Waterford - Captain Robert L. DeMichiell, U.S. Coast Guard (retired) passed away on Friday, May 23, 2014, at Holy Cross Hospital in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. He was a seasonal resident of Waterford.
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Captain DeMichiell was born in West Point, N.Y. to the late Stella and Giovanni DeMichiell of Highland Falls, N.Y. He graduated from Highland Falls High School and then attended the State University of New York at Albany where he met his beloved wife, Nan McEvoy of Little Falls, N.Y., at a freshman dance. At the end of his second year, he received one of the 200 appointments to the U.S. Coast Guard Academy and graduated with 60 fellow classmates in the class of 1957. The young ensign was assigned to the Coast Guard Cutter Barataria in Portland, Maine and to the buoy tender Cowslip in South Portland. His next assignment was a two-year tour as commanding officer of the LORAN Station in Kodiak, Alaska. Captain DeMichiell was fortunate to have his young family accompany him to this new duty station.
Captain DeMichiell returned to the Coast Guard Academy in 1962 to teach in the department of computer science and physical sciences and was later appointed to the Permanent Commission Teaching Staff. Cadet life continued to be an integral part of his life as he coached JV basketball and supported many athletic events and student-centered activities. Captain DeMichiell earned a master's degree in chemical engineering and a Ph.D. in higher education administration from the University of Connecticut to continue his strive for excellence in education and technology. The Academy honored him for his achievements as an educator and administrator for college-wide computing activities, as well as designating him professor emeritus.
Upon his retirement from the U.S. Coast Guard, Bob joined the faculty at the University of New Haven and served as director of the southeast branch of UNH at Groton. His professional teaching career continued at Fairfield University where he taught undergraduate and graduate students and served as head of the department of information systems. He was awarded professor emeritus upon his retirement from Fairfield University after 15 years of devoted service. Bob continued his lifelong adventure in education and served as a visiting professor at Nova Southeastern University in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., teaching and advising doctoral students. He dedicated his life to his family and to his students, mentoring many long after their college days concluded.
In his retirement, Bob formed Robert DeMichiell and Associates, a consulting and executive seminars company which focused on technology management for government business and education. Bob truly enjoyed collaborating with colleagues nationally and internationally and traveled extensively to share his knowledge and love of education. Throughout his distinguished career he published numerous works and participated in seminars and presentations which enlightened, inspired and provoked thinking.
Bob is survived by his beloved wife, Nan, of 57 years on June 8; and their children, Robert DeMichiell Jr. and his husband, Jeffrey Wilson, of New York City, Lynn Lynch and her husband, Brian, of Waterford and their children, Matthew Lynch of Waterford and David Lynch of New York City, and Gail DeMichiell and her daughter, Jessica Harran, both of Waterford. He is also survived by his two brothers, Ronald DeMichiell of Waterford and Raymond DeMichiell of New York City.
Bob dearly loved being with his family and friends. He took great pleasure in planning events and vacations to celebrate their lives and achievements and was passionate about documenting the events with his own specially produced films.
Calling hours will be held from 4 to 7 p.m. Wednesday, June 4, 2014, at the Thomas L. Neilan & Sons Funeral Home, 12 Ocean Ave., New London. A funeral mass will be held at 11 a.m. Thursday, June 5, 2014, at the U.S. Coast Guard Memorial Chapel. For security purposes, the Academy requests that all occupants in all vehicles present a valid ID upon entering Academy grounds.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to The Class of 1957 J.W. Kime Ethics Forum Endowment, c/o The U.S. Coast Guard Academy Alumni Association, New London, CT 06320.
Online condolences may be expressed at www.neilanfuneralhome.com.
Thomas L. Neilan & Sons Funeral Home
12 Ocean Avenue New London, CT 06320
Published in The Day from May 26 to June 1, 2014