Robert S. McKillip, the son of Howard and Mary Donovan McKillip died on Saturday March 5, 2011. He was born March 15, 1932.
He graduated from Saranac Lake High School in 1949, where he was a string bass player in a local band, orchestra and dance band. In 1952 he graduated from Paul Smiths College with a degree in Resort Management. He then went to Michigan State where he graduated in 1954 with a bachelor’s degree in Hotel, Restaurant and Institutional Management. In 1970 he received his master’s in education from Plattsburgh State.
Bob spent 34 years in food service. He worked at Michigan State from 1954 – 1958. In 1958 he became food service manager at Georgetown University Hospital. Bowling Green was his next stop. In 1960 he supervised students at Disney Land and worked part time for Ron Butler at Howard Johnsons. Bob left Disney to become the first manager of the Hotel Saranac and student instruction. He was proud of the many successful students he taught that went on to work for Holiday Inns, Howard Johnsons, Marriott, Hilton, Sheraton, Stouffers, Days Inns, Walt Disney World and Red Lobster.
He retired from Paul Smiths College in 1984 and then became Food Service Manager at the General Hospital of Saranac Lake. Not able to sit still he also worked part time at the Blue Line Sports Shop. Bob was a third generation Democrat. He spent over 30 years attending democrat meetings and functions. His family was such stout Democrats that Geraldine Ferraro stopped at his house to see his mother and him the year prior to her run for Vice President. He has worked as an Election Day Official and inspector for longer than anyone can remember. He was named Franklin County Democrat of the Year, where they had a golf tournament at the Malone Country Golf Club in his honor.
He worked as a volunteer in the Adirondack Room of the Saranac Lake Free Library. For thirteen years he selected pictures and did the captions for the historical pictures that have been published in the Adirondack Daily Enterprise. Many authors used his historical knowledge of the area in books and magazine articles. His name is mentioned several times.
Golf was a sport he played since 1968. He was on the Board of Directors of the Saranac Lake Golf Club, played in the couple’s league on Monday nights and was a spotter for Inter-club-play. Bob was an official of the Dechantel Tenants Association; the Treasurer of the Saranac Lake Lions Club, served on the St. Bernard’s Parish Council and was an usher for St. Bernard’s Church. He was a Calculation official at the Lake Placid Cross Country Track and Ski Jumps from 1963 -2004.
He was a member of the Saranac Lake Knights of Columbus for 36 years and was awarded an honorary Life Membership. Bob was involved in many charity projects and ran the bingo program for the Saranac Lake Council. From 1997 to 2008 he was Grand Knight and held many other offices over the years. The Saranac Lake Order of the Elks gave him an honorary life membership three years ago. He was North District Chairman of youth activities and community activities for eight years; and was elected state Vice President of the North District. He organized the Elks tag day for a scholarship every year, cooked and worked most dinners, did all the paper work at the Elks “Hoop Shoot” and “Soccer Shoot”, and served as Esquire for the past ten years. The local Elks gave him a roast eight months ago which was attended by three past state presidents.
Survivors include his brother Richard and his wife Claire of Madison, CT, Aunt Eleanor McKillp of Saranac Lake, Cousins Elizabeth Boken of Myrtle Beach, SC, Peg and Kerry Kelly of Saranac Lake, Phil McKillip of IL, Jim and Nancy McKillip of Albany, NY and Mike and Sue McKillip of Rainbow Lake, NY.
Funeral arrangements are in care of the Fortune-Keough Funeral Home in Saranac Lake. Calling hours and a mass of Christian Burial at St. Bernard’s Church will take place at a later date to be announced.
Memorial contributions can be sent to High Peaks Hospice or purchase a mass card. Family and friends can also share their memories and sign the online guestbook at fortunekeoughfuneralhome.com.