Robert Gordon St. John
Robert Gordon St. John

July 28, 1922 - June 11, 2012
Born in Pullman, Washington
Resided in Albany, OR

Obituary

Robert St. John, 89 of Albany, passed away Monday at Alterra Wynwood.

Robert, also known as "Big Bad Bob", was born in Pullman, WA. He was the son of Dr. J.L. and Ruth St. John. Bob grew up in Pullman. At the age of 19 he managed to secure a position in Washington, D.C. working for the FBI. When he was 22 he joined the Navy and served during WWII. Bob was stationed in Honolulu, Hawaii where he met Helen Kisla, who was also stationed in Hawaii as a WAVE. After a short romance they were married in the Chapel on Sub Base Pearl Harbor in 1946.

After the war, Bob and Helen lived in Chicago where Bob returned to the Chicago FBI office and played the organ in restaurants at night. In 1950 they moved to Los Angeles, California where Bob studied, and eventually taught organ at the Fine Arts Conservatory of Music in Los Angeles. Bob and Helen moved to Pomona, California in 1956 where Bob opened his own music studio and taught organ for over twenty years. He continued his involvement with the American Theatre Organ Society giving concerts in addition to playing the organ in restaurants and skating rinks.

In 1980 Bob began his second career and went to work for the U.S. Forest Service until he retired in 1996.

Bob and Helen moved to Albany in 1997 to be closer to their daughter and grandchildren. After moving to Albany, Bob volunteered at St. Mary's Soup Kitchen where he did many small jobs; his favorite was providing entertainment by playing the organ during dinner. He loved sharing his musical talent and many people missed him when he was not able to continue.

Bob loved people and always had a smile and a positive attitude. His many friends appreciated his fun loving spirit and warm personality.

Bob's wife Helen preceded him in death in 2004.

He is survived by his daughter, Lesly Egan and husband Mike of Albany; and son Robert St. John and wife Melanie Searle of Phoenix, AZ; three grandchildren, Maureen Tobey, Mary Hawkinson and Allison Egan; and two great grandsons, Eli and Garrett Hawkinson.

A memorial mass will be at 10:00am, Monday, June 18 at St. Mary's Catholic Church. A committal service with military honors will be at 11:00am, Tuesday, June 19 at Willamette National Cemetery.

Memorial contributions can be made to St. Mary's School, St. Mary's Soup Kitchen or Evergreen Hospice in care of Fisher Funeral Home, 306 Washington St. SW, Albany, OR 97321.

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Services

Memorial Mass
St. Mary's Catholic Church
728 Ellsworth SW
Albany, OR US 97321
Monday, June 18, 2012
10:00 AM
Cemetery
Willamette National Cemetery
11800 SE Mt Scott Blvd
Portland, OR US 97321
Tuesday, June 19, 2012
11:00 AM