SOUTH HADLEY - Robert "Grandpa Bob" Greenberg of 124 College St., South Hadley, died peacefully at home surrounded by his loving family.
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Bob was born in Brooklyn, NY, where he spent his childhood. He went on to Cornell U. and earned a degree in Engineering, then on to Columbia U. 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 VP 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 US Army Air Force during WW11 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 outdoorsman. As Scoutmaster of Troop 27 BSA from 1968-1971, he took the troop skiing, hiking, canoeing, biking, backpacking and snowshoeing even in -10 degree weather, on overnight camping and all with his trusty St. Bernard Kelev.
Between 1972 and 1976, Bob started a teenage hiking group for the Englewood Recreation Dept. aptly named "the Milanos" after a cookie. He led 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, WA (14,100'), Mt Sinai in Israel, backpacked the Cascade Range in Oregon climbing the "3 Sisters", backpacked in Yosemite Ntl. Pk, CA, climbed the Matterhorn in Switzerland (14,100') and trekked for 22 days in Nepal, climbing Gokyo Ri (18,000').
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').
In 1987, Bob moved from Englewood to South Hadley and was remarried a few years later to Marguerite Davol, who predeceased him, and together they travelled extensively. He trekked the Inca Trail to Macchu Pichu and Mt. Ausangate. In 1988, he backpacked Glacier Bay, Alaska, 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 Ntl. Pk. Argentina, Torres del Paine Ntl. Pk, 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). And Backpacked Kita Alps in Japan, climbed Mt. Hotaka (10,466'). In 1992, he toured the Nile Valley in Egypt and in Switzerland hiked in the Swiss Ntl. Pk., climbed Aletsch Glacier to Monchjoch Hut.
From 1993 to 1999, he toured Costa Rica, Peru, Galapagos, climbed Huayna Picchu. 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 his 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 PA, NJ, NY, CT, MA and VT, the White Mountains in NH, the Green Mountains in VT, the Long Trail in VT, the Catskills, Adirondacks, the Rocky Mountains in CO, UT, ID, WY, the Sierra Nevada's in CA, Canadian Rockies in BC, 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, CT; his sister, Joyce Wotman of West Palm Beach, Florida, and his three children: Ricki Carroll and her husband Jamie Eckley, of Ashfield, MA, Peter Greenberg of Albany, OR and Marcy Schepker and her husband Hans Schepker of Harrisville, NH; 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. Our extended family, the Duvals, Sarah and her husband RJ, 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 you's 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 noon. 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 No. 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!
Published in The Recorder from Feb. 2 to Feb. 3, 2013