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Memoriam - Robert Nicholas "Bob" Pesut

Robert "Bob" Nicholas Pesut

Knoxville - Robert (Bob) Nicholas Pesut, 82, of Knoxville, Tenn. passed away peacefully on Sept. 6, 2020, after suffering a stroke the previous week.

Born in Youngstown, Ohio, on July 29, 1938, to Croatian immigrants Martin and Katherine Pesut, he was the 10th of 11 siblings.

He is survived by his wife Gretchen; his daughters Lauren (James) Pareigis, Katherine (Gordon) Moffat and Tracy (Randy) Petty; his grandchildren Emma, Robert, Susannah, Marie, and Charlie; his step-grandchildren Tori (Charlie) and Wesley; his sister Bea (Pesut) Chumita and his brother Martin Pesut.

He is preceded in death by his parents Martin and Katherine, his sisters Marie, Ann, Magdalene and Albina, and his brothers Michael, Joseph, Daniel and John.

Bob graduated from Youngstown State University and earned his master's degree in statistics at Purdue University. Following his graduation from Purdue, he went to work at Battelle Memorial Institute in Columbus, Ohio. While working there, he met his wife of 54 years, Gretchen (Stark). He relocated his family to Knoxville, Tenn., in 1977 when he went to work for the Tennessee Valley Authority. After an early retirement from TVA, he began teaching math courses at Pellissippi State University. He co-authored several textbooks during his tenure, and he often said that his time teaching was his most fulfilling work.

During his summer breaks from teaching, he worked in the accounting department at Dollywood. It was there that he experienced one of his most treasured memories - dancing with Dolly. After retiring from teaching, he spent time traveling in Europe and the U.S., visiting with his daughters in Nashville, and making an annual trip to Ohio to see his brothers, sisters, nieces, and nephews. However, his favorite trips were the many times he went to Disney World with his children and grandchildren.

Over the years, Bob was very active in his church and his faith was important to him. Upon moving to Tennessee, he and Gretchen became founding members of St. John Neumann parish in Farragut. Years later, they were also founding members of All Saints parish in Knoxville. When his children were younger, he taught catechism and served as the youth group coordinator. He was active for many years in the Knights of Columbus Council 645, attaining the status of "the Fourth Degree".

Bob was an active member of the West Side Family YMCA, and he enjoyed the group of friends he made there. On many a Friday afternoon, they could be found having lunch at the Cracker Barrel. Bob was known for the elaborate cakes he would make to celebrate the birthdays of members of their group.

A funeral mass will be celebrated on Saturday, Sept. 12 at 2:30 p.m. Eastern time at All Saints Catholic Church, 620 N. Cedar Bluff Rd. Due to the coronavirus pandemic, no receiving hours will be held. Bob was immensely proud of the work that his daughter, Dr. Tracy Pesut, and her medical team did during their annual mission trip to Guatemala.

In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be made in his honor to the Knoxville Medical Mission, 1932 Historic Ferry Way, Knoxville, TN 37922.

Published in Knoxville News Sentinel from Sep. 8 to Sep. 12, 2020.

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