Remembering A Southern Tier Leader

By Alice Maggiore
By Giovanni Santacroce

December 12, 2011 Updated Dec 12, 2011 at 8:05 PM EDT

(WBNG Binghamton) Family and friends of Bob Moppert gather at St Patrick's church to honor and remember a Southern Tier leader. Moppert passed away last Wednesday at age 69. He worked for decades to build his community whether as civic leader or economic strategist.

He always had a hearty laugh.

"He was a true friend, he was a go getter," remembers life long friend, Robert Pierce. "If he had something that he had to do, he would get it done. You could count on him."

This is how friends, family, and business associates remember Bob Moppert.

"He was really good at bringing the family together, and he did always, kind of instigate gatherings," says Gina Heffernan, a niece in law.

Gatherings in business, and in Hillcrest Rotary.

"He's Mr. Rotary, himself," says longtime friend Bud Shaw.

"Up until just recently, Bob was still at every single meeting," remembers Broome County Republican Chairman and fellow Hillcrest Rotary Member Dave Hamlin.

Bob was always a cheerleader of the organizations and people he cared about.

"That gave him the capacity to run for county legislator, congress a couple of times, and end up as Director of Economic Development," Hamlin says.

"His ability to run organizations, Rotary and Broome Community College, he's done so many things like that, and he's done it well," says Bud Shaw. A longtime member of the Hillcrest Rotary, he has since moved to Cuba, New York. Still Shaw says he brings Bob's influence with him.

"He and Caroline would stop in Cuba and have lunch with us on the way to Cleveland, which would have been tomorrow," says Marlene Shaw.

"We can honor him by living our lives to the fullest. He left this world a better place, and we were blessed to be touched by him," says Mike Peters, a Rotarian and friend of Moppert's. Peters delivered t he eulogy.

It's what the man who loved life and life in Broome County would have wanted.

"He's in our hearts, in our thoughts, and in the hearts of an awful lot of us here in the Triple Cities," says Hamlin. "I guess that says it, we all feel that way that it's been an honor to have him in our life."

The Hillcrest Rotary says it will honor Moppert with a tribute sometime in the near future.

At one point the Club had 50 members -- mostly because of Moppert's recruiting efforts.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Hillcrest Rotary Scholarship Fund or the Chenango Valley Education Fund.