Dr. Robert Ira "Bob" Witchel
June 10, 1948 - May 3, 2017

Funeral Information

May 5 2017 - 10:00 am
Beth Shalom Cemetery, 1501 Anderson Road, Pittsburgh (Shaler Township), PA 15209

WITCHEL, DR. ROBERT IRA "BOB": Suddenly on Wednesday, May 3, 2017; Cherished and beloved husband of Deborah Witchel. Beloved father of Rebekah Arnold (Doug), Joshua Clark (Yumin), Jeremy Witchel and Tonya Witchel. Much loved and adored Zadie of Noah and Abigail. Son of the late Milton and Pearl Witchel. Brother of Jeffrey Witchel (Sharon). Also survived by his nieces, Rebecca and Madeline. Bob was born in Brooklyn, NY on June 10, 1948. He was deeply cherished and loved by all that knew him. He was adored by all his students and colleagues in his 40+ year career as the Professor of Community Counseling in the graduate program at Indiana University of Pennsylvania. He also gave his advice, wisdom and support to thousands of people in his practice as a psychologist for over 40 years.  Bob always put his family first, selflessly. He cherished every day with his wife, children and grandchildren. He had a deep love of music and helped others by connecting his music with his work. Bob was the best cheerleader for all his family. He always had a way of making even a difficult situation okay. He loved our yearly family trips to Florida and always looked forward to traveling to new places. He will be missed deeply beyond words by everyone who knew him and especially his children, grandchildren and his wife and best friend, Debbie. Graveside Services and Interment will be held on Friday, May 05, 2017 at 10 AM at Beth Shalom Cemetery. Contributions may be made to Anti-Defamation League, 605 3rd Avenue, #10, New York, NY 10158, www.adl.org. Arrangements entrusted to Ralph Schugar Chapel, Inc. www.schugar.com


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My thought and prayers are with his family. I was in the very first Masters program in Monroeville in 2000 and he was such an amazing person. He was so inspirational and supportive through all of my time there, and I'm still utilizing what I learned from him in my current employment position. He will be dearly missed.

By Brooke M. Kapustik - May 13, 2017

I knew Bob, initially, as a supportive faculty member in the Counseling Department in the late '80's, and later as a wonderful IUP colleague. His positive influence will be missed. My prayers for you all, his cherished family and friends. Cathy

By Dr. Catherine Dugan - May 09, 2017

I extend my deepest sympathy to the family of Dr. Witchel as well as his colleagues and many, many students. I had the honor of being one of Dr. Witchel's students at IUP where I earned my MA in Community Counseling in 1991. Dr. Witchel was an inspiration to me then and now. My commitment and passion as a professional counselor is due in large part to the wisdom and skills Dr. Witchel imparted to me. The professional counseling community has lost a true gem.

By Dr. Cynthia L. Taylor - May 05, 2017

We are deeply saddened by Bob's passing. He was the heart of the IUP counseling program that we both completed. May you find comfort in God's grace and the prayers of all those who knew and loved him. Lynda and Bob Sukolsky (class of 91 & 92)

By Lynda and Bob Sukolsky - May 05, 2017

Debbie, I was shocked and saddened to hear about Bob\\\'s passing. As others said, Bob\\\'s classes were the most memorable and impactful. It was a privilege to have gotten to know both of you back in the days of Cohort 4. You and your family will be in my thoughts and prayers. I send my deepest sympathies.

By Karen Tuschel - May 05, 2017

My deepest sympathy goes out to Bob’s family, including his colleagues and students. It has been several years since I worked with Bob, but remember him fondly, dashing down the hall in Stouffer with energy and enthusiasm. Rest well, Bob, your work here has touched so many individuals, directly and indirectly. Many will carry on and help others, because of you.

By Cindy Bright - May 04, 2017

Worked as Bob's secretary in the Counselor Education Dept. at IUP. Have fond memories of him and am so sorry for your loss. Thoughts & prayers.

By Linda Butler - May 04, 2017

My sincerest condolences to you and your family. Dr. Witchel was an amazing teacher, advisor and support...he will truly be missed. Anise Walker c/o 1995

By Anise Walker - May 04, 2017

So sorry to hear about the sudden loss of a wonderful man. I had the honor of being one his graduate students at IUP and will forever be grateful for being to learn from him. Sending positive thoughts and prayers to the family.

By Tracy J Stone - May 04, 2017

I had the opportunity to get to know Dr. Witchel just this past semester with having two classes with him. Even in this short period of time, he was a huge influence on me. He is by far the professor who has had the most impact on me as a counseling student. He taught us about things no one else does, like integrative, natural alternatives to medications. He was an amazing person and professor and he will be deeply missed. I am grateful for having to have the chance to know him and learn from him.

By Jessica Richards - May 04, 2017

I am so saddened to hear of Bob\'s passing. He was always available to talk to me about anything. I met him at IUP when I was a counseling student and we became good friends. Bob was an amazing spirit and we could always have a good laugh. He taught me how important human kindness is and that we all need love and to be good to ourselves. I am going to miss him so much, my heart is aching.

By Sharon Nau - May 04, 2017

Dear Debbie and Josh, Our deepest condolences to you and your family on the demise of beloved Bob. We were so privileged to have met and known him. He was a very kind, generous and sensible person. We were so looking forward to seeing him again in July. He will be deeply missed. May he rest in peace. With Sympathies, CP, DJ and family

By Wong CP & Ho DJ - May 04, 2017

I just read the Department of Counseling latest Facebook post. I am having a difficult time accepting that the one of the very few people - ALIVE and authentic - is gone. I was fortunate enough to be a student in his grief class last year.

By Carol A Maderer - May 03, 2017