Cover photo for Robert E. Belfanti, Jr.'s Obituary
Robert E. Belfanti, Jr. Profile Photo
1948 Robert 2016

Robert E. Belfanti, Jr.

October 15, 1948 — October 29, 2016

After battling constant pain from several medical problems, longtime State Representative, Robert E. Belfanti Jr. passed away on October 29, 2016 at his home surrounded by the love of his life, his wife Cecilia “Cec” and his family. Born on October 15, 1948 at Geisinger Medical Center, Danville, he was the son of the late Robert E. Belfanti Sr. and Rose Marie (Rich)Belfanti. Mr. Belfanti had battled several serious medical conditions over the past 2 decades which eventually led to his retirement from the Pennsylvania House of Representatives in 2010. First elected in 1980, he served the 107th District for 3 decades.

Bob attended the St. Peter's Parochial School, Mt. Carmel Catholic High and Mt. Carmel Senior High where he graduated in 1966.

In his youth Belfanti played many sports but really focused on Boy Scouting. He became an Eagle Scout in 1962. As an adult Belfanti returned to Scouting as a charter member of Cub Scout Pack 3178. He and his wife, Cec along with a few others, rekindled Cub Scouting in the Mount Carmel Area following a long term dormancy. He and his wife were extremely active from 1977 through 2002; however, later his committee chairmanship demanded that he remain in Harrisburg more frequently which forced him into a less active role. He has received virtually every award of adult scouting including: The Netami District Award of Merit, The Susquehanna Council Silver Beaver, was named a "Fellow" in The BSA National James West Society and received the Catholic Church's Order of St. George. Bob and his wife were very active in training programs for new Scout Leaders. He was Netami District Vice and Chairman and Board of Directors of the Susquehanna Council.

He was a 'mean drummer' on Wednesday's and weekends in several top rock bands in the region.

The future representative enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps in July of 1967. Following graduation from several USMC States Stateside schools, Lance-Corporal Belfanti left for Vietnam in August 1968. He was promoted to Corporal and then Sergeant during his 13 month tour in Southeast Asia. His helicopter units’, Marine Air Groups 16 and 36 supplied troops, ammunition, armaments, medical and all sorts of other supplies to Marines during operations in the 'I-Corps' region, (closest to North VietNam). His CH-46 Helicopters, known as "Sea Knights" were also the major means for rescuing and providing Medivac's for the wounded. Bob's main basecamps were at Phu-Bai and Marble Mountain. Upon his return stateside in 1969, Sgt. Belfanti immediately married the love of his life, Cecilia (Saduskie) on September 20, 1969 in the former Our Mother of Consolation Church in Mt. Carmel and was stationed at the Marine Air (Helicopter) Station at Cherry Point, North Carolina for the 22 months remaining in his four year obligation, serving as an Air Supply Operations NCO until his honorable discharge. He was blessed by two sons in Robert III in 1970 and Eric in 1973. Sgt. Belfanti was highly decorated both during and after his Service, earning the Navy-Marine Medal, 2 Bronze Stars with "V" Valor, Air Medals, Combat Action Ribbon, Presidential Unit Citation, Vietnam Service Medal, Vietnam Campaign Medal, The Vietnam Cross of Gallantry, Vietnam Civil Action Medal, Vietnam Community Service Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Jump Qualified, Combat Air Crewman (Chief) and Good Conduct Medal. He also qualified as a Rifle Expert 50 cal. Machine Gun and 45 Cal. Pistol Sharpshooter medals.

Dismayed with how the Nixon-Kissinger strategies on winning the Vietnam War were actually at fault for losing the war by pulling combat ready Marines and army troops, air power and material out of Indo-China under their Vietnamization Program. This was causing the needless deaths of the troops who were there just there two years before him when the U.S won every major battle; Mr. Belfanti now entered the ring of politics. First he and Bill Zurick reformed the Northumberland County Young Democrats and Bob was elected President and remained throughout the 1970s. He also was elected State Vice President and State President of the Young Dem's. Mr. Belfanti was also elected the Northumberland County Representative to the Democratic State Committee in 1972 through 1980 when he was elected to public office.

Mr. Belfanti was elected to his first term in The PA House of Representatives in 1980 and was reelected for a total of fifteen 2-year terms. He was truly a proactive State Representative and left a legacy which is quite memorable. Bob was the leading advocate for the working poor and small business, not just in the 107th Legislative District, but statewide throughout his long career. He was honored for his impeccable service by virtually every labor organization in the Commonwealth. He was so fair minded that he was also honored by the Brush Valley Chamber of Commerce as their "Elected Official of the Year" on two separate occasions.

