Robert Calvin

Obituary of Robert Calvin

Robert (Bob) Calvin died peacefully at home surrounded by loved ones on March 21st, 2018.  Bob was born in Fairfield, CT on September 25, 1924 to Dr. Claudius Virgil and Mollie Bassett Calvin, the youngest of four children. In 1942, he graduated valedictorian from Fairfield Ludlowe High School where he excelled at cross country and track. He also achieved Eagle Scout –- an award for which he was always proud.  After graduation, Bob went to Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) in Troy, NY where he studied engineering. In July of 1943, he joined the Naval Reserve and was placed in an accelerated program preparing young men to serve as naval officers in the Allied effort for World War II.  He graduated from Midshipman School at Columbia University in July 1945 and was commissioned as an Ensign in the U.S. Navy. He served in the United States Naval Construction Battalion, better known as the Seabees,  and was stationed in the Pacific. A few weeks later, the war ended, and in the fall of 1946, Bob returned to RPI, this time as an instructor. The following year, he entered an internship program at the Illinois Institute of Technology in Chicago. It was there that he met the love of his life, Marie Marsh, who was interning in Chicago as a social worker. Bob and Marie married on July 10, 1954 and moved to Highland Park. It was there that their two older children, Linda and Steve, were born. In 1959, Bob accepted a job offer from Pratt & Whitney in East Hartford, CT, and moved the family east to South Glastonbury, where their third child, Kate, was born. Bob worked at Pratt & Whitney and other United Technologies Companies for the rest of his professional career. For 2 years Bob traveled to Washington DC, completing a research project at the Library of Congress. Bob eventually earned a Master’s Degree in Computer Science from the RPI branch in Hartford, CT. Bob and Marie joined the South Congregational Church, South Glastonbury where they were faithful members for their entire lives.  Bob served as deacon and co-taught middle-and high school students for many years. He also participated regularly in the adult Bible Study class. He and Marie worked tirelessly and with great dedication to get “South Congo” to be an open and affirming church, and they were highly committed to fighting discrimination against those in the LGBT community. Bob and Marie became active members of Hartford PFLAG (Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gay men) and served for many years as co-presidents. They fought for social justice in other areas with the same relentless fervor. Bob loved playing tennis, volleyball, skiing, and traveling around the world with Marie.  He enjoyed gardening, had a passion for family genealogy and stories and was an avid reader. He and Marie were founding members of a book club group that started some forty years ago and still meets today.  He was a lifelong learner and enjoyed going to Chautauqua, NY in the summers with friends to continue learning, have fun and strengthen his beliefs. Bob leaves behind his children: Linda Calvin Kern and husband Staige Kern of Raleigh, NC; Steve of Westford, MA; and Kate of South Glastonbury, CT. Bob also leaves behind three grandchildren: Ben and his wife, Holly, Megan, and Jen Kern as well as a great grandson, Brighten Kern. He was predeceased by his beloved wife, Marie; 3 sisters (Mary, Ruth and Maggie) and Kate’s partner, Susan. Bob had a thoughtful, kind, and gentle personality and an understated wit. He will be missed greatly by friends and family.  Calling hours will be from 5:00-7:00 pm Tuesday, March 27 at Mulryan Funeral Home, 725 Hebron Avenue, Glastonbury, CT. A memorial service celebrating his life will be held at the Congregational Church of South Glastonbury on Wednesday, March 28 at 2:00 pm.