Robert (Bob) Grant Conner of Easthampton passed away on May 8, 2020 at Holyoke Medical Center due to complications from COVID-19.
Bob was born on Sept 8, 1923 in Easthampton MA the son of the late Alfred and Isabele (Knox) Conner. He attended local schools and graduated from Easthampton High School Class of 1941. He received his Bachelor’s degree in 1947 from Amherst College (as the war-time class of 1945). Bob married Bernice (Taylor) in October of 1953. His career as a chemist began at Hampton Mills in Easthampton, and continued at Stanley Home Products. Later in life Bob shifted his career to join his wife Bernice as a full-time broker and owner of Taylor Real Estate in Easthampton, a family business in which he continued to work into his eighties.
Bob’s life was centered on family, and he took great pride in the endeavors and accomplishments of his three sons, as well as his grandchildren. As he and Bernice raised their family, nothing brought him greater joy than taking his boys on hikes and teaching them about wildflowers along the way, bringing them fishing to local streams, and reminiscing about his own childhood growing up in Easthampton. Many memories were also formed during summer vacations to Goose Rocks Beach in Kennebunkport, ME, another of Bob’s favorite places. But family, particularly his children, and later his grandchildren, was always his first priority. He relished his time with them all, and took a deep interest in all that they did. A quintessential parent and grandparent, his face would always light up when greeting one of his boys or grandchildren, and his first question would always be about the well-being of other family members.
Second to family was Bob’s commitment to the Town (now City) of Easthampton, his life-long home. He served three terms as a member of the Board of Selectmen, chairing the Board for several years. He was also a long-time town meeting member, and served on several municipal boards and committees. Bob was involved in a number of civic organizations, particularly during his career in real estate.
He was also proud of his military service, his college years interrupted as he entered the U.S. Army in July of 1944. Initially discharged in July of 1946, Bob enlisted in the U.S. Army reserves, serving again during the Korean Conflict from 1950 to 1951, attaining the rank of Staff Sergeant.
Bob is survived by his wife Bernice of 66 years. He also leaves his son Tom, his wife Lee-Ann, and their son Nicholas of Easthampton; his son Chuck, his wife Maura McCarthy of Easthampton, and children Megan of Southampton, Matthew of Easthampton, Danica (Missy) of Holyoke, and Brooks of Colorado; and his son Dick, his wife Beth Goldstein, and their children Berni and Jesse of Northampton. Bob is also survived by his cousin Lois Sattler of Johns Creek, GA along with her children James, Jane, and Jonathan. He was predeceased by his brother David, who passed away in January, 2020.
The family will hold a memorial service at Brookside Cemetery in Easthampton at a future date, with full military honors for Bob’s service during WWII and the Korean Conflict. In honor and recognition of his love of nature and the outdoors, as well as his hometown, gifts in Bob’s memory may be made to the Pascommuck Conservation Trust, PO Box 806 Easthampton, MA 01027 www.pctland.org.
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