Robert A. Spatola, Sr. of Lyndell, a former executive at Chester County wine company and generous philanthropist, has died aged 83.
Spatola grew up in Lower Merion. He graduated from Villanova University before joining the U.S. Coast Guard.
When he retired as a commander in 1977 after seventeen years, he moved to the Downingtown area to run Spatola Wines, the family wine and spirits business.
He stayed with the company until 1994, and retired as President and CEO.
Following that, Spatola opened a Christmas tree farm on his Lyndell property.
The “Farmer in Lyndell” was a wonderland where families could cut their own trees becoming a tradition to many.
Spatola focused his philanthropy work on supporting people with disabilities, particularly Thorndale’s Handi-Crafters, a nonprofit that employs over 300 adults with disabilities.
He served on the nonprofit’s Board of Directors and as Chair for two terms.
He received the 2016 Best Friend Award for his commitment to Handi-Crafters and its mission.
His fund-raising efforts were recognized with a building named The Spatola Center.
Spatola is survived by his wife Hannah Bob, daughters Kate Spatola, Jeanne Spatola, and Nan Spatola Fisher, son Bob Spatola, Jr., brother Joseph F. Spatola, III., 10 grandchildren, and three great-grandchildren.