ROBERT SPICER WALSH, in his 101st year of life, passed away peacefully surrounded by family on September 25, 2020 in Mililani Hawaii. He was born on August 22, 1920 to Joseph Angus Walsh and Adeline Patti Montgomery Walsh in Packerville, CT. He was raised with ten brothers and sisters. When Robert was just 15, fibbing that he was 17, he joined the Civilian Conservation Corps, a voluntary public work relief program that operated during the Great Depression to conserve and develop natural resources in rural parts of America.
On June 3, 1944, Robert joined the Army leaving his wife Catherine at home to care for their three boys Robert, Donald and Thomas. While in the Army, Robert served in the American Theater of Operations with the 1948th Service Command Unit at Camp Roberts, California. Robert was reactivated multiple times at the request of the Army. In between duty, just enough time was allowed to welcome his fourth child, Kay. He was honorably discharged with the rank of Master Sargent and awarded the American Campaign Medal, Good Conduct Medal, and the WWII Victory Medal. Following the war, Robert spent 62 years working for General Dynamics Electric Boat in Groton Connecticut as a Shipfitter Foreman. In 1954 he was part of the team that delivered the world’s first nuclear-powered submarine, the USS Nautilus.
Robert was a sports enthusiast. As a young man he coached both basketball and baseball. He was a UCONN Women’s fan and enjoyed watching their many wins. He became a New York Mets fan following the departure of the Dodgers, “who needs em anyway.” As a loyal man, he stuck by them through their many (2) pennant wins. As a baseball family, many nights were spent with the boys on the field and a crabby Kay in the bleachers. He was president, manager and coach for the Poquonock Bridge Little league. Joined by Pete Fichera, Leroy Donovan, Ozzie Ozzenfort, Tom Hamilton, and others he constructed the Calvin Burrows Field in Groton for the kids in the community. In honor of this, in leu of gifts or flowers, please donate in his name to the Groton Little League (P.O. Box 365 Groton, CT 06340) to support the maintenance and improvement of this field.
If he wasn’t watching a Mets game, he was probably cooking. Some of his greatest hits were his famous clear broth clam chowder, flounder fish fry, Mac n cheese, or his friendship cake. He enjoyed whistling, gardening, quilting and going for long drives that included a CT history lesson and always ended with fritters and an ice cream from Hanks.
Robert was predeceased by his loving wife of 59 years Catherine (Lusk) on June 28, 2000. At Lawrence & Memorial Hospital, where he served as a volunteer patient transporter, he met his second loving wife Shirley Folbrecht. He was predeceased by her on March 9, 2015. He is also predeceased by his son Robert Joseph, his sisters Frances, Margaret, Frieda, Gladys, Grace, and Thelma, his brothers Alton, Donald and Joseph, his grandson, Andy McLaughlin and Bob’s best friends, Benji and Sox.
He is survived by his sister Lois Brown of Oakdale, his sons Donald (Judy) of Groton and Thomas (Corliss) of Hebron and his daughter Kay (Ed) Oddie of Mililani, HI. Robert is survived by his grandchildren Robin Mallove, Suzanne Erno, Kevin Walsh, Heather Gianacoplos, Shawn McLaughlin, Chad Wright and Liz Wright. He also leaves behind many great grandchildren who brought him joy every day.
Robert, Bob, Knobby, grandpa, papa and dad will be missed by all that knew him. You only had to meet him once to become a friend. A celebration of his life will be scheduled at a later date in Groton.
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