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Robert D. Forand

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Lt. Cmdr. Robert D. Forand, USNR (Ret), 1921-2013. Retired naval officer, Robert Forand of Burlington, formerly of Belmont, passed into eternal life on September 17, 2013. He was born on December 16, 1921 to Delphis and Lora, and grew up in Belmont. Following graduation from Belmont High School, he worked with his father in the construction business. He took courses at Wentworth Institute and later during World War II at Middlebury College, where he studied aviation. He served in the US Navy as a naval command pilot, leading his blimp crew on patrols along the eastern seaboard during the war. He was stationed at South Weymouth Naval Air Station, Lakehurst, and Panama. He remained on active reserve status following the war, and in 1956 he flew an airship to the Atomic Test Site in Nevada. He was active in the Naval Airship Association (NAA), the Lighter-than-Air Society (LTA), and the Veterans of Foreign Wars. He also served as Commander of the American Legion, Post #99. Throughout his naval career he collected materials on the history of airships, and in his later years, worked with naval historians to document their contributions to naval aviation. He was a founding member of the Museum of Naval Aviation in Pensacola, FL. Bob's life is a story of service, and his love of flying created new opportunities to serve. He earned a private pilot's license and flew missions for Civil Air Patrol in search of lost planes and for Air Life Line, assisting patients in New England who needed to access critical medical services. He was an active member of the Elite Quiet Birds (QBs). In his later years, he devoted his time to serving the Disabled American Veterans (DAV) organization. Bob was also a highly skilled craftsman who was well known in the Belmont area for the exquisite quality of his cabinetry. After many years as a private contractor, he joined Tufts University Grounds and Buildings department and served for almost 20 years as assistant director. Throughout his life he was an avid golfer. Bob was married to his sweetheart, Mary R (Nielsen), for 70 years. He was the devoted father of Robert and his wife Kitty of Florida; Nancy of New York; Donald and his wife Rhonda of Boxborough; Marie Bonfiglio of Belmont; Anne Basile of Acton; Donna of Tewksbury; Ruth Fanelli of Florida; and the late Paul Forand. He was the dear brother of the late Edward, Rita Northrop, Dorothy Costello, Virginia McGrath, and Ruth Forand. He is survived by 22 grandchildren, 19 great-grandchildren, many nieces, nephews and special friends. A Mass of Christian Burial was held in St. Margarets Church, 111 Winn St., Burlington on Saturday, September 21, 2013. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Disabled American Veterans, Chapter 113, 3 Belmont Road, Burlington MA 01803. Arrangements under the direction of the Edward V. Sullivan Funeral Home, BURLINGTON. Edward V . Sullivan Funeral Home, 43 Winn Street, Burlington, MA 01803. 781-272-0050.

Published in The Belmont Citizen-Herald from Sept. 20 to Sept. 27, 2013
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