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RICHARD S. ROBIE Jr.


1932 - 2017 Obituary Condolences
RICHARD S. ROBIE Jr. Obituary
ROBIE, Richard S., Jr. Richard S. Robie, Jr. Real Estate Executive, Philanthropist, Sailor and Family Man Of Marblehead, Massachusetts, died on November 24, 2017 after a brief bout with cancer. He was 85 years old. Mr. Robie was born in Boston, Massachusetts on July 5th, 1932 to Richard S. Robie and Helen M. Robie. He graduated from The Choate School in Wallingford, Connecticut in 1950 and St. Lawrence University in Canton, New York in 1954. He then served in the United States Army as a military police lieutenant in Germany. Upon returning home, Mr. Robie joined his father's business and in 1958 married Ann Christenson of Lee, Massachusetts. They moved to Marblehead, Massachusetts where they lived for nearly sixty years, raising five children and playing an active role in the community. Mr. Robie's father was a prominent Boston entrepreneur, philanthropist and Republican fundraiser, who, as a pioneer in the rent-a-car business, acquired Avis Corp. in 1954 from Warren Avis. Though Mr. Robie had wanted to attend business school, his father needed him more; so he put those dreams aside to help restructure his father's vast interests into a successful commercial real estate business – Robie Properties, which he then led for over forty years. A gifted manager and loyal employer, he enjoyed working closely with two of his sons in the family business. Among his properties was the Castle in the Clouds, a popular tourist attraction in New Hampshire. Mr. Robie served a term as President of Boston Rotary and on the Board of Directors of the Suffolk Franklin Savings Bank. He was also a long time member of the Board of Directors of The Hundred Club of Massachusetts, an organization his father co-founded with Norman Knight in 1959 to care for the families of fallen policemen and firefighters. He was first and foremost a strong family man. Nothing brought Mr. Robie greater joy than spending time with his wife, children and grandchildren, especially at their school or sporting events. And whenever he saw any of his family, his famous smile would light his face. Mr. Robie loved to organize family trips, especially sailing or skiing and once an African Safari. He could always be counted on to support extended family members in need. By example, he taught his children how to live a balanced life: that a successful businessman could also be a loving husband and father and an active member of his community. After his family, the love of Mr. Robie's life was Christie, his beautiful Concordia yawl, named after his wife's college nickname. He sailed Christie from 1969 through the last summer of his life. With his family and friends, he cruised up and down the East Coast, particularly appreciating the coast of Maine, always willing to share his favorite harbors and secret coves with sailors less knowledgeable. He raced Christie to Halifax twice. And he taught coastal navigation at Power Squadron. Mr. Robie felt honored to serve as Commodore of the Eastern Yacht Club from 1995 to 1996. He also loved to ski and to play racquet sports, including tennis at the Eastern, squash at the University Club in Boston and badminton at Gut 'n Feathers in Marblehead – all of which he played well into his eighties. Mr. Robie was formerly a Trustee of Shore Country Day School in Beverly, Massachusetts; of Choate Rosemary Hall; and of St. Lawrence University. At these organizations, he shared his real estate management expertise and led their building activities, including a new squash facility at St. Lawrence. He was also a man of faith, who over the years befriended and counselled several ministers at the Old North Church in Marblehead. He was always quietly generous with his time and financial resources. Later in life Mr. Robie contracted Alzheimer's disease but accepted it bravely and never complained. He retained the happy, kind disposition that his friends and family loved him for. Mr. Robie had a genius for friendship, teaching his children that: "to have a friend, you need to be a friend." He showed his children how to live responsibly, with acceptance of life's ups and downs. His favorite mantra, said lightly with a smile to put family members at ease after any mishap, was: "Never a day without a spill." In addition to his beloved wife, Ann, and his brother, Don of Exeter, New Hampshire, Mr. Robie leaves five children and their spouses: Chip and Susan Robie of Marblehead, Massachusetts; Doug and Dana Robie of Newburyport, Massachusetts; Beth Robie of San Mateo, California; Jay and Traci Robie of Holliston, Massachusetts; Brad and Maki Robie of Marblehead, Massachusetts; and their ten grandchildren, all of whom knew him well, loved him deeply and will treasure their many weekend afternoons sailing with him aboard Christie. A memorial service for Mr. Robie will be held at 11AM on Monday, December 4th, 2017 at the Old North Church, 35 Washington St. in Marblehead. In lieu of flowers, gifts in his memory may be made to the Old North Church, 8 Stacey Street, Marblehead, MA 01945. Arrangements by Eustis and Cornell of Marblehead. An online guestbook for Mr. Robie is available at www.eustisandcornellfuneralhome.com 781-631-0076

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Published in The Boston Globe on Nov. 28, 2017
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