Robert Anthony Gasser, 94 years young, died peacefully March 17, 2019 at the UVM Medical Center in Burlington with family at his side. Robert was born in Manhattan, N.Y., the firstborn son of Anne and Carl Gasser. He grew up in St. Albans, N.Y.
In 1943 during World War II, he was drafted into the Army at the age of 19. He had completed his first year of college at that time. Robert served in the Military Police Unit of the 100th Infantry Division in Europe from 1943-1946. His division crossed the Atlantic through the Straits of Gibraltar into the Mediterranean. They landed at Marseille, France in assault boats. They fought up under fire through Lyon, Dijon, and Avignon, France into the Vosges Mountains in 1944 to Strasbourg, France. The Division crossed the Rhine into Germany, then fought south into Stuttgart, Germany, where the war ended in 1945 in Germany. The 100th Division was then told to pack up and move to California, to prepare for the assault on Japan, when President Truman dropped the atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. This ended the war against Japan. Robert was then transferred to Heidelberg, Germany, where he joined the Army’s Criminal Investigation Division until 1946. This work involved arresting American and German criminals engaged in murder, rape and the black market. In April 1946, Robert returned home. He returned to St John’s University to finish his undergraduate studies, receiving a Bachelor of Arts degree. He then completed Law School at St. John’s University in 1951 on the GI Bill.
Robert married the love of his life, Elizabeth (Betty) Sharry, in October 1951. Elizabeth graduated from Radcliffe College in 1946, then taught in Asheville, N.C. until their marriage. They were joyfully married for 64 years. They raised four children, born from 1952-1957; Robert Gasser Jr. (Vienna, Va.), Stephen Gasser (Sacramento, Calif.), Elizabeth Gasser (Shelbume, Vt.), and Anne Colmenero (Charlotte, Vt.). They instilled in their children examples of self-sacrificing love, deep faith, and strong work ethic.
Robert was employed by Allstate Insurance Company in New York. Allstate was a relatively new company in 1951 and seeking to expand when Robert began his career there. Robert remained there for 37 years, rising up into senior management positions throughout Long Island and New York State. He also worked in Allstate’s Legal Department on Long Island, N.Y. for many years until retirement in 1988. During his retirement, Robert enjoyed serving as a lector at St .Catherine of Siena Church in Shelbume. His love of Jesus and great faith touched many souls there through his reading of the scriptures during Mass. Robert was also an avid reader and lifelong New York Yankees fan.
Robert was predeceased by his beloved wife, Betty (his “Dear One”) four years ago, as well as his mother and father, sister Miriam and brother Charles. He is survived by his four children. He is also survived by eight beloved grandchildren, who kept him young at heart.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at St. Catherine of Sienna Church in Shelburne, on Friday, March 22, 2019 at 12:15 p.m. Burial will be in the spring at Shelburne Village Cemetery. Arrangements are in the care of the Ready Funeral Home in Burlington.