SOUTH PORTLAND – Robert “Bob” Giamotti CDR, USN Retired, 93, passed away after a brief bout of pneumonia, on Feb. 26, 2014. He was born June 9, 1920, to James and Philomena (DiCicco) Giamotti of Temple, Pa.
Bob was the youngest son of Italian parents. He was a good student at Muhlenberg High School where he excelled in sports, especially baseball and basketball. Dad was the first Italian American in the neighborhood to attend college, graduating in 1942 from Albright College, Reading, Pa., where he received his degree in Economics.
With the outbreak of World War II, he enlisted as a Navy ensign beginning flight school in North Carolina and Louisiana. From 1943-1946 he was the flight navigator for Naval Air Transport Squadrons No. 2,11,8,1 in the south Pacific arena. Always wanting to do something new, Bob signed on to the USS Randall in 1948 as Ops Officer/Navigator leading to Ops Officer, then Acting Executive Officer on the USS Harwood, destroyer escort, and later on the USS Rodman as XO. His sea duty continued as the Pre-Commissioning Officer and Commanding Officer of a new class of minesweeper, the USS Dash. Following the completion of a two year teaching navigation/seamanship assignment at the US Naval Academy in Annapolis, Md., in 1956, he became the Asst. Ops and Scheduling Officer for the entire Sixth Fleet in the Mediterranean. All his hard work and experience lead him to become the Commanding Officer aboard the destroyers, USS Thomas and USS Trathen in Long Beach, Calif.
Although being at sea was his passion, shore duty at the Pentagon lead to an opportunity to pursue his master’s in business administration and many career moves including OPNV Head Fleet Organization and Special Studies and Presentations Group, where he was a researcher and presenter of SEA POWER movies across the country to various service organizations such as Rotary, Lions, Maritime Organizations, Reserve Organizations and other interested groups.
After a 27 year career, Bob retired in 1969, moving his family to Castine where he took the position of Assistant Commandant of Midshipmen at Maine Maritime Academy. He indoctrinated several classes of “MUGS,” midshipmen under guidance, during his first five years receiving commendations for his indoctrination program.
Returning to his love of sports, he became Director of Public Relations and Sports Information Director putting Maine Maritime Academy “on the map,” getting increased visibility for the MMA sports program, nationally and regionally. He made it a point to know every student athlete by name, hometown and high school. Midshipmen affectionately called him “Gio.” During this non-computer age, he “kept the books” of statistics for the basketball teams until 1988 when he retired from MMA. Dad still volunteered his services to score at courtside, checking shots and turnovers through the 2004 season.
In 1998, MMA honored Bob as a loyal supporter of intercollegiate athletics. On April 1, 2001, he was cited by the MMA athletics director “in his recognition of more than a quarter of a century of dedicated service to Maine Maritime athletics.”
In addition to his loyal service to the U.S. Navy and Maine Maritime Academy, he was a member of the Knights of Columbus, Lions Club and the American Legion. Bob had a humorous streak and a quick wit about him that made the people around him feel very much at ease.
Bob was predeceased by his parents; sisters, Marguerite Ott, Elsie Levan, and Dorothy Delcollo; and brother, Freddie Giamotti. His wife of 51 years, Charlotte (McGriff) Giamotti, passed away Dec. 8, 2002. When asked what attracted her to you, he replied “she was cute, vivacious, very straight forward, could level with me and I could depend on her.” Wanting to be close to his eldest daughter, Roberta-Anne McCartan, son-in-law, Kevin and only grandson, Patrick, 20, PopPop moved to South Portland in 2004, where he always attended Patrick’s sports games, swim meets, band concerts and SPHS graduation in 2012.
Declining health warranted his move to assisted living at 75 State Street and most recently to the Barron Center, each giving exceptional love and care! No matter how ill he felt, he always watched sports on TV. Having known and played baseball in the Navy with Ted Williams and Johnny Pesky, he became a diehard Boston Red Sox fan. He was also loyal to the St. Louis Cardinals since his childhood friend, Warren “Auchie” Auchenbach was a team member.
Bob is also survived by daughters, Tina “Woo-woo” Giamotti of Apex, N.C., and Rosemary Duncan and husband, Jim, of Atlanta; sister, Rita (Giamotti) Gaspari of Reading, Pa.; nephews, Jim Giamotti and family of Wernersville, Pa., Bob Ott and family of Sinking Spring, Pa., and Maurice Levan of Memphis, Tenn.; and nieces, Gina Gaspari Quinter of Reading, Pa., Roseanne Sparr and family, of Knoxville, Tenn., Trish Delcollo Cronan and family of Salt Lake City, Julia Lee Delcollo Kleinman-Barr and Veronica Delcollo Eckel and families of Reading, Pa.
A 9 a.m. Mass of Christian burial will be celebrated Tuesday, March 4, at Holy Cross Church, 124 Broadway, South Portland. Cemetery services will be held in Castine, where he will be laid to rest in the spring. Arrangements are by Conroy-Tully Crawford Funeral Home, 172 State St., Portland. Online condolences may be expressed to the family at www.ctcrawford.com.