and was a passionate Pittsburgh Steelers and, of course, Penn State fan.

Bob was the first in his family to have the opportunity to attend college. He earned a bachelor’s, master’s and Ph.D. in mathematics from the Pennsylvania State University where he was elected to Phi Beta Kappa.

He met the love of his life, Candace, in a music class at Penn State. They were married in the campus chapel and soon after started a family, all while Bob was completing his doctorate.

Bob dedicated 30 years as a math professor at Ohio University, Athens, Ohio, where he taught undergraduate and graduate algebra courses and served as Graduate Chair. It was in Athens where he raised his family and developed his love of hiking, music, horticulture, running and all things outdoors.

Even with all of his interests, the true light in his life was his family. He was a dedicated husband to Candace and father to their three children, Kathy, Rob and Melissa.

In 1999, when Candace was named President of SUNY Delhi, he retired and devoted his time to supporting her career. He was also dedicated to taking retirement seriously, traveling around the world, honing his horticultural and gourmet cooking skills and becoming an avid golfer.

In the last years of his life he received great joy from his eight grandchildren and had a special relationship with each of them. His life and dedication to his family are reflected in the faces of his grandchildren. Bob’s dedication to learning is his legacy to future generations.

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