Robert William Degenhart obituary photo
 
In Memory of

Robert William Degenhart

September 24, 1922 - September 16, 2016

Obituary


COLUMBIA - Mass of the Resurrection for Robert W. Degenhart, 93, will be held at 11:00 a.m. on Monday, September 19, 2016 at St. Joseph Catholic Church, Columbia, SC with burial at Elmwood Cemetery. The rosary will be recited on Sunday, September 18, 2016 at 5:00 p.m. with a visitation following until 7:00 p.m. at Dunbar Funeral Home, 3926 Devine Street, Columbia. Memorials may be made to St. Vincent de Paul Society of St. Joseph Catholic Church, Columbia, SC 29205; or Birthright of Columbia, 1405 Gregg Street, Columbia, SC 29201.



Mr. Degenhart was...

COLUMBIA - Mass of the Resurrection for Robert W. Degenhart, 93, will be held at 11:00 a.m. on Monday, September 19, 2016 at St. Joseph Catholic Church, Columbia, SC with burial at Elmwood Cemetery. The rosary will be recited on Sunday, September 18, 2016 at 5:00 p.m. with a visitation following until 7:00 p.m. at Dunbar Funeral Home, 3926 Devine Street, Columbia. Memorials may be made to St. Vincent de Paul Society of St. Joseph Catholic Church, Columbia, SC 29205; or Birthright of Columbia, 1405 Gregg Street, Columbia, SC 29201.



Mr. Degenhart was the son of the late W. Joseph Degenhart and Frances Hardy Degenhart of Buffalo, NY. He entered Notre Dame University at age 16 and graduated Magna Cum Laude in three years with a B.S. in Chemical Engineering. He received the “O’Brien Award” for the “Outstanding Student of Science” in his entire graduating class, including all disciplines. He was a member of the ND Glee Club, the golf team, and played on the varsity football practice squad. He took post-graduate studies at the University of Buffalo, Cornell University, Ohio State University, and Marietta (OH) College.



In World War II, Mr. Degenhart was Commanding Officer of a Landing Ship Mechanized (LSM), which saw extensive duty during island invasions in the Pacific Theater at locations such as Eniwetok, Kwajalein, Tulagi, Tinian, and Okinawa. When the war ended, his ship brought American occupation forces to various ports in China and Korea.



Mr. Degenhart retired from Union Carbide Corporation after 40 years of employment. He was Manager of industrial plants in Ashtabula, OH and Florence, SC. A member of the Knights of Columbus, Knights of the Immaculata, and St. Vincent de Paul Society, he was active in pro-life causes for many years. While in Florence, SC he chaired both the Building Committee for the new McLeod Hospital and the new St. Anthony’s Catholic Church. He was responsible for saving the cross from the original church and repairing it at Union Carbide. He was instrumental in Industry Fundraising for the new Florence YMCA as well as the transition of Francis Marion to a 4-year college. He was one of the original “Sly Foxes,” a group of Florence civic champions, serving with Dr. Walter D. Smith, the first President of the 4-year college.

A parishioner of St. Joseph Catholic Church, he was also a choir soloist and lector in Catholic churches at several previous locales and sang solos in amateur stage productions. A football, baseball, and golf enthusiast, he was also a licensed scuba diver, and a Little League Baseball manager.



Mr. Degenhart was predeceased by his wife of over 70 years, Constance Braceland Degenhart, and is survived by his eight children, including sons Paul, Esq. (Mary Nell, Esq.) and Vincent, MD (Denice), daughters Ann Vaiden, Mary Gallery, and Janet Enoch, all of Columbia, son William, MD (Jan) and daughter Rita (Jerry) Wilhelm, of Savannah, GA, daughter Frances (Dennison, MD) Robey of Florence, SC and numerous grandchildren, great grandchildren, nieces and nephews. A brother, Harold Degenhart of Buffalo, NY, and sister, Janet McKenna of Windsor, Ontario, preceded Mr. Degenhart in death.



The family would like to extend special thanks to the staff of Tri-County Hospice, Palmetto Health Baptist Hospital and to Mr. Degenhart’s very caring and skilled physicians, Francis P. Goldstein, MD, John Gould, DO, Terence N. Chapman, MD, Michael C. Foster, MD, and Doug Forbes, DMD.



Please sign the online guestbook at www.dunbarfunerals.com.