Robert “Bob” Anthony Cafarella, 84, passed away at Kobacker House on September 25, 2023 after a 10 year battle with prostate cancer.
He is survived by his wife, Claire, son Brian (Jamie) and their five children and son Daniel. He also leaves a sister Nancy (Karl) Lorenz and brother Richard (Caroline), brother and sister in law, Tom and Judy Grumbly several nieces and nephews.
Born and raised in Astoria Queens and New Jersey to Mildred and Anthony Cafarella, he was the oldest of 3 children. His Dad was a New York firefighter and his Mom worked several jobs, including as a waitress where she served Tony “Benedetto”Bennett. Bob was often in charge of his siblings, and on occasion would take them to Central Park via the subway at the tender age of 11.
He attended college at West Virginia Wesleyan, majoring in Mathematics, and served in the US Army performing statistical analysis on the artillery that would be used in the Vietnam War. Upon discharge, he began his career in employee benefits. He worked for 40 years managing the employee benefits for primarily 2 large companies, Figgie International in both Cleveland, Oh and Richmond, Va. and Ohio Health in Columbus.
It was in Richmond that Bob met Claire and a year later was blessed with identical twin sons at age 46. And this was when Bob found new purpose in life. He was a natural as a father and his family always came first. Bob went back to school at age 50 to get his MBA at Kent State and in 1993 moved to Westerville, OH with Ohio Health. But his favorite role was husband and father and he was active coaching youth football, basketball and baseball for “his boys”. He taught them by his actions, more than his words and was always there for them. He also felt very blessed to be Pop Pop to his grandchildren, Madison, Tyler, Aubrey, Dylan and Brady.
Bob’s other pleasures included playing golf, watching OSU football and basketball, singing country music on the patio blaring his “J” box and sitting in his recliner reading political commentary with his loving beagle Benny curled up next to him. We traveled to Italy, France,Yellowstone and New Smyrna Beach, FL before he started to lose his sight and deal with his many health problems. He lived his life with no regrets and the New York toughness served him well. A relative called him a “valiant warrior” and that description fit him until the end.
Please help us celebrate Bob’s life with Visitation at Hill Funeral Home in Westerville on October 5 from 4-6 pm. A funeral Mass will be held at St. Paul the Apostle Catholic Church, Westerville on October 6 at 10:30 am followed by interment at Resurrection Cemetery in Lewis Center, OH.
Donations may be made to Ohio Health Hospice online at Foundation.OhioHealth.com/Hospice where Cari, Mindy and Gwen served us with great care and love.