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Robert E. Cerny Obituary - Hill Funeral Home


Calling hours will be held on Thursday, April 25th at 9:30am - 10:30am with a service to follow at 10:30am, located at Gethsemane Lutheran Church, 35 East Stanton Ave, Columbus, OH 43214. Located off High Street behind Tim Horton's. Luncheon to follow at the Church.

I love and miss you very much, Dad. I know you're having a great time catching up with everyone and seeing the dogs and feeling well and healthy again.

Cathy Cerny

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Obituary for Robert E. Cerny

Robert E. Cerny 1928-2024

Robert E. Cerny

07/12/1928 - 03/28/2024

Robert Edward Cerny passed away peacefully at age 95 on March 28, 2024, after living with dementia for four years. He was surrounded by the love of his family, the amazing nurses of Capital City Hospice, and the wonderful staff of Danbury Westerville.

Bob was born on July 12, 1928, in Oak Park, Illinois to Gertrude and Edward Cerny. He grew up in Cicero, Illinois and attended J. Sterling Morton High School. After graduation in 1948, Bob attended Morton Junior College for two years then transferred to the University of Illinois at Champaign. He graduated in 1952 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in English. Bob was a member of the Granada Club, an independent fraternity, and enjoyed many happy times with his friends and the various activities in which he participated on campus.

After graduation, Bob began his career at the Western Electric Hawthorne Works in Cicero as a mechanical engineer. In September 1952 at the height of the Korean War, Bob was drafted into the Army. He spent 16 months in Seoul, Korea working in the intelligence unit until July 1954 when he returned to the United States. Bob served with distinction earning the United Nations Service Medal, the Korean Service Ribbon, the National Defense Service Medal, and the Republic of Korea Presidential Unit Citation. The Army discharged Bob honorably with the rank of corporal and he returned to Illinois to resume his career at Western Electric. He was very proud of his service and frequently shared stories of his service and time in Korea.

In 1958 Bob married Marion Palmer and they made their first home in Villa Park, Illinois, eventually moving to Arlington Heights, Illinois. Cathy was born in 1960 and Rob in 1962. Western Electric transferred Bob to Littleton, Colorado from 1964 to 1967 when the company then transferred him to Columbus, Ohio where his family settled in Worthington. In 1969 Bob moved to Westerville, Ohio where he remained for the rest of his life.

When the Bell System broke up in 1984, Bob retired. He enjoyed 32 years with Western Electric, taking business trips to the New York City Headquarters and other company locations and being part of the Junior Achievement program, mentoring and preparing young people for careers in business. He joined the Pioneers, Western Electric retirees’ group, to keep in touch with his former work friends and get together with them.

Bob loved retirement. He was never bored. He read constantly - The Columbus Dispatch, various periodicals such as Time, Newsweek, The Week, Consumer Reports, National Geographic, Popular Mechanics, Popular Science, and Car & Drive, to name a few. He was always learning and staying informed of current events. He watched the news daily. Tom Clancy political thrillers were among his favorite books, as were those on American history and historical figures. He bought a World Almanac every year so that he could have facts and figures at his fingertips, or simply to read it for all the information.

Cars were one of Bob’s great loves and if you pointed out any car no matter what year, make, or model, Bob could tell you what it was. He could talk cars all day long and was happy to do so. He had owned many cars in his lifetime from the Ford Sunliner, his first, to the Edsel, two Pontiacs, an Audi, Volkswagen Super Beetle named Clementine, Chevy Camaro, Chevy Cavalier, Grand Prix, and an old DeSoto in green, his favorite color. In 1998 he bought a Toyota Tacoma pickup truck in a beautiful deep green.

In 1990, Bob’s love of cars took a new turn when he purchased his first Honda Accord. It was a love affair that would last for the rest of his life! He said it was the best car he had ever owned, and from then on, he regularly extolled the virtues of Hondas to anyone who would listen. His next Honda was a 1994 and his final car was a 2006. He loved Hondas so much that he even had a Honda lawnmower!

Bob absolutely loved driving. He always said, “Give me a good car and I’ll drive anywhere,” which he did to visit friends and family across the country. He saw many national parks – Yosemite (where Cathy lived and worked for 11 years), Acadia, Arches, Crater Lake, Glacier, The Grand Canyon, Mt. Rainier, Yellowstone, The Great Smoky Mountains, Mt. Rushmore, and the Washington DC Korean War and Vietnam War memorials, to name a few. He saw many cities, including San Francisco, Seattle, Salt Lake City, Santa Fe, New Mexico, Carmel, California, Mendocino, California, and Pebble Beach. Along the way, he visited Rob in Florida, his dear friends Mickey (Frances) and Walt Kristoff in Hilton Head, SC, cousin Eddie and his wife Ruth and their daughter Judy and her family in Chicago, cousin Jim and his wife Sue in Fredericksburg, VA, and dear friend Ken Wiegand and his family in Wisconsin. He attended weddings and funerals as well. These trips were happy times for him, and he so enjoyed the drives themselves and all the sights to and from his destinations and connecting with his loved ones. Bob took Cathy and Rob to Walt Disney World several times, Williamsburg, and Washington DC, driving each time.

