Robert Mahalidge

Obituary of Robert Mahalidge

Robert J. Mahalidge November 30, 1950 – October 3, 2021 ARCHBALD – Robert J. Mahalidge, 70, of Archbald, passed away peacefully after an illness at Lehigh Valley Hospital in Allentown on Sunday morning, October 3, 2021, in the company of his family. Born on November 30, 1950, he was the son of the late Ann (Alunni) Mahalidge and Joseph Mahalidge Jr. of Jessup. His wife of 46 years is Christine Ghilardi Mahalidge. Bob grew up in Jessup, was a 1968 graduate of Jessup High School and received his bachelor’s degree from the University of Scranton in 1974. In 1975 Bob married Christine Ghilardi at St. Mary’s Assumption Church in Jessup where he was a lifelong member. They settled in Dickson City and had a daughter, Denise. In 1992, they moved to Archbald. Bob worked at two careers throughout his adult life - earning his living as a grocer at multiple companies where he held a variety of management positions and following his passion officiating collegiate and high school baseball, basketball, and football. He started as a teenager in 1968, going to work with his uncles at Alunni’s Market in Jessup, where he spent more than two decades before moving to management positions at Insalaco’s in Old Forge, Bi-Lo markets, later Quinn’s Markets in Blakely, and Shoprite in Mount Pocono. He retired from his professional life in 2010. Bob was a lifelong fan of the New York Yankees and New York Giants. His passion for baseball began in childhood playing little league and teener league. In high school, he played baseball for Jessup High School and American Legion Baseball for Archbald Post 320. Bob found his home in the game as an umpire, dedicating some 50 years to what was his avocation. In 1970 he became an official with American Legion Baseball as well as with the Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association. He attended the Harry Wendlestadt Umpire School in Florida in 1975 and began umpiring at the collegiate level. His umpiring career included numerous collegiate playoffs and tournaments, three PIAA state finals, 10 American Legion regional tournaments, and three Pennsylvania American Legion state championships. Early in his career, Bob met and got to know renowned Major League Baseball umpires Joe Papparella of Peckville and Nestor Chylak, a native of nearby Olyphant, both members of the National Baseball Hall of Fame. Chylak gifted Bob with a brush he used to clear off home plate and Bob went on to use it throughout his years calling balls and strikes. Bob’s tenure with American Legion Baseball included nearly three decades as president of the legion’s District 11 League in Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, from 1980-2003 and again for the past six years. Earlier this year, Bob was honored to be inducted into the Pennsylvania American Legion Baseball Hall of Fame. Bob’s officiating career encompassed all seasons, including 48 years as a PIAA football official and 43 years as a basketball official. He retired from those roles in 2019. Over the course of more than 40 years, Bob also took on responsibilities of assigning umpires and officials for American Legion Baseball, PIAA baseball, basketball, and soccer, as well as for collegiate competitions. He received multiple honors in recognition of his efforts and contributions including his 2005 induction into the Pennsylvania Sports Hall of Fame and the 2019 Marty Boyer Memorial Sportsmanship Award, in honor of a former fellow high school football and wrestling referee. Bob was a straight shooter and he lived his life as if he were always calling balls and strikes.No one ever had to guess what he was thinking. He was instrumental in helping many officials who were starting out and that gave him such satisfaction. Of all his awards and accomplishments, the friendships he has with his fellow officials were a tremendous reward, especially throughout these last few months. In recent years, Bob enjoyed sharing his enthusiasm for sports with his young grandsons, Lucas and Austin, who were the loves of his life. Bob enjoyed watching and listening to Yankees baseball games, working in his yard, and taking trips to France and Spain, Walt Disney World, Las Vegas and Atlantic City with Christine. Despite his many work obligations, Bob nurtured family connections across generations. He welcomed his father-in-law to live with his family following the death of his wife. He enjoyed visiting often with his mother nearby in Jessup, as well as attending and hosting many holiday and family gatherings with his siblings, nieces and nephews, and extended family. Bob also was a member of the Jessup Hose Company # 1 and the Holy Name Society at St. Mary’s Church (now Queen of Angels Parish). Bob’s family wishes to thank primary care physician Dr. Daniel Shust and cardiologists Dr. Nishant Sethi and Dr. Matthew Stopper in Scranton along with the cardiologists of the Lehigh Valley Heart and Vascular Institute Dr. Apurva Vyas, Drs. Anil and Jatin Gupta, and in particular Dr. Sima Hodavance who guided them through Bob’s journey with heart failure. Much gratitude as well for the care and kindness from the nurses at Regional Hospital of Scranton and Lehigh Valley Hospital – You are really heroes. Bob is survived by his wife, Christine Mahalidge, of Archbald; his daughter, Denise Mahalidge Derricks and her husband Matthew Derricks, of Breinigsville, Pa.; grandsons Lucas and Austin Derricks; his brother, Edward Mahalidge, and wife Lee Ann, of Clarks Summit; his sister, Jodi Tomassoni, and husband David Tomassoni, of Archbald; nieces Alexa Mahalidge and husband Lawrence Gilman, of Bryn Mawr; Celina Mahalidge, of Clarks Summit; Mia and Eva Tomassoni, of Archbald. He was predeceased by his parents and brother, Joseph Mahalidge III. Calling hours will be 5 to 7p.m. on Thursday, October 7, at the Louis M. Margotta Funeral Home, 511 Church St., Jessup. A funeral mass will be held on Friday, October 8, at 10 a.m., at Queen of Angels Parish (formerly St. Michael’s Church), 322 First Ave., Jessup, with burial following at St. John’s Cemetery. Attendees at the indoor gatherings and services are asked to wear a facial covering due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, and please observe social distancing. Memorial Contributions may be made to Valley Community Library, 739 River Street, Peckville, PA 18452. Plans are under way to establish a fund to create the Bob Mahalidge Umpire Recruitment and Training Scholarship. For details to contribute email Funeral arrangements by Louis M. Margotta Funeral Home. To send online condolences, visit
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