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Robert Arthur Dubay

OLD TOWN - Robert "Bob" Arthur Dubay, 89, died peacefully at his home Thursday, May 2, 2013, of cancer. He was born Feb. 1, 1924, in the family home on French Island, the youngest child of Josephine and Charles Dubay Jr.

At an early age, he moved to Millinocket to live with extended family where he discovered and developed a passion for Baxter State Park that he later passed on to his children. Bob moved back to Old Town where he attended and graduated high school. It was at St. Mary's Church, where he had served as an altar boy, that he met the love of his life, Rachel "Joan" Hoit. After sending her a telegram and an engagement ring from his military post, they were married Oct. 1, 1945. Bob attended the University of Maine, Orono, until he enlisted in the U.S. Navy and became a pilot. One of his many stories was that his flight instructor was Ted Williams and his battalion commander was Johnny Pesky. As a result, his admiration for the Red Sox was solidified. Later, he served in the U.S Army and U.S. Air Force Reserves. For the next 20 years he sold insurance for Metropolitan Life and returned to UMO to earn his business degree. After training with H&R Block, Boston, he introduced the company to Maine and subsequently opened numerous offices throughout the state. After 25 years of service with H&R Block, Bob retired in 1987. He spent most of his retirement traveling with his wife, visiting their children and grandchildren across the country. Bob had a profound appreciation for the natural beauty of Maine and delighted in treks with his kids to Cold Stream Pond, Bar Harbor and Mount Katahdin. He was constantly working on household projects, acquiring many useful skills over the years. The quintessential handyman, Bob was always eager to share his knowledge by offering a helping hand to others. He volunteered at Baxter State Park, where he helped construct camping facilities and trail improvements. Throughout his life, he was known for his quick wit, intellect, curiosity and his remarkable ability to engage in conversation with everyone he met. Bob was a devout Catholic who demonstrated his Christian faith through his unwavering compassion and generosity. He participated daily in services and was well respected by his church community. He had a special friendship with Father Joe Khoury.

Bob was predeceased by his beloved wife of 60 years, Rachel "Joan"; baby daughter, Caroline Jean; his parents; brother, Roland; and sister, Lorraine. He is survived by his children, Mark and Shelly of Milford, N.H., Roberta and Rob Strout of Conyers, Ga., Paula of Lynchburg, Va., Christina of Waynesboro, Va., Peter and Debbie of Seattle, Susan, his primary caregiver, of Old Town, Monica and Willem of Baraboo, Wis., Patrick and Debbie of Stillwater and Juliana and Joe Dobinski of Fernandina Beach, Fla.; 23 grandchildren, Mark Dubay, Kathleen Dubay, Alisa Reynolds, Joseph Dubay, Sarah Forstner, Amanda Tunnell, Erica Strout, Jessica Miller, Andrew Brown, Jeremiah Horton, Caleb Horton, Kara Good, Jennifer Evans, Melissa Dubay, Matthew Dubay, Luke Duplessis, Rachel Meakin, Christopher Skinner, Samuel Skinner, Bryan Dubay, Kristi Brown, Michael Dobinski and Caroline Dobinski; 16 great-grandchildren, Caitlin, Patrick, Shea, Tyler, Megan, Allison, Jane, Eleanor, Gabriella, Jocelyn, Aubrey, Madeline, Luke, Eli, Noah and Carmen; special cousin, June Whittier; other cousins, nieces and nephews; as well as several lifelong friends, especially the Spruces and the Needhams.

Friends may call 2-4 p.m. and 7-9 p.m. Tuesday, at Birmingham Funeral Home, 438 Main St., Old Town, where members of Knights of Columbus will recite prayers at 7:30pm. A Mass of Christian burial will be celebrated 11 a.m. Wednesday, at Parish of the Resurrection, Holy Family Church, Old Town. Immediately after the mass all are invited to the Parish hall for a light luncheon and continued fellowship. Burial with full military honors will be conducted 10 a.m. Friday, at Maine Veterans Memorial Cemetery, Augusta. Notes of condolences may be left at www.birminghamfuneralhome.com.

Published in BDN Maine on May 4, 2013
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