Robert Hörsch | News, Sports, Jobs

Robert Horsch, son of Augustus and Nellie Finn Horsch, died peacefully on April 19, 2022.

Bob was a kind and loving husband, father, grandfather, great-dad, and friend to all who knew him. He will be remembered for his sense of humor, compassion, humanity and ability to pull off a good prank. He gave with open hands and an open heart and without needing recognition.

Bob was born in Medford, Mass. and grew up in South Weymouth, Mass., and one of his greatest childhood memories was of watching the Hindenburg fly over. He enlisted in the US Army at the age of 17 and served at Ft. Dix in New Jersey for two years, finishing high school before his discharge in 1948. He graduated from Theil College in Greenville, Pa., in 1952, where he met his wife, Joan, of 58 years.

He worked for Park Davis as a pharmaceutical salesman, where he received and distributed the first polio vaccines in Pennsylvania. He graduated from the University of Pittsburgh Medical School in 1959 and did his residency at Hamot Medical Center in Erie, Pennsylvania.

In 1960 he moved his family of four to Westfield, NY, where he practiced family medicine for 18 years. He moved to Abingdon, Virginia, in 1978 and practiced at Russell County Medical Center until his retirement in 1995. During his tenure as a physician, he delivered thousands of babies, performed countless surgeries, and received numerous honors, including recognition from Paul Harvey and Contemporary Surgery Magazine as the first physician to use a laparoscope to diagnose appendicitis.

He served as a civilian volunteer doctor in Vietnam during the conflict and represented the Westfield, NY Rotary Club as a volunteer doctor in Bolivia. While traveling the world, he was a guest speaker at the Rotary Club of Bangkok, Thailand.

He valued education, which was evident in the provision of education to his children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren, and other relatives and friends.

Bob was a dedicated and passionate member of the Virginia Creeper Trail Club and served on the board of directors until his death. He was a member of the Lunch Bunch group of retired men who met weekly for no purpose other than to eat and talk. He was a founding member of Eagle Ridge Ski Resort, which later became part of the Kissing Bridge Group of Resorts.

His memory is preserved by his children: Mary Beth Pierce (Danny) of Columbus, Ohio and her children: Nathan, Ashley and Luke; Amy Smith (Dan) of Abingdon, Virginia; and their children: Alex and Evan; Susan Molzan of Houston, Texas; and their children, Sophie and Sarah; and Thomas Horsch of Abingdon, Virginia. Judy Horsch Baxter, his only remaining sibling, lives in Florida. He was very proud of his five great-grandchildren, who brought him much joy in old age.

In lieu of flowers, the family is asking for donations to the Virginia Creeper Trail Conservancy, PO Box 2382, Abingdon, Virginia 24212 or Sinking Spring Presbyterian Church, 136 E. Main St., Abingdon, VA 24210.

On Saturday, May 7, 2022, Bob’s 93rd birthday, an informal celebration of life with Rev. Kevin Campbell officiated will be held at 5 p.m. at the Forest Hills Chapel of Farris Funeral Service, 19415 Lee Hwy., Abingdon VA 24210. A reception for family and friends will be held before the service on Saturday at 4:00 p.m. in Forest Hills Chapel. A Zoom link for the service is available upon request by emailing [email protected]. Guests are encouraged to share their memories and express words of condolences and sympathy by visiting www. and sign the online guest book.

The family of Robert Franklin Horsch, MD is cared for by Farris Cremation and Funeral Center, 19415 Lee Hwy., Abingdon, VA 24210 (276-623-2700).

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