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 https://www.connecticutchildrensfoundation.org
or call 860.837.5700.