Robert Keith Gremp (Bob) passed away peacefully at the Woodlands Retirement Community in Huntington, WV on February 8, 2021. He was 89.
Bob was a longtime resident of The Plantation at Ponte Vedra Beach and had recently moved to WV. He was predeceased by his beloved wife of 56 years, Mary Belle, in 2013.
Born to Raymond and Georgina Gremp on December 19, 1931 in Webster Groves, MO, Bob was an Eagle Scout and star athlete at Webster Groves High School, earning a scholarship to Harvard College. He continued his athletic exploits at Harvard earning letters in football, basketball and baseball. He also had a wide circle of friends amongst his class, from author John Updike to football teammate Ted Kennedy. Bob graduated in the Class of 1954 with an A.B. in Biology.
After graduation, Bob enlisted in the U.S. Navy and went through Officer’s Candidate School followed by basic and advanced flight training before serving as a P2V Neptune pilot in Okinawa, Japan from 1957-1959. He met Mary Belle, a schoolteacher, on the beach in Pensacola, FL while in flight school and they were married on December 28, 1956 in Sebring, FL. They lived in Hutchinson, KS while Bob was in advanced flight training and then in Okinawa before Bob was discharged as a 2nd Lieutenant in 1959.
Bob joined Johnson & Johnson in 1959 as a salesman in the Hospital Division in Miami, embarking on a 36-year executive career that took him around the world while he and Mary Belle raised their family in Basking Ridge, NJ and Fort Worth, TX. He helped build the company’s Hospital Products and Infection Control business units and then expanded them internationally.
Following his retirement from Johnson & Johnson in 1995, Bob and Mary Belle settled in The Plantation in Ponte Vedra Beach where has was an avid golfer and a faithful member of Riverside Presbyterian Church in Jacksonville. Bob was a lifelong St. Louis Cardinals fan and enjoyed rooting for the Harvard Crimson teams. He was a devoted reader of history, enjoyed going to the Jacksonville Symphony and traveling the world with Mary Belle. More than anything, Bob loved being a grandfather and great-grandfather!
He is survived by his children; Cathy (Tom) Dugan, Lynn (Jim) Cummings and Keith (BJ) Gremp; his grandchildren Courtney (Michael) Cimino, TJ (Taylor) Dugan, Tim (Megan) Cummings, Drew Cummings, Sarah (Joe) Thomas, Paige Gremp, Sandy Jennings and his great grandchildren; Rowan and Brooks Dugan, Nellie Thomas and Hadley Jennings.
A memorial celebrating Bob’s life will be held at his favorite place, The Plantation Beach Club, in the near future.