Throughout his tenure, Bob was a member of the Appropriations, Mines and Energy Management, Military and Veterans Affairs, Federal-State Relations, Aging and Youth, Consumer Affairs, Local Government and House Rules Committees. He spent his entire 30 years on the Labor Relations Committee and served as both Majority and Minority Chairman of this powerful "Standing Committee". In addition, Belfanti also served on the Workers Compensation, Unemployment Compensation, Disability and Handicapped Accessibility Boards and Commissions.

Mr. Belfanti was a cofounder of the Northeast Delegation, boasting more members with the exception of Philadelphia including their Sub-Urban Region. For the 1st time in legislative history, members from small northeast counties could run and win important democratic leadership posts including Majority Leader and even Speaker of The House.

Bob admired and loved his fellow veterans. He cofounded the Black Diamond Detachment of the Marine Corps League serving as Senior Vice Commandant and Commandant. He was a life member of the League. He was also a life member of the VFW, Amvets, Veterans of the Vietnam War, The American-United Kingdom Veterans Coalition and the Loyal Order of Cooties. He was a member of the American Legion, Vietnam Veterans of America, Marine Combat Helicopter Association, Mount Carmel Area Joint Veterans Honor Guard, and the PA War Veterans Council. The veteran was also honored by being named an honorary life member of the Centralia Legion, The Mount Carmel Rescue Squad, and the Kulpmont and Danville VFW's. Mr. Belfanti was also honored by receiving membership in the Chapel of Four Chaplains, Kentucky Colonels and Alabama Generals. Belfanti was named Veteran of The Year by the National War Veterans Council and received the Patriot of the Year award.
He was an officer in the PA Civil Air Patrol attaining the rank of Major and was Squadron Co-Commander along with fellow Vietnam Vet Rep. Russ Fairchild.

He was also a member of the Mount Carmel Eagles and was a Fourth-Degree Member of the Mount Carmel Knights of Columbus.

Locally, Representative Belfanti left a Legacy of Leadership synonymous with far too many Projects and Programs to mention but to name a few of the most noteworthy are: saving the Shamokin Hospital from closure; SCI Coal Township, the Route 901 and Strong Connector Highway Improvement Projects; many Centralia issues including the voluntary relocation; the transformation of the Kulpmont Elementary School into a medical college and senior housing multi-purpose center; Reinhart Foods; The Shamokin Creek Project; the bridges at Mt. Carmel and Danville; the expansion of Maria Joseph Manor; major improvements at the Danville Child Development Center; The Foster-Wheeler Co-Gen; many abandoned mine reclamation projects; culm bank remediation projects in Eastern Northumberland County, rail improvement projects and establishment of the SEDA-COG Joint Rail Authority.

Former scout leader, Marine Sergeant and State Representative Robert E. Belfanti, Jr. is survived by his wife of 48 years Cecilia, sons Robert Belfanti III of Mount Carmel and Eric Belfanti and wife Natalie of Linglestown; seven grandchildren, Jacob, Victoria, Eric Jr., Gianna, Patrick, Natalia and Ella; one sister, Jane Gallagher and her husband Ken of Union Deposit; one brother Dave Belfanti and his wife Deborah of Scranton; along with many nephews, nieces and cousins.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated on Wednesday November 2, 2016 at 1:30 pm in Divine Redeemer Church, Mt. Carmel. Very Rev. Martin O. Moran, III Pastor will officiate. Interment with military honors will be held on Thursday at 10:00 am at Indiantown Gap National Cemetery, Annville.

Relatives and friends are invited to attend a viewing on Tuesday from 5:00 pm to 9:00 pm and Wednesday from 10:00 am to 1:00 pm at the Joseph J. Stutz, Inc. Funeral Home, 40 S. Market St., Mt. Carmel.

In lieu of flowers expressions of sympathy can be made to the Janet Weis Children's Hospital, 100 N. Academy Drive, Danville, PA 17822.

Joseph J. Stutz, Inc. Funeral Home, Joseph J. Stutz III, Supervisor is in charge of the arrangements.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Robert E. Belfanti, Jr., please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services


Wednesday, November 2, 2016

10:00am - 1:00 pm (Eastern time)

Joseph J. Stutz, Inc. Funeral Home

40 South Market Street, Mount Carmel, PA 17851

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

Mass of Christian Burial

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Starts at 1:30 pm (Eastern time)

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.


Indiantown Gap National Cemetery

, Merrian, PA 17851

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