Robert Thomas ‘Pop‘ Anthony
MARQUETTE — Robert Thomas “Pop” Anthony, 93, of Marquette and Bark River, died Monday, Aug. 3, 2020,at OSF St. Francis Hospital in Escanaba surrounded by his family.
Born May 13, 1927, in Marquette to Irving J. and Mary A. (Molby) Anthony, “Pop” grew up in Marquette. There, he pursued his passions: playing hockey with his brother Joe as they represented the West End rink (now Sandy Knoll) team and hunting and fishing. He loved to tell stories of growing up in Depression-era Marquette, often recalling how everyone in the neighborhood worked together to cut firewood, work gardens and make sure all neighbors had food and wood for heating, rides and access to a phone (still rare in that era). He was also very proud of being one of the early founding families of Marquette and passed down stories he’d heard from grandparents and parents.
“Pop” loved the U.P. and only left it for short periods of time. Although technically graduating Marquette’s Bishop Baraga High School with the Class of 1945, Pop was far away by then, serving his country. As was often the custom during World War II, his mother received his diploma in his absence. He joined the Navy in 1945, attended Navy Corps school (medic training), and was then transferred to the 2nd Division, U.S. Marine Corp and sent to Okinawa, then on to Japan.
Discharged in 1946, “Pop” applied for admission to dental technology school at the University of Indiana. Admission was delayed due to the backlog caused by large numbers of GIs seeking college admission after the war. While waiting, he played hockey for the Marquette Sentinels until leaving for college in 1948. Upon graduating college, he returned to Marquette to start a dental laboratory business with his friend, Andy Anderson. The business just got started in 1950 when the Korean War broke out. “Pop” enlisted in the Army and was assigned to design and assemble mobile dental labs and clinics for MASH units. While serving at Camp A.P. Hill in Virginia, he met and married Emilie Lorraine Rozell. Their first son Mike was born at Camp Pickett, Va.
Upon discharge in 1954, “Pop” returned to Marquette with his family and to his dental laboratory business. Daughter Kathleen and son David were born in Marquette.
His life settled into times of good memories and many stories of raising a family in the U.P.; times at the family camp; joining the Marquette skeet shooting club, and coaching Junior Hockey. “Pop” was an exceptional shot; he became president of the Marquette Skeet Club and participated on many competitive shooting teams. During the filming of the movie “Anatomy of a Murder” in the Marquette area, “Pop” organized and shot with the movie cast at private shoots. He enjoyed telling of shooting with Jimmy Stewart and his friend Ward Bond and co-star Kathy Crosby’s husband Bing Crosby, relating that onlookers either did not figure out who was shooting or acted as if they didn’t notice.
As a junior hockey coach, “Pop” coached hundreds of kids who, 50 years later as gray-haired men, would still address him as “Coach.”
In the 1980s, he remarried to Gloria Lynch. He was recruited by the Michigan Department of Corrections to run their dental laboratory and dental tech training program at the Marquette Branch Prison where he worked until 1992. In retirement, “Pop” went on many hunts in Montana, Quebec, and took an annual fishing trip to northern Ontario with family and special friends. He spent his retirement winters in Casa Grande, Ariz.
When his family started Northern Sun Winery in Bark River, “Pop” took over many jobs and interacted with guests. He lived part-time with second son Dave and his wife Suz at the winery. He quickly became an honored citizen of the area and was popular with returning guests, vineyard volunteers and area residents.
He is survived by daughter, Kathleen Revello of Escanaba; son, Mike of Lacrosse, Wis.; and son and daughter-in-law, Dave and Susan of Bark River; sister-in-law, Jean Anthony of Manistique; brother-in-law, Richard Schmidt of Arlington Va.; granddaughters, Courtney Anthony of Cincinnati, Ohio, Nickie Revello of Shakopee Minn.; grandsons, Tony Revello of Sonoma, Calif., Robert D. Anthony of Arnold, MI, and many nieces and nephews, special friend Dede LaCount of Geneva, Ill., friends and his vineyard “sidekick” Smitty. He was preceded in death by his parents, wives Emilie Lorraine and Gloria, and two brothers, Joe of Manistique, and James of Arlington, Va.
The family plans graveside services at Park Cemetery in Marquette on Wednesday, Aug. 12 at noon and, later, a celebration of his memorable and full life at a future time when the COVID-19 pandemic doesn’t complicate travel and group get-togethers.