Robert "Bob" Berfield passed away peacefully at home surrounded by his family on Wednesday morning, June 2, from a rare form T-Cell Lymphoma (Cezary’s Disease). Bob was born in Mifflin Township on Short Mountain on Sept. 24, 1937. He was born at home on a sunny day after his older brother Jim, at 3 years old, was sent over the hill and through the fields to summon his Aunt Libby that "it was time". Bob was the youngest son of John O. Berfield Sr. and Helen Cunningham Berfield. He and his brothers were raised on Short Mountain, and in those early days, with no central heat, indoor plumbing, or telephone service.
Bob’s elementary school education was in the one room schools of Mifflin Township. He attended Jersey Shore Area High School as a member of the Class of 1955. In 1954, he enlisted in the United States Air Force and served six years of active duty, four of which were overseas assignments in North Africa and Europe. At Great Falls AFB Montana, Bob received military police training and further trained as an armory attendant and assigned to issue, repair, and maintain air base defense weaponry. He was assigned to this same duty while serving at Ben Guerir AFB in Morocco from June, 1956 to June, 1957. He was appointed to the 7th Air Division Non-Commissioned Officer’s Academy in that same year. At the time of his graduation, he received the Commandants Award for having the highest academic achievement.
Upon his release from the Air Force in 1960, he attended the Williamsport Technical Institute under the sponsorship of the Korean War Veterans GI Bill. After qualifying as an engineering design draftsman, he was hired by Avco, Lycoming Division where he was employed until 1969 when he purchased the Caffrey Insurance Agency. In 1975, he sold the insurance agency and returned to the engineering field after being hired by Shop-Vac Corporation as a product designer. He traveled widely in Europe fulfilling various engineering duties and held several positions at Shop-Vac prior to his retirement as Senior Vice President of Product Design and Development in 2001. Bob is named inventor on numerous US patents of various devices designed for Shop-Vac Corporation. He was also personally granted several additional US patents for devices not associated with his Shop-Vac employment.
Bob was a member of the Korean War Veteran Association and the Sampson Air Force Base Veteran Association.
Bob married the former Pearl Rosser Jenkins in 1994. Prior to her passing on June 7, 2016, Bob and Pearl traveled extensively visiting every US state, except for Alaska, and most all of the Canadian Provinces. In more recent years they spent their winters in Lake Havasu City, Arizona.
In addition to Pearl, Bob was predeceased by his eldest brother John O. Berfield Jr.
He is survived by two daughters, Christine Marrazzo (Mike) and Cathleen Gibson (Mark). He is also survived by his four grandchildren; Kyle Gibson, Kacie Gibson, Domenick Marrazzo and Anthony Marrazzo, all of Jersey Shore; His brother James A. Berfield who resides in Castanea, and his first wife Sally C. Williamson Berfield of Jersey Shore.
Our Dad was most happy on one of his beloved Massey Ferguson tractors mowing fields on Short Mountain. He also spent a great deal of time at the family hunting cabin in Buttonwood watching his grandsons learn to hunt, cheat at cards, and become good stewards of the land.
We would like to thank our Dad’s caregivers Megan and Faith as well as the wonderful hospice nurses for our Dad’s phenomenal care. We are indispensably grateful for your care and compassion for our Dad.
Friends may call 5pm-7pm Sunday evening June 6th at Frederick B. Welker Funeral Home, 125 N. Main Street, Jersey Shore. A private graveside service will be held at the convenience of the family.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions can be made to Susquehanna Health Foundation C/O Hospice 1100 Grampian Blvd. 17701 Williamsport, PA.
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