Robert "Bob" Cussimanio, 77, died June 4, 2023, at Medicalodge Frontenac, where he had been a resident since May 19.
He was born September 12, 1945, in Pittsburg to Joseph F. and Emalene Agnes Jones Cussimanio. He graduated from Frontenac High School and later attended Pittsburg State University.
On April 22, 1966, he was united in marriage to Patricia Simpson in Frontenac.
Bob served in the U.S. Navy from 1966 to 1968 during the Vietnam War and was a boiler technician and firefighter on the USS Forrestal stationed off the coast of Vietnam. On July 29, 1967, he was below deck when a deadly fire broke out on board the aircraft carrier after an electrical issue caused a Zuni rocket on an F-4B Phantom fighter jet to fire, striking the fuel tank of an A-4 Skyhawk attack aircraft. The flammable jet fuel spilled across the flight deck, ignited, and triggered a chain reaction of explosions that killed 134 sailors and injured 161. Bob was awarded a special commendation for his heroic efforts. As a proud Vietnam veteran, when he returned home, he was an active Mirza Shriner and a member of the American Legion Post #43 in Frontenac.
Bob was a journeyman, pipefitter, and skilled tradesman, and worked for the City of Frontenac Water Department, BF Goodrich, General Motors, and retired from Pittsburg State University Physical Plant, where he was a boiler technician.
He was a quiet but witty man who enjoyed coaching his daughter's softball teams, hunting, and fishing with his son and good buddies who referred to him as "Dude" or "Dudy bird." He had a love of gardening and cooking, enjoying many years supporting the Frontenac Education Foundation by participating in Festa Italiana with his wife, sisters, nieces, and nephews.
Bob was preceded in death by his parents; his wife, Patty Cussimanio, on January 2, 2022; and three brothers, Joe, Jim, and Mickey Cussimanio.
Survivors include a son Jeff (Connie) Cussimanio of Montague, Michigan; a daughter Laura (Rich) Wood of Pittsburg, Kansas; a brother, Bill Cussimanio of Kansas City, MO; sisters, Snow Cussimanio, Peggy Remington, and Sootie Baugh all of Frontenac; six grandchildren, Katie, Nick, Ashley, Paige, Brody, and Brice.
According to his wishes, his cremated remains, along with his beloved wife's, will be buried in Highland Park Cemetery at a later date. Condolences may be left at www.bathnaylor.com.
Memorials may be made to Frontenac Education Foundation and mailed to 208 S. Cayuga, Frontenac, KS 66763.
Cremation arrangements are under the direction of the Bath-Naylor Funeral Home, 522 S. Broadway, Pittsburg, KS 66762.