Robert W. Bordewieck

Robert William Bordewieck of Norwell died peacefully May 4, 2013, with family around him at South Shore Hospital, after an acute illness. He was 90 years old, and had been an active, outgoing, very sociable man, well known for his broad smile and positive attitude. The son of German businessman immigrant Carl Bordewieck and Mayflower descendant Adelaide Woodward, Bob grew up in Wellesley and Sherborn during the depression. Valedictorian of his high school class, he received a scholarship to Northeastern University where he earned his degree in electrical engineering. While still a student, he met and married his first wife, Elsie (Hussey) in 1943. The couple moved to Braintree in 1950, where they raised five children and were active in local government, youth sports, PTA, Girl Scouts and other community groups. Bob taught at several institutions, worked at several engineering firms, and was issued a number of patents before launching his own business, Bordewieck Engineering Sales Company. Later he started three other companies which manufactured or distributed electronic controls. Bob and Elsie lived in Braintree for over two decades. In the early 1970s, they moved their family and then two of their businesses to Norwell, where Bob again became active at town meetings and worked with the Advisory Committee and Conservation Commission. Bob gradually retired in the late 1990s to care for Elsie, who succumbed to Alzheimer's in 1999. In 2002 Bob married Patricia (Mandell) (Andersen); she and Bob shared more love, laughter, a little travel and her affectionate dogs Zack and Sophie. On one of their trips Pat and Bob met Doris Buffett, whom they subsequently connected with the Friendship Home's early fundraising. Providing jobs for families and work placements for Northeastern students was essentially important to Bob when he was running his businesses. He loved to help people, solve problems, make folks happy. Health and fitness were important to him; he always swam and for the past years he participated in water aerobics three times weekly at his gym. Finding a cure for Alzheimer's Disease was very important to Bob; he was a subject in Dr. Hyman's AD study at Mass. General Hospital. Bob's family was the most essential part of his life. They will miss his silly jokes, his deeplove, generosity, advice and counsel, but especially his never ending optimism. It is nearly impossible to find a picture in which he is not smiling or to remember a time in which he was not making plans for the next 20 years. He is survived by his wife, Patricia Bordewieck of Norwell; daughters, Sandra Ranaghan and husband Paul of Hingham, Kathleen Campbell and husband Michael of Huntsville, Ala., Virginia Colin and husband Michael Richey of Springfield, Va., Dorothy Hill of Baltimore, Md.; son, Douglas Bordewieck and wife Renae Broderick of Bartlett, N.H.; sister, Frieda Symmes and husband Bill of Franklin; grandchildren, Scott Campbell, Colleen Campbell, Alex Dunbar, Rebecca Colin-Johnson, Andrew Campbell, Heather Campbell, Carolyn Dunbar, Crystal Huff, Joanna Lightburn, Jeremy Hill, Daniel Colin, Nathaniel Hill, and Julia Barge; step-granddaughter, Talia Sutherland; four great-grandchildren; and a host of nieces and nephews. He was predeceased by his first wife Elsie and one grandson. A memorial service is planned for July 7 at 1 p.m. at Friendship Home, 458 Main St., Norwell. Memorial bequests may be made to Friendship Home or to the . For an online guest book, please visit 781-659-2200

Published in The Norwell Mariner from May 8 to May 15, 2013