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HELD, John Robert A longtime resident of Bolton, died in Boston on March 19, 2013. He was a vibrant 74 years old. Rob was born in New York on June 12, 1938. He was the son of Max Robert Held and Marilyn Hausheer Held, both of whom were born in Switzerland. Rob grew up on Long Island. He received a Bachelors of Engineering from Yale University in 1961 after which he served for six years in the U.S. Navy as a Lieutenant on a Polaris submarine. Rob received an MBA from Harvard Business School in 1969 and then embarked on an extraordinary career in the Boston area, beginning with several small companies in Waltham and Leominster, followed by a long stint at GenRad, Inc. in West Concord where he rose to be the Vice President and Division General Manager. His finished his career as the President and CEO of Chipcom Corporation in Southborough, where he led the company through a period of rapid growth. Befittingly, Rob was as proud of creating a dynamic, positive corporate culture as he was of the substantial financial success that Chipcom achieved with him at its helm. After his retirement from Chipcom in 1995, he applied his extensive experience and skills to for-Profit and not-for-Profit boards too numerous to list. At the time of his death he devoted his passion and energy to two organizations near and dear to his heart: the Bolton Conservation Trust (of which he was a founding Member), and the New England Wildflower Society. Rob was never happier then when he could get his hands dirty clearing trails or pulling invasive weeds, and he was always looking for an excuse to run around the woods with his chainsaw. Rob often said that every day after 70 is a gift and he lived life to the fullest to the very end. He loved to ski, hike, climb, and putter in his garden, and he took every chance to raise a glass with family and friends. When he died he was simultaneously planning a ski trip to Jackson Hole, a full knee replacement, and a family trip to Switzerland where he could celebrate two of his favorite things: being high above tree-line in the Alps, and surrounded by family. Rob is survived by his beloved wife of 45 years, Lucille Scott Held of Bolton; his sister, Ruth Held van Heuven of Moretown, VT; his children Amy Held Hunter of Napa, CA and Robert Michael Held of Montclair, NJ; his four grandchildren, Sam, Isabel and Scarlett Held of Montclair and Caiden Hunter of Napa; numerous cousins, nieces and nephews; and his trusty 1983 Ford tractor. Rob's life will be celebrated at his home in Bolton on his birthday, June 12. In the near term, the family invites friends to share stories and memories at http://www.caringbridge.org/visit/robheld/mystory. In honor of his memory and in lieu of flowers, Rob's family asks you to consider a donation to the New England Wild Flower Society and/or the Bolton Conservation Trust. Rob suffered a massive brain hemorrhage on Sunday, March 17. His soul left us on St. Patrick's Day, but his noble heart held on for two more days. He died surrounded by his family and dear friends, by tears and raucous laughter. Good night sweet prince. You were our best friend

Published in The Boston Globe on Mar. 24, 2013
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