Robert Arrigo “Bob” Breschi, a chemist who became an administrative law judge during his cherished second career, died of congestive heart failure Feb. 24 in his Timonium house. He was 83.
Mr. Breschi was born Nov. 1, 1939, in Baltimore to Carlo and Matella Breschi, who both immigrated from Italy in 1933. His father worked as a butler and his mother as a seamstress for John W. Garrett, the former ambassador to Italy. The family spent three years living at the Evergreen House, Garrett’s estate in Loyola/Notre Dame, where they shared one room.
“The world was a better place with him,” said his sister Maria Lombardo of Baltimore.
The Breschi family expanded by three more children and relocated to Westfield Avenue in Hamilton. Mr. Breschi graduated from Loyola Blakefield in 1957 and from then-Loyola College in Maryland in 1961. He met his wife of 60 years, Letitia “Tish” Mahoney, while studying chemistry. The two planned a wedding in three months in 1962 before Mr. Breschi shipped out for basic training in the Army.
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Mr. Breschi served for two years as a medic at a base in Hawaii. When he returned, he continued to work for the Army as a civilian chemist at the then-Edgewood Arsenal and Aberdeen Proving Ground for 25 years.
While working as a chemist, Mr. Breschi attended the University of Baltimore Law School and graduated in 1973. He worked for private law firms in Towson and Baltimore before his next career, working as an administrative law judge for the state of Maryland. As a judge, Mr. Breschi heard unemployment compensation cases.
“He absolutely loved it,” said his son David Breschi of Carlisle, Pennsylvania. “It was his dream job.”
Mr. and Mrs. Breschi moved to Towson and raised three children, Sheila, David and Joe. In the 1970s, Mr. Breschi helped organize an effort to raise the funds needed to buy the neighborhood pool, the Campus Cabana Swim Club, when its owner wanted to sell.
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“It was one of his community engagement activities that he was most proud of — saving the pool and giving a place for families to recreate and gather,” David Breschi said. After raising their family in Towson, Mr. Breschi and his wife moved to Timonium in 2010.
Mr. Breschi considered being a grandfather, nicknamed “Pappy,” the prime of his life. He was a strict father at times, David Breschi said, but as a grandfather to 12 grandkids and one great-grandchild, Mr. Breschi was all fun.
“He was the nicest, most fun, always there with a quip and always showing up to everybody’s events, whether it was his kids’ or his grandkids’,” David Breschi said. “Just a really, really nice down-to-earth guy.”
In his free time, Mr. Breschi and his wife were avid bridge players. He had a large network of friends and was a member of the Knights of Columbus, a Catholic fraternity. He was active in golf leagues.
In addition to his wife, son, sister, grandchildren and great-grandchild, Mr. Breschi is survived by a daughter, Sheila Bolte of Neptune Beach, Florida; a son, Joe Breschi of Chapel Hill, North Carolina; a sister, Angela Stebbings of Shrewsbury, Pennsylvania; and a brother, Louis Breschi of Baltimore.
He was preceded in death by a brother, George, and a grandson, Michael R. Breschi.
A viewing was held at Ruck Funeral Home on Wednesday. A funeral service was held Thursday at St. Joseph’s Church in Cockeysville followed by a burial service at Dulaney Valley Gardens.
A previous version of this article misstated the late John W. Garrett's job. The Sun regrets the error.