Robert J. Shay Jr.
1932 - 2020
{ "" }
Share Robert's life story with friends and family
Send an Email
Or Copy this URL to Share
Robert J. Shay, Jr., 87, of West Hartford, CT and formerly of Windsor, CT died with his beloved wife, Helene and children by his side on Tuesday, Sept 22, 2020 after a long-fought battle against Lewy Body Dementia. Robert was born in Newark, NJ on Dec 1, 1932. On the very same day, six hours later a baby girl was born in Waterbury, CT. She would become his wife on July 4th, 1953. "Buddy" moved to Connecticut in 1943 with his adored father and younger sister Eileen. His dear, older sister, Jane remained in New Jersey for college. Robert attended St Joseph Cathedral grammar school and Hartford Public High School. He was fearless and had an extraordinary amount of energy and an incredible work ethic. He was fiercely independent, loyal and unfailingly protective of his family. Nothing was ever too much; no road trip too long for his family, friends and even strangers stranded on the roadside. He was a true original who thrived on being his own boss. He had a wide variety of careers from police officer to salesman to trade school recruiter, but his true calling was as an entrepreneur and small business owner. He started several businesses over the years. His most recent venture was "Jackie's Jams" which he co-founded and operated when he was in his 70's. He was never happier though than when he was working side by side with his beloved sons, Bob and Russ, the founders and owners of Surefoot, a ski boot specialist company. Robert loved polka dancing with his wife, working on cars (Did you check the oil?), all things related to planes, cycling, skiing, old westerns and WWII movies. He was proud to be a Fourth Degree Knights of Columbus, Windsor Council. Above all else he loved his wife, his children, their spouses and his grandchildren. Robert was pre-deceased by his father, Robert J. Shay, Sr, his sister Jane Harrison, and his brothers-in-law Walter E. Rogers and Harry Harrison. He leaves his beloved wife, Helene, and their children Susan Shay of Simsbury, Robert J. Shay, III of Deer Valley, UT, Karen A Sullivan and her husband Richard of Basking Ridge, NJ and Russell Shay and his wife Jenifer of Vail, CO. G.P. also leaves his adored grandchildren Nicole Sullivan, Russell Sullivan, Ali Sullivan, Sierra Shay, Jack Shay, Bella Shay and Ricky Shay. Buddy also leaves his sister Eileen Rogers, niece Barbara Patterson, nephews Walter E. "Chip" Rogers, Jr. and Chris Harrison and their families as well as his caring brothers-in-law Bill, George and Timmy Hughes. We will love and miss him forever. Calling hours for family and friends will be held on Tuesday, Sept 29, 2020 from 4:00 to 7:00 p.m. at Carmon Funeral Home & Family Center, 301 Country Club Rd. Avon, CT. A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 10:00 a.m. at St. Thomas the Apostle Church, 872 Farmington Ave., West Hartford, CT on Wednesday, Sept 30, 2020. Masks and social distancing are required. Donations may be made to the Connecticut Children's Medical Center Foundation. For more information see or call 860.837.5700.

To Plant Memorial Trees in memory, please visit our Sympathy Store.
Published in Hartford Courant on Sep. 27, 2020.
Calling hours
04:00 - 07:00 PM
Mass of Christian Burial
10:00 AM
Funeral services provided by
Order by phone: (866) 764-7853
Memories & Condolences
Guest Book sponsored by the family
Not sure what to say?
8 entries
September 30, 2020
Group of 10 Memorial Trees
Plant Memorial Trees
Sympathy Gift courtesy of
Roberta Garceau
September 29, 2020
May the love of friends and family carry you through your grief. Buddy was a great friend and inspiration to all. I have lots of great memories from my childhood and saw the wonderful relationship he And Helene had with my parents Roland and Martha. He had a smile that would light up the room and great stories to share. Thoughts and prayers Are with you all. Love Linda
Linda Bouffard
September 28, 2020
Thoughts of Tranquility Floor Basket
Send Flowers and Gifts
Sympathy Gift courtesy of
a loved one
September 28, 2020
So sorry to read of Bob's passing. We did some Windsor civic volunteer work together. Bob had a great sense of humor and was fun to work with. My condolences to Helene and family.
Brian Anderson
September 28, 2020
My deepest sympathy to Helene and Family.

Jeff Scanlon
September 28, 2020
So sad to hear of Buddy's passing. Many wonderful visits shared with our parents Roland and Marty Bouffard. The memories go back to our childhood and Miami Beach Old Lyme Ct. Buddy held a special place in our parents and our hearts. Please know our thoughts and prayers are with all of you as you navigate his loss. He was such a happy and enthusiastic person. He will be sorely missed. Love Suzanne, Linda and David Bouffard
September 28, 2020
Dear Helene and the entire Shay Family:
We are so sorry for to hear about the passing of your husband, father and grandfather.
Please know each of us send our deepest sympathy to all of you at this most difficult time.
Our thoughts and prayers to all

With Sympathy
Pat Fitton, Director
and Staff & Board Members of SBMA
Carol Celio
September 26, 2020
May God bless you Helene and your family in this time of sorrow. Your husband was remarkable.
Victoria DeFrank
Invite others to add memories
Share to let others add their own memories and condolences