Robert J. Denari, 84, of Westfield, passed away peacefully with his family around him on September 17, 2017. A loving father of five children, Bob was married for sixty years to the love of his life, Nancy (Porter), who he married on August 10, 1957. Whether in the classroom, on the basketball court, with his grandkids, or even in his car helping someone find their next home, Bob was always teaching, coaching, mentoring, giving advice. The number of lives he has influenced in his 84 years is immense.
Proud to be a second-generation Italian-American, Bob was born on September 3, 1933, to Eugene Denari and Adelaide (Corradi) in South Hollis, New York. A lifelong educator and coach, Bob grew up in Indianapolis, graduating from T.C. Howe High School. He graduated from Indiana University, with a B.S. in Physical Education in 1955 and then proudly served his country in the U.S.
Army from 1955 to 1957, stationed for much of his time in Europe. Later, he earned his M.Ed. (Master of Education) in 1966 from Miami University in Oxford, Ohio.
Beginning his professional career in Ohio, he taught and coached at Washington Township and then Covington.
In 1960, he began his varsity basketball coaching career, ultimately leading his Piqua Catholic High School team to the Ohio state finals in 1964. Bob moved on to Talawanda High School in Oxford, Ohio, for two years, before heading to Troy High School, where he taught biology and coached basketball for seven years. In 1974, he and his wife, Nancy, moved their family of seven to Indiana—themecca of high school basketball—landing first at Northfield High School, before coming to Westfield High School in 1977. Bob coached basketball until 1981 and coached golf until his ! retirement in 1996. While Bob taught many subjects over his fo! ur decades in education—from the 50’s through the 90’s—he primarily taught high school biology, becoming known as "Bio Bob" during his last twenty years of teaching at Westfield High School.
As if that wasn’t enough, Bob also somehow fit in a broadcasting career, where he served as a radio reporter for various professional golf and tennis tournaments, and even hosted an Indianapolis sports radio talk show that included his son, Chris. And, since Bob
wasn’t one to ever really retire, after his teaching career was over, he took his part-time real estate practice with Carpenter Realty to fulltime status, often serving as a mentor to less-experienced agents.
And even with all of tha! t, Bob and Nancy seldom missed the countless ballgames and performances of their grandchildren, and was always ready to give encouragement, and sometimes, loving advice.
Bob is survived by hiswife Nancy; children, Chris Denari (Terry), Tom Denari (Maggie), Susie McCullough (Scott), John Denari (Aine) and Steve Denari (Cassi); grandchildren, Evan Denari, Wil Denari, Max Denari, Jordan Denari Duffner (Chris), Nick Denari, Katie McCullough, Mark McCullough, Sarah McCullough, Kyla Denari, Finn Denari, Alannah Denari, Jack Denari and Hudson Denari.
Calling will begin at 9:00 am on Saturday, September 23rd at St. Elizabeth Seton Catholic Church in Carmel, Indiana, with a funeral mass following at 10:00am. All are encouraged to join in the celebration of Bob’s life at the formerWestfield High School gym (now theWestfield Middle SchoolGym – Door #11) on Shamrock Blvd. in Westfield,! Indiana, from 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm. In lieu of flowers, donations in Bob! ’s memory can be made to the Robert J. Denari Science Education Scholarship Fund, which will provide an annual scholarship to a Westfield High School graduating senior pursuing a science degree. Please go to YouCaring.com/RobertJDenari.
Arrangements were entrusted to Flanner and Buchanan – Carmel.