“I am so pleased to be able to establish this fund in memory of Bob. He genuinely loved the Beckley area, so I cannot think of a more appropriate way to honor his memory. I will always remember his acceptance speech for the Spirit of Beckley award in 2005, because he talked about growing up all over the country and how he felt about his arrival in Beckley. To illustrate what he thought the “spirit” of Beckley was, Bob quoted Matthew 25:35, “For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me.” It is my hope that the establishment of this memorial fund will help BAF continue to make significant contributions to the Beckley area and the wonderful people that are fortunate enough to call this area home.”
— Melinda Ashworth Kiss
Bob was born in Elizabeth, New Jersey to Matthew Joseph Kiss, Sr., and Catherine Elizabeth Schnarr. As a military family, Bob's family resided in many places during his youth. Bob moved to WV upon graduation from law school in 1982 and remained a proud West Virginian by choice for the remainder of his life.
Bob was a devoted father and husband. If you knew Bob, you knew that his twin sons were the light of his life and he always put them before any professional or political responsibility. Bob was a Catholic and a member of Saint Agnes Catholic Church in Charleston, WV.
Bob received his B.A. Degree in Economics from The Ohio State University in 1979 and his J.D. degree from The Ohio State University Moritz College of Law in 1982. An attorney with the law firm Bowles Rice, LLP since 2003, Bob focused his legal practice on the areas of tax, estate planning, and commercial law. Prior to that, he was employed as an attorney with the Beckley law firm of Gorman Sheatsley & Company from 1982 to 2003.
Bob was a member of the West Virginia House of Delegates for 18 years, where he served as House Finance Chairman from 1993 to 1996 and Speaker of the House from 1997 to 2006. Pursuant to his legislative duties, he was involved in major economic and fiscal legislation that has made permanent and significant positive impacts for West Virginia.
From 2013 to 2016, Bob served as Cabinet Secretary of the West Virginia Department of Revenue as part of Governor Earl Ray Tomblin's administration. He provided oversight to key governmental revenue producing agencies in that capacity.
Anyone interested in donating to this fund may mail contributions with “Robert S. Kiss” in the memo to BAF, 1210 South Kanawha St., Beckley, WV 25801 or click the button below to donate online. If you are interested in starting a donor advised fund or leaving a legacy gift, call BAF at 304-253-3806 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.