Bob loved anything and everything mechanical and electronic including televisions, radios, cameras, stereo equipment of all varieties, kitchen appliances (“A well-stocked kitchen is essential”), pens (he collected them, not the fancy, expensive ones, any one – “I never met a pen I didn’t like”, flashlights, and any type of vehicle you can think of. He bought his first personal computer in the early 90s, upgraded it a few years later and taught himself how to troubleshoot, add memory and security programs, use the recovery discs, create documents, etc. He gathered an extensive library of computer reference books, he was always the student. He and Rob had fun times playing golf games on his computer.

He loved trains and had a miniature set up in his basement for years. He greatly enjoyed shows about how buildings and things were built. He was always on the cutting edge of technology thoroughly researching his purchases so if you needed advice about which TV or stereo to buy, or how to set up it up, ask Bob because he could give you all details.

Dad loved his home and filled his time reading, watching his favorite movies and TV shows on his big screen TV, which is another topic altogether because he loved the new media and on trips to Costco always stopped to check out all the new big screens for sale. Comedies, historical, action, and nature movies and shows were his favorite genres that he watched on his extensive collection of DVD’s and Blu-ray, and on television. Cathy and Rob enjoyed watching Seinfeld with Dad, who always belly laughed at the characters’ antics.

Dad enjoyed listening to his extensive classical music collection on the stereo system he assembled over decades. Classical and big band were his favorites, but his musical tastes extended to movie and Broadway scores, bossa nova, and the popular easy listening music of decades past that he collected on compact discs and record albums. He took drives all over Ohio visiting various attractions, cities, towns, and restaurants. The drives were a tonic for him, he loved the countryside, with the trip being as enjoyable as the destination. Drives with Cathy, Rob, and friends to Der Dutchman Amish restaurant in Walnut Creek and Watts restaurant in Utica were favorites.

Dad also filled his days with yard work, gardening, he so enjoyed cutting the grass, taking care of his beloved home, and visiting his neighbors across the fence and street. His teams were the Chicago Cubs and Chicago Bears and any University of Illinois team, the Miami University football team, and the Columbus Clippers, watching all of them on his big screen. He was a Buckeye fan, too, but Illinois had his heart. Dad, a Lutheran, was active in and constantly supportive of his church and attended services regularly as long as he was able.

He had so many interests and hobbies and favorite things in his life – photography, big band and classical music (40s Junction and Symphony Hall were presets on his car radio), coffee, which he drank every day, he just loved it, as he did beer. Dad was a huge beer guy, his favorites were PBR and Leinenkugel, but he’d try any beer. He loved watches, and mugs, of which Dad had a collection rivaling that of many restaurants!

Bob Evans was his favorite restaurant. We enjoyed many good meals with him there. Good food at reasonable prices, he always said. He appreciated the finer things in life but was very happy with the simpler ones. Wholesome, homestyle cooking, and the comfort of his home where he welcomed everyone.

Dad’s greatest love, next to Cathy and Rob, was animals, especially dogs. He just adored them. Danbury has a therapy dog visit twice a week and Dad loved those visits to the end. Cathy brought her own dog Suzy and Dad loved her, too. Nicki, Beau, Brandy, Ginger One, Ginger Two, and little Quinn were Dad’s loves, and we know they all greeted him when he began his new life. Dad loved all the wildlife that visited his backyard, the squirrels, chipmunks, “his” bunny that he eagerly looked for every day, and the beautiful birds that filled the trees and bushes. He gave generously to animal charities for many years, saving countless animal lives.

Dad showed kindness to everyone and was always ready with a helping hand or word. If he didn’t know something he’d find it out for you. He was so appreciative of anything anyone did for him. He could be ornery and funny, and he never said no to Hershey’s Kisses, Entenmann’s Chocolate Frosted Donuts, or any other sweet treat.

Dad flourished in the 21 months he lived at the Glen in Danbury Westerville, making friends among the residents and staff, who loved him. He was known for his good appetite, especially at breakfast, where he’d frequently eat two meals, and for eating several desserts at lunches and dinners. His temper could flare, but that orneriness never lasted long. He would tell Cathy and Rob that the Glen was his home, wasn’t it a nice home. He had his big screen TV and photos of his loved ones. He would wave to and greet people walking past his suite, inviting them to come on in. He participated in activities, constantly socialized, and frequently comforted those residents who were upset, and he would express his appreciation to the staff who took care of him.

Dad, thank you for everything you did for us throughout our lives. You were always there for us to make our lives easier. We love you very much.

Bob is survived by his daughter Catherine (Cathy) and son Robert Jr. (Rob); cousin James Kavina (Sue) of Fredericksburg, Virginia; and cousin Judith McFarland (Charlie) of Wisconsin.

Bob was preceded in death by his former wife, Marion Palmer-Cerny; his parents; cousin Edward Kavina and his wife, Ruth; and many aunts and uncles.

A gigantic thank you to the marvelous staff of Danbury Westerville for their love, care, and support of Bob and his family, and to the incredible hospice nurses of Capital City Hospice whose care and comfort made the inevitable easier.

A funeral service and celebration of life will be held for Bob at Gethsemane Lutheran Church on Thursday, April 25, 2004, 35 East Stanton Avenue, Columbus, OH 43214. Visiting hour is from 9:30 to 10:30 A.M., with the service at 10:30 A.M. A luncheon at the church will follow the service.

In lieu of flowers, please consider donating to the Dementia Society of America ( or the CHA Animal Shelter Westerville (