SUN CITY CENTER, Fla. — Robert Joseph Marra, 94, formerly of Rouses Point, died Wednesday, June 12, 2013, at his home in Sun City Center, Fla.
He was born in Watertown, N.Y., Aug. 16, 1918, the son of James V. and Mary (Grant) Marra. He was the youngest of five children.
He graduated from Watertown High School in 1936. He received a Bachelor of Science Degree in Chemical Engineering from Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, N.Y. in 1941.
He was employed in the research and development laboratories of Allied Chemical and Dye from 1941 to 1943 and employed by Foster Wheeler Corp as a Design Engineer from 1943 to 1945. While at Foster Wheeler, he met and married Mary Ann Pepi, a resident of New York City, who was also employed by Foster Wheeler. They had three children, Richard Anthony Marra, Thomas Vincent Marra and Margaret Penelope (Penny) Marra. Richard and Thomas are deceased. Penny married Craig Treggett and they now reside in Rouses Point, N.Y. He is also survived by his two grandchildren, Jessica Stevens from Rochester, N.Y. and Tony Marra from Hickory, N.C. as well as three great-grandchildren, Anthony, Taylor and Joseph. Mr. Marra joined Ayerst, McKenna and Harrison Division of American Home Products in Rouses Point in 1945. Ayerst was originally formed in Montreal, Canada and was acquired by American Home Products, a large holding company with headquarters in New York City. Shortly after, a branch was located in Rouses Point in the Union Free School building, which was purchased from the community. The American company name was changed to Ayerst Laboratories Division of American Home Products, or more commonly referred to as Ayerst Laboratories. In March of 2002, the name was again changed to Wyeth Pharmaceuticals. Mr. Marra was the first engineer hired by the new branch in Rouses Point, and as plant engineer, he established the Engineering and Maintenance Dept. During the growth and expansion of the plant in Rouses Point, he took an active part in the management of the company, advancing from Plant Engineer to Executive Vice President and General Manager, serving in this capacity until 1977. Mr. Marra retired from Ayerst in 1980 as Senior Vice President after 35 years of service. After retirement, he and his wife, Mary Ann took upresidence in Marco Island, Fla., where they remained for 20 years after which they moved to a continuing care retirement community in Sun City, Fla. Mrs. Marra passed on April 7, 2009. Mr. Marra continued to reside in the same facility until his death.
While working and living in Rouses Point, he served in the following community activities, Trustee of Rouses Point Village Board, Champlain/Rouses Point Medical Center Board, United Way Board of Clinton County, Council on the Arts, Chairman for one year, Champlain Industrial Management Club, Chairman for one year, Regional Director of Plattsburgh Key Bank board.
Of his many hobbies, his main one was in the field of music. He was a participating member of the Rouses Point community band, he led the band for over 20 years. The band was started with the help of the local American Legion Post 912 and eventually came to be known as the Strawhatters. It has been serving the community continuously since 1945. Mr. Marra was a member from 1946 to 2006. He was a member of the Plattsburgh Symphony Orchestra, under the direction of Dr. Angelo LaMariana for a number of years. He was a member of Big Sound Orchestra of Plattsburgh, led by Jim Frederick, along with several fine music makers from the area for a number of years. While living on Marco Island, he was a member of the Naples Concert Band for 15 years. At Sun City Center, he was a member of the South Hillsboro Concert Band. He was also a member of the Elks for over 29 years and a life member of the Knights of Columbus in Rouses Point.
There will be a celebration of Mr. Marra's life at a date and time to be announced at St. Patrick's Cemetery in Rouses Point. Arrangements are in the care of the Ross Funeral Home, 2586 Route 11, Mooers. To share an online condolence, please visit www.RossFuneralHomes.com.