Robert Henry "Bob" "The Marathon Man" Fagan(1941 - 2013)

Robert ("Bob") Henry Fagan, born April 20, 1941, in New Paltz, New York, passed away in Hartford, Connecticut on Tuesday, April, 2nd, 2013, after a brief illness. Bob was predeceased his parents, Mary and Henry Fagan of Stratford, Connecticut, and his younger sister, Jane Fagan. He was raised in Stratford, where he attended Saint James Parochial School and Stratford High School. He graduated from Central Connecticut Teachers College in 1963. The following year, he married his wife of 48 years, Mary Ann Nowaczyk, also from Stratford. In 1966, he began his career working for the State of Connecticut at McCook Hospital, which is now the UConn Health Center, from which he recently retired in September of 2012. In his 46 years at UConn Health Center, his roles were many. His extensive work in ophthalmology earned him, among family, friends, and colleagues, the unofficial and all-encompassing title, "The Eye-Guy." Perhaps most notably, his influence was widespread; he had the opportunity to positively impact countless numbers of patients, medical students and colleagues. For Bob, work was never merely a set of tasks, but it was about thoughtful approaches to often complicated problems, and ultimately, it was about his compassion for the people he encountered along the way. Beginning in 1965, Bob and Mary Ann began building their legacy. The proud father of eight children, and grandfather of 14, Bob is survived by James Fagan of Tucson , Arizona; Kevin Fagan and his wife, Pauline, and their children, Sara and Ian, of New Haven, Connecticut; Michael Fagan and his wife, Tami, and their children Zoe and Jack; Daniel Fagan and his wife, Rebecca, and their children, Cory, Timothy , Jacob, and Sianna of East Hampton, Connecticut; Catharine Rich and her husband, Kevin, and their children Kailey and Ashley; Elizabeth Gottlieb and her husband, Carl, and their children, Sage and Eutimia of San Rafael, California; Mary Churchill and her husband, Mark, and their children Madeline and Oliver of San Rafael, California; and William Fagan of Atlanta, Georgia. Not only did Bob have values. He truly lived them. Every day, he showed up for work. He taught and modeled honesty, independence, the necessity of standing up for our beliefs, intellectual curiosity, life-long learning, hard work, the importance of a moral compass, and the value in seeing the positive-especially the humor- in every situation. Even when running was not in vogue, Bob rose every morning at five o'clock and ran, in sun, rain, snow, and sleet. This unparalleled dedication extended to education (his own and his family's), his devout Catholic faith, his beloved family, sports, politics, and animals of all kinds. He raised many cats, dogs, and rabbits, and often exhaustively discussed what he called the "challenges of animal husbandry." Bob's values, his spirit of non-judgmental compassion and the vigorous authenticity that characterized his life will live on and grow in the lives of his children and grandchildren, and in all those who had the privilege of knowing him well. The funeral will be held on Monday at 9 am from the Coughlin-Lastrina Funeral Home, 491 High St., Middletown followed by a mass of Christian burial in St. Elizabeth Seton Church, Rocky Hill at 10 am. Burial will be in the family plot in Indian Hill Cemetery, Middletown. Friends may call at the funeral home on Sunday evening from 5 to 8 pm.
Published in The Middletown Press on Apr. 4, 2013