Robert Gilchrist

Obituary of Robert Allen Gilchrist

Robert Allen Gilchrist (Bob), 77, a respected member of the Corning Incorporated family, Corning Community, and resident of Penn Yan, NY passed away peacefully on April 10th, 2024, surrounded by his family at his home on Keuka Lake.

Bob was born on September 23rd, 1946, in Jeffersonville, Indiana to Virgil and Elizabeth O'Dell Gilchrist. A graduate of Indiana University in Bloomington, IN, he earned his Bachelor of Science degree from the esteemed Kelley School of Business. On December 30, 1968, he married Patricia S. McAllister, the love of his life, in New Albany, IN.

Bob leaves behind a legacy of professionalism, integrity, and kindness. He is survived by his devoted wife of 55 years, Patricia (McAllister) Gilchrist; his children, Dawn (Alexander) Thompson of Raleigh, NC, Matthew (Amy Kennelly) Gilchrist of Southbury, CT, and Robert (Kirsten Caster) Gilchrist of Hilton, NY; nine cherished grandchildren Madeline, Grace, Aidan, Katherine, Sara, Anna, James, Juliet, and Jack and three loving sisters, Jean Killebrew, Claudia Deen, and Ann Grubb.

Bob's professional career began in the United States Navy where he served honorably from 1968 to 1973 as a Chief Engineering Officer achieving the rank of Lieutenant.

As a Corning Incorporated Officer and Executive, Bob held a variety of management positions in both manufacturing and information technology. He started his career as a Maintenance Supervisor and retired as the Senior Vice President of Manufacturing and Engineering. His career of over three decades is best defined by his compassionate and steadfast leadership style and the countless men and women he mentored and coached to become Corning's next generation of leaders.

During and following his career he gave generously of his time to several community organizations. He and his wife were awarded the Spirit of Humanity Award in 2007 by the Greater Steuben Chapter of the American Red Cross for their support of local non-profit organizations over the years. They were also honored by the United Way of the Southern Tier with the Errol Shand Award for Volunteer Services that same year. One of his highest awards was the "Friend of Catholic Charities Award" recognizing his efforts in furthering their mission of building community, strengthening families, reducing poverty, and advocating for justice.

Bob was Vice Chairman of the Board of Directors for Catholic Charities of Steuben County and served as Board President for four terms at the Health Ministry of the Southern Tier. He also lent his time and expertise to various community organizations, including the Boy Scouts of America, the Greater Steuben Chapter of the American Red Cross, and the Rhode Island Chamber of Commerce Federation. Additionally, he generously contributed to advisory boards at Syracuse and Howard Universities.

Beyond his professional achievements, Bob's greatest rewards were "accumulated memories" with his family and friends, especially his children and 9 grandchildren. He enjoyed boating on Keuka, golfing, and winters on Hilton Head Island in SC.

A service honoring Bob's life will be held on Saturday, April 20th, 2024, at 10:00 am at St. Michael's Church, Liberty St., Penn Yan, NY 14527. Following the service, family and friends are invited to gather at the Gilchrist residence, 172 Rt. 54 East Lake Rd., Penn Yan, starting at 12 Noon. Military Honors will be rendered at 12:30 pm. Refreshments will be served throughout the afternoon. Bob will be laid to rest at Walnut Ridge Cemetery in Jeffersonville, IN, at a date to be determined.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made in Bob's honor to the American Cancer Society at or by calling 800-227-2345.

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