Robert R. Neilson, Sr. ’42

Robert R. Neilson, Sr. ’42 died on June 13, 2020 in Morrisville, Vermont.       

(The following was published by the The News & Citizen on June 18, 2020)

Robert Rice Neilson, Sr., 99, died on Saturday, June 13, 2020, at Copley Hospital, where he received excellent end-of-life care.

He was born in Sanford, Maine July 2, 1920, son of Neil G. and Mabel Rice Neilson. He graduated from Bowdoin College in 1942 and married Hazel Gertrude Fogg, his high school sweetheart, that same year. They were happily married for 68 years.

He was commissioned in the Navy during World War II, and served on the USS Natoma Bay, CVE 62, and the second Yorktown, CV 10, in the Pacific.

After the war, he moved to Worcester, MA, where he was employed by Morgan Construction Co. for 37 years and became treasurer and executive vice president.

He was a member of St. Michael’s on the Heights in Worcester, Quechee Community Church in Vermont, and St. John’s in the Mountains Episcopal Church in Stowe.

Robert, known to most as Bob (and known to even more as Hiyou) and his wife, Hazel, retired to Quechee in 1983, enamored by the beauty of Vermont and wanting to be closer to their family in Stowe. He embodied the fulfillment of the American dream, enjoying a long and joyful retirement playing golf and spending a lot of time with his loving family and friends.

He and Hazel later moved to Stowe, where they both spent their last years close to their children and grandchildren. Bob was a devoted husband and father, an extraordinary grandfather and great-grandfather. He had a great love of writing poetry and he celebrated most birthdays and special occasions with a new poem for the guest of honor. It brought him great joy to share his love and pride by reciting his newest creations. He was a kindred spirit and a man of great faith.

Survivors include his son, Robert Neilson Jr.; his daughter-in-law, Kathleen O’Hearn Neilson; his grandchildren, Brian Neilson and Lindsey Lamb and husband Brian; his great-grandchildren, Hannah Hazel, Emma Grace and Brayden James Lamb; and several nieces and nephews.

His wife, Hazel Fogg Neilson, died earlier, as did an infant son, William Fogg Neilson, a daughter, Betty Jean Neilson, and a sister, Doris Whipple.


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