Robert L. Votta, 85, formerly of Upper Darby, a retired mail dispatcher and machinist and a decorated veteran of World War II and Korea, died of multiple organ failure Thursday at Naamans Creek Country Manor in Boothwyn.
Mr. Votta enlisted in the Marine Corps after graduating from St. Thomas More High School in Overbrook. He spent more than two years fighting in the Pacific. He was wounded by shrapnel on Iwo Jima and received a Purple Heart.
After his discharge, Mr. Votta worked a variety of jobs. In January 1950, he decided to enlist in the Army, and a recruiter assured him he would be stationed in Europe, said a son, Richard.
Instead, he was sent to Korea and participated in the heavy fighting along the Yalu River separating China and North Korea. He was awarded a Korean Service Medal with one Silver Star and one Bronze Star.
Returning home, Mr. Votta studied engineering at the Drexel Institute of Technology, the predecessor of Drexel University, and then applied for a job with Bell Telephone. But he was told he was too old and instead joined the Post Office, his son said.
While working as a mail dispatcher at 30th Street, Mr. Votta was a part-time machinist at the Inquirer printing plant in Philadelphia. When he retired from postal work in 1980, he became a full-time Inquirer employee before retiring a second time in 1993.
His three sons, Richard, Bartholomew, and Robert, also worked at The Inquirer. Mr. Votta always put in a good word with his bosses for anyone he knew who needed a job, Richard Votta said.
For 26 years, Mr. Votta was married to Rose Cecale Votta. The couple met at Chez Vous Ballroom in Upper Darby and raised a family in Upper Darby. She died in 1980. Five years later, Mr. Votta married Helen Kennedy.
From 1993 until 2008, the couple lived in the Villas in Cape May, where he was a volunteer for Meals on Wheels and a member of the Villas Fishing Club and the Golden Agers. He was also a member of the Knights of Columbus, the American Legion, and the Veterans of Foreign Wars.
In addition to his wife and sons, Mr. Votta is survived by stepchildren Edward, Kevin, Thomas, and Christopher Kennedy; two brothers; 10 grandchildren; and three great-grandchildren.
A Funeral Mass is scheduled for 11 a.m. tomorrow at St. John Chrysostom Roman Catholic Church, 617 S. Providence Rd., Wallingford. Friends may call from 9 a.m. Burial will be in SS. Peter and Paul Cemetery, Marple Township.