ONEONTA – Dr. Robert “Bob” B. Pondolfino Sr., the retired dentist and member of the prominent family of Oneonta dentists, passed away Aug. 2, 2019, at his home in Rincon, Puerto Rico.
Bob was born to Eleanor and Dr. Joseph Pondolfino in Oneonta. He graduated in 1956 from Oneonta High School, attended Niagara University (1960), and Georgetown Dental School (1964).
He joined the Pondolfino Dental Practice with his father, Joe and uncle, Sam, and assumed the practice along with his sons, Robert Jr. and Gerald, for 38 years, retiring in 2001.
In 1960, Bob married Kathleen Oliver, his wife of 35 years, who predeceased him in 1995. He was also predeceased by his brother, Roger, and grandson, Scottie.
He is survived by four children, 10 grandchildren, and two great-grandchildren: Robert Jr. and Barbara Ann Heegan (Ryan, Kaitlin and Logan), Gerald and Katie Segrue (Zachary and Jackie), Kristen and Jim Wasilewski (Michael and Eileen) of Vienna, Va., and Kelly and Kenny Burch (Corey, Trevor and Natalie) of Sterling, Virginia.
In 2007, Bob married Joanmarie Toohey, in Rincon, Puerto Rico, where they built a home and spent the majority of their time.
He is further survived by his brother, Joseph Jr. (Meri-K) of Oneonta; sister, Jane (Herron) of Port Charlotte, Fla.; half-brothers John Pondolfino of Otego and James Pondolfino of Alexandria, Va.; stepdaughter Meaghan Marino of Oneonta; many loving cousins, nieces and nephews, namely Thomas Pondolfino of Morris.
Bob was a proud member of BPOE Elks 1312 for more than 50 years and, in 1968, became the youngest Exalted Ruler in New York and served as chairman of the board for 10 consecutive years.
He pioneered oral surgery in Oneonta along with his father at Fox Hospital until the first oral surgeon arrived.
He was a Oneonta Country Club member for nearly 50 years. Bob loved to share memories of his 1955 OHS undefeated football team. He was co-captain and “All State” as right tackle.
Affectionately known as “Rock,” he will be remembered for his handsome face and warm smile, gentle approach and willingness to help others, unique sense of humor and ability to tell a great story. He was an avid traveler, original “foodie” and seafood connoisseur, and talented piano player. He was a rugged outdoorsman and enjoyed his years with family and friends on Otsego Lake boating and fishing followed by his delight for snorkeling with sea turtles in Rincon.
Bob was a gifted artist whose paintings were exhibited in Rincon boutiques and private homes.
Above all, Bob cherished his family, the good times and many special friends he made along the way.
A life beautifully lived deserves to be beautifully remembered. Bob’s children and their families will privately celebrate his life in Oneonta. A memorial service in Rincon will be held at a later date.
In lieu of flowers, donations in Bob’s memory may be sent to Springbrook, 105 Campus Drive, Oneonta, NY 13820, or Hospicio del Oeste Inc., HC 03 Box 10935, San German, PR 00683-9350.