Robert "Grandpa Bob" Greenberg

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  • "RIP Bob you were a good neighbor"
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SOUTH HADLEY - Robert "Grandpa Bob" Greenberg of 124 College St., South Hadley, died peacefully at home surrounded by his loving family.

Bob was born in Brooklyn, N.Y., where he spent his childhood. He went on to Cornell University and earned a degree in engineering then on to Columbia University to earn a master of science in engineering.

Between 1949 and 1986 he worked for the National Equipment/Union Standard Corp., a family owned business, as vice president in charge of design and production of machinery for the candy and bakery production. His patents include machines for the manufacture of Chocolate Chips, Reese's Peanut Butter Cups, Nestlé's $100,000 Bars, Mike n Ike's, Dots, Red Hot Dollars and many, many more.

Bob took a leave of absence from college to serve in the U.S. Army Air Force during World War II and was stationed in Germany. He told a story of creating a Passover Seder in a barn for a group of Jewish survivors coming out of the concentration camps.

After college, Bob married Sondra Schilling and moved to Englewood, N.J., and raised their three children. Bob was deeply engaged in the politics of the time, working for sweeping changes in racial equality. He changed election outcomes and created ingenious methods of getting voters out to the polls. He was instrumental in starting the young Democratic Club and made sure his children took part in many political activities.

Bob was an avid outdoors man, as Scoutmaster of Troop 27 BSA from 1968 to 1971, he took the troop skiing, hiking, canoeing, biking, backpacking and snowshoeing even in minus 10 degree weather and on overnight camping trips, all with his trusty Saint Bernard, Kelev.

Between 1972 and 1976, Bob started a teenage hiking group for the Englewood Recreation Department aptly named "the Milanos" after a cookie. He lead many trips which included rock climbing, horseback riding, hiking and backpacking. He noted recently while showing one of his infamous slide shows, he was quite happy for this diverse group of kids who lived with a level of racial tension in their everyday lives. The trips with him offered an opportunity to hang out in nature and let it all go. They had a great time together.

During this same time frame Bob climbed Mt. Ranier, Wash., (14,100 ft.), Mt. Sinai in Israel, backpacked the Cascade Range in Oregon climbing the "Three Sisters", backpacked in Yosemite National Park, Calif., Climbed the Matterhorn in Switzerland (14,100 ft.) and trekked for 22 days in Nepal, climbing Gokyo Ri (18,000 ft.)

In 1978 he started an outing group for the Flat Brook Nature Center in Englewood, where he continued to lead hikes and adventures for all ages. In 1979 he climbed Mauna Loa, Hawaii, and backpacked the NaPali Coast Trail in Kauai. In 1982 it was Mt. Ruapehu, New Zealand, where he backpacked Milford Track, Routeburn Track and in 1983 he climbed Kilimanjaro in Tanzania and went on a safari through the Serengeti Plains. He loved Nepal and in 1984 returned to trek for 36 days in Nepal, climbing Kala Patar (18,000 ft.)

In 1987 Bob moved from Englewood to South Hadley, and was remarried a few years later to Marguerite Davol, who predeceased him. Together they traveled extensively. He trekked the Inca Trail to Macchu Pichu, and Mt. Ausangate. In 1988 he backpacked Glacier Bay, Ala., and in 1989 Trekked for 34 days to Concordia (near K2 in Pakistan). In 1990 he climbed Sierra Negra, Volcan Alcedo in Galapagos, bushwhacked on Santiago Island, toured Patagonia, Mt. Fitzroy National Park, Argentina, Torres del Paine National Park, Chile, climbed Cerro Crystal, Mt. Fitzroy Base Camp and Cerro Torre Base Camp. In 1997 he backpacked the Jothuheimen Region (Norway), Fannarokhen Hut (highest in Norway) and Gjendin Ridge (of Peer Gnyt fame). He Backpacked Kita Alps in Japan, climbed Mt. Hotaka (10,466'). In 1992 he toured the Nile Valley in Egypt, in Switzerland he hiked in the Swiss National Park and climbed Aletsch Glacier to Monchjoch Hut.

From 1993 to 1999 he toured Costa Rica, Peru, Galapagos, and climbed Huayna Picchu. He also toured Iceland, Greenland, hiked to Kiagtut Glacier, toured China, the great wall, Antarctica, Easter Island, Hudson Bay in Canada, Copper Canyon in Mexico and India, Sikkim. In 2000 when Parkinson's made his legs too weak to trek, he took a trip to the Bugaboos in the Canadian Rockies by helicopter, which dropped him off at the top to do his last hiking.

Earlier on, Bob was a member in the Adirondack 46'2 Club, Adirondack Mountain Club, Sierra Club and the Appalachian Trail Conference. He was the chairman for the Englewood Recreation Advisory Commission, a member of the Englewood Environmental Commission and a trustee at the Flat Brook Nature Center.

He hiked the Appalachian trail in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York, Connecticut, Massachusetts and Vermont, the White Mountains in New Hampshire, the Green Mountains in Vermont, the Long Trail in Vermont, the Catskills, Adirondacks, the Rocky Mountains in Colorado, Utah, Idaho, Wyoming, the Sierra Nevada's in California, Canadian Rockies in British Colombia, the Alps in Switzerland, the lake district in England, Sinai Desert in Israel and the Himalayas in Nepal.

Bob was the son of Samuel and Miriam (Goldstein) Greenberg who predeceased him.

He is survived by his brother, Arthur Greenberg of Westport, Conn.; his sister, Joyce Wotman of West Palm Beach, Fla.; his three children, Ricki Carroll and her husband Jamie Eckley of Ashfield, Peter Greenberg of Albany, Ore., and Marcy Schepker and her husband Hans Schepker of Harrisville, N.H.; four grandchildren, Jennifer (Carroll) Novak and her husband Jason Novak, Sarah Carroll and her husband Mark Chrabascz, Adam Schepker and his fiancée Tracy Grissom and her son Keller and Andrea Miller and her husband Rick Miller; and extended family, the Duval's, Sarah and her husband R.J., John and his wife Tabby and children, Steve and Nicole, Sue and her husband Todd and children, Jesse and Hanna.

The family also wishes to extend our sincerest thank yous to all of the caregivers who throughout the years were there for him and the family until his last breath. We honor you in the service you provide, the love you have and the support you gave, we could have never done this without you. Bob loved you all and so did his entire family, thank you with all our heart and soul.

At his request there are no services planned. A celebration of his life will be held in South Hadley at 124 College St., on Feb. 23, at 12 p.m. Friends, neighbors and family are all invited to rejoice in Bob's life.

Donations in his name may be made to the South Hadley Fire Department # 2 for their thoughtful and loving help in getting Bob in and out of his condo when he could no longer climb that mountain by himself.

To our dad, brother, uncle, grandpa, great grandpa, friend, husband, co-worker and leader, we will love and remember you forever and we miss you already!

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Published in Daily Hampshire Gazette on Feb. 2, 2013
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