Robert A. Vanslette passed away at the age of 93 on Thursday, February 9, 2018, after a period of declining health. His wife of 69 years, Estelle “Pippin” A. (Lacroix) Vanslette, preceded him in death in 2016.
Robert leaves behind his loving children, Ellen and her husband John “Jake” Milano, Linda Gravell and her partner Ken Roberts, Steven Vanslette, David Vanslette and his wife LouAnn Marrazzo, Paul Vanslette and his wife Terry. He also leaves his grandchildren whom he was very proud of, Michael Milano and his fiancé Andrea Mellen, Joanne and her husband Paul Beardsley, Jason Gravell, Jeremy Gravell, Tessondra Vanslette, Meghan Bozard, Aja Chambers, Steven “Alex” Vanslette, Annie Vanslette, Andrew and his partner Courtney Rosales, Kevin and his partner Melissa “Missy” Rhodes, Lucas and Christina “Tina” Vanslette; a niece (Donna Henry) and a nephew (Albert “Skip”) and his wife, Linda Corrao, and eight great-grandchildren (Aidan Beardsley, Marshall, Izabella, and Mahkinzey Bozard, Austin and Gauge Chambers, Saphira and Azalyn Coble). The Vanslette family would also like to acknowledge Agatha Bleboo of Worcester for the immeasurable amount of supportive assistance, compassion, time and friendship she provided as a caretaker to both Robert and Estelle.
Robert was born on January 29, 1925, the son of Joseph and Elizabeth (Barnes) Vanslette. He grew up in East Providence, RI., and upon graduation joined the United States Army and proudly served his country as a mechanic during WWII (in France). Upon returning home Robert earned his Bachelor’s Degree in Mechanical Engineering and later his Master’s Degree from Northeastern University. Robert moved to Medfield, MA., where he and Estelle raised their family of five children. He was employed with Brown and Sharpe Manufacturing, Raytheon, Draper Labs, Northrop, GCA Corporation and GTE, where he oversaw numerous mechanical and computer engineering projects. Upon his retirement Robert and Estelle spent 15 years in Venice, FL. prior to returning to the Hudson, MA area.
Robert loved sailing, especially off Marblehead Harbor. He looked forward to a round of golf with Estelle, reading a good book, and more often than not, spending time tinkering on some new project. He was proud of the two hand-built clocks he made from scratch. He and Estelle played bridge, and in later years they enjoyed a game of cribbage every day and loved to compete with one another. He was a great lover of music and listened for hours to the music of the classical composers. Robert was also an inventor and held two patents: an electron beam lithograph apparatus (GCA Corp., and a linear actuator (Brown and Sharp Manufacturing Company).
After his wife, Estelle, died, Agatha, (his home health aide) took wonderful care of him, bringing laughter again to his life and caring for him in body and in soul during his stay at Whitney Place in Northborough. He was well-known there, especially with the kitchen staff because he enjoyed his breakfast of eggs, bacon, and toast every single day for almost two years. He loved onion soup, french fries, onion rings, lobster, chinese food, M &M’s and nuts.
Robert’s funeral Mass of Resurrection will be held at 10 a.m. on Wednesday, February 14, 2018, in St. Mary of The Hills Parish, 630 Cross St. Boylston, MA. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to Alzheimer’s Association, P.O. Box 96011, Washington, D.C. 20090-6011 or www.alz.org/donate.
To share a memory or story, or to leave a condolence, please visit Robert’s Book of Memories at www.HaysFuneralHome.com