Robert “Bob” L. Gang Jr. ’39, L’42 never let aging get in the way of living. When he was 78, he and his friend cut down 60 trees to build a log cabin. At age 80, he hiked 16 miles around his beloved Otisco Lake home. He continued to practice law well into his 80s and ski up until he was 88. He was hunting deer into his 90s, and still camping (sleeping in a lean-to by the water) at age 96. He regularly went to the Skaneateles YMCA and Community Center until he was 102.
Gang passed away on Feb. 18, 2023, a few months shy of his 105th birthday. The World War II and Korean War Army veteran, attorney, outdoorsman and world traveler demonstrated the meaning of the phrase Forever Orange in his loyalty to his alma mater and his determination to serve others through the skills he learned as a student.
Last year, Syracuse University named Gang a “Hometown Hero” at a celebration during a campus football game (the game ball holds a place of honor in his home). The National Veterans Resource Center at the Daniel and Gayle D’Aniello Building also featured his Eisenhower jacket and military memorabilia in an exhibition last year. And on his 103rd birthday, College of Law Dean Craig Boise celebrated the oldest living alumnus of the college with a party at Gang’s home and a proclamation recognizing the day as “Bob Gang Day.”
Dean Boise paid tribute once again to Gang in a message to the College after he died, noting that Gang had practiced law for 50 years and continued to do pro bono work well into his 80s: “His dedication to the legal profession, to country and to service, his palpable commitment to family and community, and his smile were infectious.”