Robert B. Sturgill, 86, IBM engineer and poet

September 14, 2004

Robert B. Sturgill, a retired IBM customer service engineer and poet, died of complications from diabetes Thursday at Howard County General Hospital. The Marriottsville resident was 86.

Mr. Sturgill was born in Fort Benton, Mont., and raised on a family farm in Piney Creek, N.C. He moved to Baltimore in 1935.

He was a 1939 graduate of the old Bliss electrical school in Takoma Park, where he studied engineering.

In 1939, he joined the customer service department of International Business Machines Corp., and worked the next four decades.

During World War II, he served in Europe with the Army and attained the rank of technical sergeant.

Mr. Sturgill enjoyed writing poetry. "He was a big fan of Robert Frost, and his poetry was of that variety," said a son, Larry E. Sturgill of Marriottsville.

He was a longtime member and deacon of First Presbyterian Church of Howard County, where services were held yesterday.

Mr. Sturgill also is survived by his wife of 64 years, the former Bernadette Regina Ridgely; two other sons, Jeffrey A. Sturgill of Marriottsville and Larry L. Peters of Ellicott City; a brother, Sidney Sturgill of Piney Creek; a sister, Edna Smith of Highland, Howard County; eight grandchildren; and five great-grandchildren.

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