Robert "Bob" Dey, resident of the Boothbay region since 1992, died February 21, 2016 at the Maine Veterans’ Home in Augusta, Maine. Bob had the comfort and love of his children, caregivers, and MVH staff with him on his final days.
Born June 20, 1925, Bob grew up in Cornwall, New York on a small family farm. As a young boy he roamed the fields of the Hudson Valley where he developed a oneness with nature that he willingly shared with his own family and friends throughout his life.
At the age of 18, Bob enlisted into the Army. As part of the 101st Infantry Regiment, he landed in Cherbourg, France after the Allied invasion. Bob volunteered for his first assignment as part of the Red Ball Express, trucking supplies to the front lines. He fought in France until he was wounded during the Lorraine ‘campaign’ in 1944. He was awarded the Bronze Star and the Purple Heart. Bob’s service in World War II remained an important chapter in his life. He was very proud to have served and deeply affected by his memories of the tragedies and ironies of war.
With support from the GI Bill and the Henry Street Settlement, Bob graduated from NYU School of Journalism. His career in newspaper journalism spanned almost three decades. He began as a reporter in New York, then moved to Pennsylvania and Illinois, before becoming a city editor for the Gannett company in Westchester, New York.
Bob’s refuge was to be with nature or in his workshop. He had a passion to create with wood – he built a log cabin, a Sunfish and two ice-boats, furniture, and driftwood art. He loved to be outdoors – on the ice, in the woods, on a mountain.
Bob retired to Maine but never slowed down. These were very happy years for him, making new valued friendships and sharing his love of Boothbay with many of his old friends. Bob volunteered at the Boothbay Harbor Memorial Library Used Bookstore, served on the Library board, drove for Meals on Wheels, and helped with the local food pantry.
Bob began to talk and write about his time in the Army around the 50th Anniversary of WWII. He always spoke of the band of brothers he served with. He always spoke of how this connection was so meaningful to him.
Bob was pre-deceased by his first wife Ruth Doremus, and his second wife Gail Shellenberger.
He is survived by his four children, Leslie, Susan, Tom and Lis, and granddaughter Sarah.
Those who knew Bob well know that he enjoyed poetry and the family wished to quote one of his favorite poets, which aptly describes Bob’s character:
“I wandered lonely as a cloud,
That floats on high o’er vales and hills,
When all at once I saw a crowd,
A host, of golden daffodils;
Beside the lake, beneath the trees,
Fluttering and dancing in the breeze.”
If you would like to honor the memory of Bob Dey, the family suggests you do something nice for a veteran.