Robert W. Stuart

Tue, 09/08/2020 - 2:30pm

Robert (Bob) Walter Stuart, 87, of Hingham, Massachusetts died unexpectedly on Aug. 29, 2020 with his beloved wife, Dorothy, by his side.

His was a life of boundless energy and numerous passions: sailing, music, theatre, politics, community service, travel, singing, cooking, good wine, and family.  He met the love of his life, Dorothy Ann Dolan, at an audition for a musical at the Catherine Laboure Nursing School where she was a student. His devotion to her was the bedrock of their 64-year marriage.  They had seven children during this period: Christopher (deceased), Michael, Mary, David, Jayne, Daniel, and Anne.

Born in 1932 in Brighton, Massachusetts he was one of four boys. Despite getting into plenty of trouble as a teenager, he excelled in school and attended Boston Latin and then studied engineering at Northeastern University.  While at Northeastern University, he took sailing lessons at Community Boating Inc, which sparked a lifelong love of sailing.  He later attended Harvard University and Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute where he earned a PhD in his 50s.

During a successful career in various technology companies, they lived in New Jersey, California, New York, and Boston. His last job was his favorite, teaching entrepreneurship at his alma mater Northeastern University. Living for almost a year on his boat in Boston Harbor, he lived out a sailor’s dream of foggy mornings, sailor gatherings and glorious sunsets. Alas, Dorothy insisted on a home and they settled in Hingham. Since the mid-1970s, the family spent summers at Juniper Point in Boothbay Harbor, Maine, where they could be near the sea.

In his retirement he and his wife traveled the world, with stops in Europe, Southeast Asia, Latin America, Canada, and Northern Africa. They attended countless musical and theater performances, art exhibitions and hosted festive dinner parties and fundraisers. His commitment to community service was evident throughout his life: active throughout the 1960s and 1970s in the civil rights movement, regularly visiting prisoners in Walpole Prison in the 1970s, always with a few spare bills to hand to a homeless person, advocating for those less fortunate through letters to public officials, visits to their offices and manifesting an abiding commitment to LGBTQ rights. He served as treasurer on the board of Wellspring Social Services, a non-profit in Hull, Massachusetts never missing the annual Drown Hogs Day Fundraiser that included jumping into the frigid ocean in February to raise money for the organization. He served for many years on the Hingham Advisory Board and was an active member of the JPVIS organization in Boothbay Harbor for decades.

He was always ready to squeeze in one more sail, make room at the table for another guest, offer a helping hand, and say yes to an outlandish idea like sailing to Labrador and Newfoundland to see the icebergs and have an adventure. Always a joker, he had the last laugh: a package of boat parts for his newest boat, Junius, arrived after he died, with postage due. It was a life well-lived.

He leaves behind his brother Ken Stuart of Seattle, 12 adored grandchildren and 15 nieces and nephews.

A private, family service will be held in Hingham in the coming weeks. A memorial service to celebrate his life will be held in the spring or summer 2021, details forthcoming. In lieu of flowers, donations in his name can be made to Wellspring Social Services, 814 Nantasket Ave., Hull MA 02045 or