Catasauqua Press

Friday, September 20, 2019
Robert H. Rissmiller Robert H. Rissmiller

Cement Worker of the Month

Thursday, November 7, 2013 by ED PANY, Curator Atlas Cement CompanyMemorial Museum in Columns

Robert H. Rissmiller

Robert Rissmiller was raised in Moore Township and graduated from Northampton High School in 1971. He recalls, "I studied carpentry at the vo-tech school and my first job was with Fred Koehler, doing home improvements for $2.75 an hour."

Bob followed his grandfather, uncle Clarence Traugher, and father, Harvey, in their cement careers, hired by the Keystone Cement Company on Oct. 15, 1973. Like other new employees, he started on the labor gang at a wage of $3 an hour. The foreman was Gill Harding of Bath.

"We were so busy I worked many weeks of 12-hour shifts," Bob recalls.

In 40 years at the plant, Bob has held a variety of positions working in the electrical substation, unloading railroad coal cars, packing, quarry truck driver and as a crusherman.

"My longest tenure has been in the packhouse as a bulk cement loader," he says. "For 20 years, I worked the midnight shift, loading trucks. I especially recall one Monday morning shift when I loaded 44 tankers during a four-hour period. I worked for some fine foremen, Bob Heist and George Gasper."

Presently Mr. Rissmiller, nickmaned "Rissie," is a panel truck driver, working with Carol Fritz, purchasing agent, in the plant's warehouse. He's busy conveying parts and mail and even bringing in meals for hard working cement workers who are working overtime to keep the plant operating efficiently and safely. His plant radio keeps him in close contact with plant personnel.

"I'm always on call and go where I am needed," Rissie says. "Over the years I have enjoyed good relationships with my co-workers, and I've seen many come and go."

He lauds plant secretaries Diana Borger and Beth Lipko.

With emotion in his voice, he recalls two employees who have passed away. His classmate Luke Banks, Class of '71, and neighbor Barry Edelman. Both are former employees who are sadly missed.

He also coached the girls softball team for Bath-East Allen.

Mr. Rissmiller was a fine student of this writer over at Northampton High School, a student who showed great respect toward his teachers.

He has been married to the former Sally Musselman for 36 years. They are proud of daughters Jess, Heather and Alissa, and grandchildren Derek, Ella, Lila and Trenon.

The Rissmillers are avid campers. "Rissie" has been camping since his youth. The friendly couple resides in Moore Township.

Mr. Rissmiller is a dedicated cement worker with 40 years of service, an amiable and friendly gentleman.

I wish Bob and my friends at Keystone a successful and safe year and hope to return next year to honor another Keystone employee.