Robert Barr Keplinger, Jr.,
Age 88, a resident of the House of Loreto in Canton, OH, passed away Dec. 27, 2020 from complications from Covid. Born June 8, 1932, in Canton, Ohio, son of Robert Barr Keplinger, Sr. and Anne Hannon Keplinger. Preceded in death by his parents, and his half-sister Jane Swasey. Graduated from McKinley High School and Cornell University with a BA in History. His interest in architecture, art, and news were evidenced early in his life in the newspaper he designed, wrote, and distributed in his neighborhood, running an advertisement for his architectural services. Later in life, he designed and built three homes, including his home on Lake Mohawk, and the custom home in Hills and Dales, where he raised his family. He had a deep love of and appreciation for history (especially Canton’s), classical cars, opera, musicals, and classical music, and he was a veritable walking encyclo-PETE-ia of historical events, antique car makes and models, overtures and other classical works - basically everything. He purchased and restored a 1948 Packard Convertible, in which he proudly drove friends and family around town in the summertime. Gardening was a particular passion of his; he was especially fond of rhododendron, azalea and mountain laurel. He had a tremendous sense of style and good living, wearing Lily Pulizter trousers, colorful madras jackets, and humorous ties, eating and drinking incredibly well (Connie, his wife, is a gourmet cook!), and interesting travel, especially to Virginia, North Carolina, and France. He was a lifelong supporter and Honorary Board Member of the Canton Symphony Orchestra, serving as their President for many years. He was a member of St. Timothy’s Episcopal Church in Massillon, serving on the vestry and as Senior Warden. He was the Assistant Superintendent of the Metropolitan Fire Brick Company. He founded Structural Stoneware Inc. in Minerva, Ohio. He was on the board of Whitacre Greer. He is survived by his loving wife of 53 years, Connie, daughter Elizabeth Keplinger, son-in-law Andrew Keene, grandchildren Dylan and Hayden Keene, daughter Helen Keplinger, son-in-law Douglas “DJ” Warner, grandchild Emerson Keplinger-Warner. He was well known and will be remembered for his kindness, humor, wit, and puns. While he was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s over five years ago, a difficult disease which affected his impeccable memory and ever-articulate speech, he never lost his kindness, optimistic outlook, and love for people. For someone who loved to share history and funny stories, watching him lose what was an integral part of his being was painful to all who knew and loved him. (Dad, you are now free to once again share your mountain of knowledge, make us laugh with your puns and jokes, and mix the perfect dirty martini.) A private committal service will be held Mon., Jan. 4, 2020 in West Lawn Cemetery. There will be no calling hours. A memorial service will be scheduled when it is safe to congregate, which will hopefully be on his birthday, June 8, 2021. The Formet-Clevenger & Gordon Funeral Home in Canton is in charge of arrangements. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to St. Timothy’s Episcopal Church in Massillon or the Canton Symphony Orchestra. Condolences may be left at: www.gordonfuneralhomes.com.
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