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B. Robert Segmen, 91, of Kenmore, a retired chemist and bottling company operations manager who served as sponsor here for many refugees from his native Bulgaria, died Tuesday (July 29, 1997) in Buffalo General Hospital after a brief illness.

Born in Banky, Bulgaria, near Sofia, he came to the United States on a student visa in 1927 to study at Mount Herman Academy in Massachusetts. Later, he studied for the ministry at Moody Bible Institute in Chicago but did not seek ordination.

A chemist with a mechanical gift, he worked for grain milling companies in Chicago, then came to Buffalo to work for the former George J. Meyer Malt & Grain Corp.

As chief chemist for Meyer, he developed a pilot operation for gravity flow malting. A virtual teetotaler, he nevertheless became a consultant to brewers and was a member of the American Society of Brewing Chemists.

In the 1960s, he worked as technical manager for the former Queen-O Bottling Co., then went to Saratoga Springs, where he was operations manager for Saratoga Vichy Springs Co. until he retired in 1976. He returned to Kenmore after his retirement.

He was a trustee of the former First Pilgrim Congregational Church and in recent years was active with the Plymouth United Church of Christ. An active Mason, he was a member of Kenmore Lodge 1132, F&AM; the Royal Arch Masons and the Knights Templar.

As sponsor for Bulgarian immigrants, he found jobs and homes for them and was considered by many as "a second father."

He married to the former Ann Mirchoff in 1935. She died in 1991.

Surviving are two sons, John of Snyder and Emmanuel Thomas of San Francisco; a daughter, Margaret Racenis of Kenmore; four grandchildren; and three great-grandchildren.

Funeral services will be held at 10 a.m. Friday in Plymouth United Church of Christ, Amherst Street and Lincoln Parkway. Interment will be in Acacia Park Cemetery, Pendleton.

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