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Robert J. Spooner

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SPOONER, Robert J. Robert J. Spooner, 84, of Essex, died at his home on Friday (September 18, 2009). He was born May 21, 1925 in New Britain, and was the son of the late Minnie and Leonard Spooner. Robert is predeceased by his daughter Jennifer. He is survived by his wife Nancy Spooner; his daughter, Jamie Spooner; his daughter and son-in-law, Jill and Mike Quillin; his grandchildren, Nate and Max Quillin; his brother, Allen Spooner; and his beloved 13-year old yellow lab Sandy. Robert was a mortar gunner in the 20th Armored Division of the United States Army in World War II. He was in the first troop (and third vehicle) to enter and liberate the Dachau concentration camp in April 29, 1945. Robert graduated from Yale University with honors. After the war, he held two jobs-the second at A.W. Hayden Company where he met his wife of nearly 57 years. He started Essex Engineering Company in his twenties and continued this job into his mid-seventies. Robert holds a patent for a high speed automatic meat slicing and weighing system which is the same device used in delis today. Ten years later in 1987 (prior to video stores and Netflix) Robert also invented an automatic rental vending machine for video cassettes. He travelled the world for his work, but he liked to unwind at his winterized house in Maine where he could stare at the water, read a book, pet his dog, or sail - all away from the demands of his everyday life. The family extends their gratitude to the Visiting Nurses of the Lower Connecticut Valley. In lieu of flowers, the family asks that you send contributions in Robert's memory to this organization or to the . The Funeral will be Thursday, October 1, 3 p.m. followed by a reception at the Griswold Inn.

Published in The Hartford Courant on Sept. 24, 2009
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