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Robert J. “Bob” Haughey

1931 - 2018 Obituary Condolences
Robert J. “Bob” Haughey Obituary
"Dr. Bob", as he was affectionately called by many who loved him, a 44 year resident of Estes Park entered Eternal Life, on the Feast of the Epiphany, January 6, 2018, after a challenging medical year. Bob was a beloved husband, father, grandfather, great grandfather, uncle, educator, friend and mentor.

A Life Celebration of Thanksgiving honoring Bob will be held July 14, 2018, Saturday at 11:30 am in the outdoor amphitheater of Estes Valley Memorial Gardens, 1672 Fish Hatchery Road, Estes Park, Colorado.

A "depression era" baby, Bob was born June 17, 1931 in Brooklyn, NY. His first generation Irish American parents were Francis & Helen (Rogers) Haughey, who came from hardworking, hope-filled immigrant stock; people who valued learning, compassion and humor.

Bob was an ex-submariner, having served our country during the Korean War, as an Electronic Technician. It was this electronic training coupled with his natural skill set that gave him a "ticket' into the corporate world, following his discharge from naval service in 1955.

He was a quiet man who practiced the rare quality of 'active listening', this positive characteristic served him and others well, personally and professionally in the arenas of business, industry and academia. It was especially helpful when managing and educating fellow IBM employees for 37 years in the USA and the Pacific Rim.

Bob married the 'love of his life', his cherished sweetheart, Kay Norton in their parish church April 30, 1955. Following wedding festivities the couple headed north, out of New York City to Poughkeepsie, NY where Bob began his long, satisfying career with IBM. IBM gave Bob an opportunity; Bob gave IBM his best!

It was a time of major corporate expansion. Bob was able to serve in a variety of technical, administrative and management positions, while participating fully in the organizational setting up of several new locations throughout the country.

This work experience led to his being invited to join the initial management team sent 'out west to establish the IBM Boulder, Colorado facility in 1965. It was an exciting, exhausting time when Bob, Kay and their children (all east coast natives) were about to become "Colorado Converts"!

The family settled in Longmont, a wonderful, welcoming town (population 14,000 in 1965) where they participated fully in community and church life. Through CFM (Christian Family Movement), they encountered a loving, culturally diverse, supportive group of folks, many of whom would become life-long friends. But the mountains that Bob so loved were calling! So in 1971, the Haughey family headed west into "the hills"!

Beautiful Big Elk Meadows, where they owned a little cabin, was their dream destination (1971-1974) then on the magnificent Estes Valley, which has been their "hometown" ever since 1974.

Education-wise, Bob was a "plodder". Following his 1949 graduation from a tech high school, he secured a full-time job as a Coal Sampler with Con Edison, NYC and began what was to become a lifetime of night and weekend classes, one course at a time.

Through the decades, with Kay's ever constant support, if a course of study could be fitted around employment schedules or family obligations, Bob took that course and Kay "held the fort"!

In this way, Bob earned all four of his university degrees! All this academic "plodding" culminated in supreme joy, when in 1994 Bob was awarded his Ph.D. from Colorado State University as his grandchildren cheered and whistled from the balcony of Moby Arena at CSU in Fort Collins, Colorado. Truly a day to remember! Bob was 63 years old!

Following early retirement from IBM, Bob went on to become an adjunct professor at Regis University, Denver.

In 1997 he was chosen to receive the Excellence in Teaching award from Regis University.

Bob loved and respected all of nature: the mountains, the ocean, the Sonoran Dessert of Arizona-Mexico. He was a wood carver, who climbed mountains (having guided many young people up Longs Peak) an ardent amateur geologist, rock collector, volcano explorer, star gazer and avid reader. He never ceased being in awe and appreciation for the incredible universe given us, the human family, by our loving creator.

Possessing a dry Irish wit, Bob was "a master at putting the absurdities of life into focus, while making you laugh".

Punning with his children (and with similarly inclined pun-loving friends) was a form of humor he enjoyed immensely.

Spending an afternoon sitting on his deck, coffee in hand, surrounded by books and birds looking up at his mountains was for Bob a taste of paradise, this was increasingly the case as his health began to fail.

As his hospitalizations increased, his little great-grand babes would visit, draw pictures, read their board books to him. Running their little trucks and buggies along the folds of his bed linens, he'd smile at them, thoroughly enjoying their innocent blessedness. What a gift!

Left behind to cherish Bob's memory is his soulmate and wife of 63 years, Kay Norton, Estes Park; and their children: Mary Catherine (Dorsey) Comeau, Brighton, CO; Helen Hess, Ft. Collins, CO; Fara Kelly (James) Arnold, Longmont, CO; Michael (Bonnie) Haughey, Ft. Collins, CO; Lidia Haughey, Wyoming/Montana; Matthew, Africa; ten grandchildren around the world; seven great grandchildren, many loving nieces and nephews; long- time friends and caring children, grands and great grands from second family marriages.

Bob was proceeded in death by his parents, his only sibling a brother Dr. Frank Haughey, and a daughter Jeanne Norton Haughey Richards, a cancer victim.

Kay and her family are profoundly grateful for the thousands of acts of kindness, they and her precious Bob received from the entire Estes Park Community in so many different ways by so many caring people during this difficult time. Blessings in abundance on all!
Following the Celebration of Bob's Life, a luncheon reception will be held at Rocky Mountain Gateway Trailhead Restaurant, 3450 Fall River Rd., Estes Park, just one half mile up the hill and west of Estes Valley Memorial Garden, where there is plenty of parking and easy access.

Prayers and continuing small acts of kindness that make our world a better place would be a tremendous tribute to Bob's memory.
Donations may be made to Crossroads ministry, Inc., Estes Park, CO or St. Judes Children's cancer Research Hospital, 501 St. Jude Place, Memphis, TN 38105 – these were two of Bob's favorite charities.
Published in Estes Park Trail-Gazette on July 11, 2018
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