ROBERT C. (BOB) DOERSCHNER, 97 of Alexandria, Virginia passed away on January 23, 2021 at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, surrounded by family and God’s love. He was formerly from Dormont, PA before relocating to be with his son, Rob. Bob grew up in the Allentown neighborhood of Pittsburgh and graduated from St. George Elementary and High Schools. Shortly after graduation, he was drafted into World War II and served his country in the Army Air Corps, primarily on Guam in the Pacific. Upon his return home, he enrolled in college on the GI Bill at the University of Pittsburgh, earning his bachelor’s degree in education in 1950. Early in his college days, he went one weekend to do research for a paper at the library and met a particularly attractive reference librarian, Fran, who helped him find information. He decided he needed to do his own research about this lovely lady. After he got up the nerve, he asked her for a date to attend a special dinner honoring those who served in World War II. Thankfully she accepted, and a lifelong, deep romance and friendship began. He began teaching in the City of Pittsburgh after graduation and achieved a Master’s Degree in Education and principals’ certificate, part-time. After teaching and caring for his Dad after his mother’s passing, he and Fran were married. A year later, they bought a home, and within a couple of years, their son, Rob arrived. Bob taught Special Education to mentally and physically-challenged students and taught English to immigrants in the evening. He greeted each immigrant student for class in their native language to welcome them. In 1959, he was selected as an Assistant Principal, and a year later was promoted to be principal for the largest elementary school in Pittsburgh with 1500 students in grades K-6, in the Homewood-Brushton neighborhood of Pittsburgh. In 1968, he transferred to the Keystone Oaks School District to be nearer to home. He was asked to take on the principalship of the new middle school where he established many new and innovative programs, since the middle school concept was new to education. He finished his education career as principal of two elementary schools in Greentree until his retirement in 1983. Bob was a great example of enjoying retirement and service to others. He did not know when he had time to work. He was elected to the St. Bernard’s parish council, played chauffer for his wife, cared for his stepmother, ran for school board, volunteered at the Marion Manor skilled nursing facility, and accomplished many projects on his and his son’s homes. Since his wife’s passing, he enjoyed reading the newspaper and literature; watching educational programs; talking with family and friends; enjoying activities with his buddy, his son; daily talking with his “baby” brother; and cheering for Pittsburgh sports teams. He was a joy to be around as he was a very positive, kind, caring, and faithful son, husband, brother, father, uncle, cousin, and great man. He was a lifelong, devout Catholic Christian. All who knew him are grateful to God that his mind was sharp until the end. He is survived by his son, Rob and Rob’s girlfriend, Janice Bryner, both of Alexandria, VA; brother Don (Bernigene) Doerschner of Mars, PA; niece Christy (Mark) Matheny of Union, WV; niece Nancy (Bob) Dunn of Fairmont, WV; nephew Ed Doerschner of Mars, PA; niece Conni (Lloyd) Wilson of Ross Township, PA; niece Nancy (Dave) Haupt of Dover, DE; godson Bob Kress of Wexford, PA, and great nieces/nephews, cousins, and family friends who are family. He is preceded in death by the love of his life, Fran; parents George and Marie Doerschner; brother Norman Doerschner; and sister and brother-in-law, Mary and Sam Weis. Funeral arrangements were made through Jefferson Funeral Chapel, 5755 Castlewellan Drive, Alexandria, VA 22315 https://www.jeffersonfuneralchapel.com/. The funeral mass of Christian Burial occurred on Friday, January 29, 2021 at Good Shepherd Catholic Church, Alexandria, VA. It is recorded for viewing for a time through the church website. https://www.gs-cc.org/mass_videos.html. Additional viewing and the graveside service in Pittsburgh are being arranged for Saturday, February 6, 2021 through Laughlin Cremation & Funeral Tributes, 222 Washington Road, Pittsburgh, PA 15216 https://www.laughlinfuneralhome.com/. Viewing will occur from 11AM-12 noon at Laughlin’s with masks and social distancing required. The graveside service with military honors will be outdoors and will begin at approximately 12:30 PM at Queen of Heaven Cemetery, US-19, McMurray, PA 15317, for those who wish to attend. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that memorial donations be sent to the Little Sisters of the Poor, 1028 Benton Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA 15212; St. Joseph’s House of Hospitality, 1635 Bedford Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA 15219, or Good Shepherd Catholic Church, 8710 Mount Vernon Memorial Highway, Alexandria, VA 22309. Rest in peace, Bob as you are with Fran and the Lord.
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