Dominic Roberti, chemistry professor

Dominic M. Roberti
Dominic M. Roberti
Posted: July 22, 2014

Dominic M. Roberti, 81, of Bryn Mawr, a chemistry professor and longtime cancer survivor who helped others face lives as cancer patients, died Tuesday, July 15, of a heart attack at his home.

Dr. Roberti worked for nearly 30 years at St. Joseph's University before retiring in 1995. He taught and held a variety of administrative positions, including acting dean in 1968 and 1969.

He helped author the report that led to the admission of the first women to St. Joseph's in 1970.

Dr. Roberti returned to teaching in 1971, and developed environmental and food-chemistry classes designed for nonscience majors. The classes were aimed at teaching social responsibility, his family said.

Dr. Roberti was diagnosed with prostate cancer in 1993, and underwent a variety of surgical and pharmaceutical treatments for the rest of his life.

Because he was so familiar with what patients face, he dedicated much of his free time to supporting other cancer patients, especially those who were newly diagnosed, as a volunteer in the Cancer Support Community in Fairmount Park.

He went about the work quietly and humbly, said his wife, Carole Miller Roberti. He would come home and tell his wife: "They're so frightened, but I can share my experience with them as a person who lived 20 years. There is hope."

In addition to his cancer support activities, Dr. Roberti was active in organizations dedicated to peace and social justice: the Catholic Peace Fellowship, the Catholic Worker, and the Interfaith Walk for Peace and Reconciliation. He also was active in the Philadelphia Buddhist Association.

In the last 15 years, he taught adult education classes related to meditation and Buddhism.

Born in Philadelphia, he grew up on Girard Avenue. His parents were born in Italy; his father worked in a clothing factory, his mother as a seamstress.

Dr. Roberti graduated from St. Thomas More High School in 1951. He won a scholarship to St. Joseph's, majoring in chemistry. He graduated third in his class and was the top science student.

Dr. Roberti received his doctorate from Princeton University in 1959, and worked at DuPont Chemicals and Villanova University before joining the faculty at St. Joseph's in 1966.

In addition to his wife, he is survived by a son, John; daughter Rosemary R. Browne; and six grandchildren.

A memorial service will be held at 11 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 9, at the Medical Mission Sisters Chapel, 8400 Pine Rd. Interment was private.


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