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Robert Minkler

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Robert Minkler Obituary
Robert H. Minkler

1921-2013 Robert H. Minkler, 92, known to most as 'Bob' or 'Bucky' died Sunday November 24, 2013 in Lenox, Mass. Bob was a well-known businessman and civic leader for many years in the Berkshires. He was born June 1, 1921 in Pittsfield, the only child of Lillian (Farrell) and Robert Minkler. After two years in St Joseph Franciscan Seminary, he returned to graduate from St. Joseph's High School in Pittsfield. In 1942 he married Elizabeth 'Lovey' Quirk of Pittsfield. During World War II he entered the U.S. Navy, where he took part in the first wave of the Invasion of Okinawa. He was involved in many naval actions in and around Japan during the war. As the was ending, and he was preparing to come home, his ship barely escaped a major typhoon which included 34 foot waves, sunk 12 ships and grounded 222 more. Upon returning to the Berkshires after the war, Bob worked in the life insurance industry for a short period of time and then began a career as a civil engineer for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. He helped survey the Mass Pike and contributed to the design of Route 102 from West Stockbridge to Stockbridge. In 1952 moved the family from Pittsfield to Stockbridge (then thought of as the 'country') where he began a lifelong commitment to community service. He helped found the Berkshire Beagle Club in Richmond and also the Interlaken Indians Little League team in Stockbridge. Throughout this life, Bob embraced change. In 1963, at the age of 42 and with two children in college and a third one still at home, he changed careers again and in his first year there, he became 'Rookie of The Year' at Berkshire Life Insurance Company. He was his own man and was never one to back down from taking a few chances. In 1965, Bob and Betty founded Minkler Insurance Agency. Their first office was in the basement of their home. They would later move the office to the Main Street of Stockbridge. Bob continued his community service in Stockbridge. For many years he served as a Selectman and later, Moderator for the town. During his term as Selectman he was featured in a Norman Rockwell print title; "The Best Brains in Town are Working Hard Tonight". Over the years, Bob served as the President of the; Stockbridge Golf Club, Stockbridge Lions Club and the Berkshire County Independent Insurance Agents Association. A possessor of a quick wit and with a contagious smile, Bob seemed to know everyone in Berkshire County. In the later years, he spent many winters in Vero Beach, Florida and in short order he know many people there as well. Bob had a deep faith and was daily communicate of Catholic Mass. He loved being surrounded by his family, and his Irish heritage. Bob's family is very thankful for the loving professionals at Kimball Farm Assisted Living and Kimball Farms Nursing Home, where he received wonderful care from all those around him during his final days. The love of his life, Betty Minkler, died of cancer in 1988. Later, a close friend, Irene Messinger, also predeceased Bob in 2011. Bob is survived by three children; Joyce of Nerinx, KY, R. Timothy (Nancy) Minkler of Stockbridge and Thomas (Heather) of Keene, NH; five grandchildren; Jeanne, Jeffrey, Andrew, Christopher and Julie; two great-grandchildren, Shea and Eleanor; and many close friends and family. FUNERAL NOTICE: A Liturgy of Christian Burial for Bob Minkler will be celebrated Saturday, November 30 at 10:00 AM at St. Joseph's Church, Stockbridge, MA with the Rev. Christopher J. Waitekus officiating. Burial will follow at St. Joseph's Cemetery, Stockbridge. Calling hours will be Friday, November 29 from 4:00-7:00 at the Kelly Funeral Home, 3 Main Street, Lee, MA. For those wishing to remember Bob, the family requests that donations be made to either the Stockbridge Library Association or the Lenox Food Pantry. If you would like to leave a message of condolence or share pictures or stories please visit our website at www.kellyfuneralhome.net.



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Published in The Berkshire Eagle on Nov. 27, 2013
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