Robert “Bob” Bartholomew Harney, 90, of Dickerson, MD passed away on January 2, 2020.
Robert was the loving companion of 35 years to Sue Parro.
Born on October 20, 1929 in Roseland, New Jersey, he was the son of the late William J. and Dorothy Chivers Harney and he was one of twelve brothers and sisters growing up in the Baltimore area.
Bob proudly served in the U.S. Army and was stationed at the White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico until July 1948. He served under Dr. Wernher von Braun, the American-German Aerospace Engineer, whose team helped to develop highly classified military missiles and equipment for the U.S.
After his military service, Bob went to work for Bilton Insulation and became one of their top salesmen. He enjoyed working with his hands and eventually started his own general contracting business. He lived in Virginia for many years where he was involved in Cub Scouts, Boy Scouts, and the Knights of Columbus, where he became a Grand Knight. He moved from Virginia to Maryland and after living in Bowie, Maryland, for a few years, he moved to Poolesville, Maryland, where he opened a small gift shop in town called Country Junction. When an opportunity arose several years later, he closed that shop and opened a gift shop in Harpers Ferry, West Virginia. The shop was quite popular with tourists. He bought a mobile home on the Shenandoah River so that he could work in the shop on weekends, and when the shop was closed, he enjoyed relaxing and fishing on the river.
Bob stayed busy working all his life, but still managed to have a large family along the way. He married Joan Crook (deceased) and they had two sons, Stephen (deceased in 1991) and Gary. After his first marriage, he married Carol Marino (deceased) and they had one son, Paul. Bob later met Sue Paro and they have been together for over 35 years. Sue has two children, whom Bob always treated as his own, Andrea Paro and Tom Paro. Along with all these children came grandchildren and great-grandchildren, and the family tree continues to grow! The list of names goes like this (not necessarily in order but close).
Stephen's Children: Christopher Harney, David Harney
Gary's Children: Jason Robert Harney, Lindsey Harney (Sean Pettner) Emily Harney (Enrico Boudreau)
Paul's Children: Loran Harney-Lillard (Greg Lillard), Megan Harney, Morgan Harney
Andrea's Children: Tallulah Sandler, Delilah Sandler
David's Children: Emory Harney, Olivia Harney, and two stepchildren, Dayton Mastin and Anna Brown
Jason's Children: Rhiannon Harney, Jason Robert Harney, Jr., Logan Harney
Lindsey's Children: Haley Rohrbaugh, Jake Rohrbaugh, Luke Robert Rohrbaugh
Emily's Children: Tiano Boudreau, Evonna Boudreau
Bob was also loved by over 100 nieces and nephews. He did have a special bond with his niece, Barbara Harney, who was also his goddaughter. She and her family stayed very close with Bob and they were able to visit often over the years right up until his last day.
As the years went on Bob became much busier with the contracting business and eventually gave up the shop in Harpers Ferry. He still enjoyed going to the river whenever possible. He never officially "retired" but he and Sue were excited to extensively renovate an old farmhouse in Dickerson, Maryland, where they have lived for the past several years. They devoted their time to gardening and cutting grass (even up through this past summer Bob was out on the tractor cutting grass most days). They even raised cows for a year or so. Gary and Paul joined forces in business in 2008 and asked Bob to open a gift shop again at their business location. He loved to come in a few days a week and also enjoyed building doll houses, still working with his hands and doing construction right through his 80s!
We have all been blessed in one way or another to have known Bob or been related to him. Each of us has at least one, or maybe a few, stories to share about Bob and how he impacted our lives. We should all live to be as healthy as "Bob the Builder" was at 90 years old...and still have all our original parts!
He is survived by three sons, Gary Harney and wife Gibbie of Hedgesville, WV, Paul Harney and wife Chrissie of Poolesville, MD, Tom Paro of Los Angeles, CA; one daughter, Andrea Paro of Bethesda, MD; two brothers, John Harney and wife Diane of FL, Michael Harney and wife Sandy of MD; one sister, Lucille Norton and husband Robert of VA; 10 grandchildren and 12 great-grandchildren.
Robert was preceded in death by one son, Stephen Harney; eight siblings, Mary, William, Dottie, Thomas, Frank, Betty, George, Jimmy.
Family will receive friends on Thursday, January 9 from 10-11 AM at Hilton Funeral Home, 22111 Beallsville Road, Barnesville, MD 20838, where services will follow at 11 AM. Interment to follow at Monocacy Cemetery, 19801 W Hunter Rd, Beallsville, MD 20839.