Landry, Robert J.
Bob’s spirit approaches the shimmering pearly gate where a man emitting a glowing aura sits behind a desk. Opening a drawer with his right hand and pulling out a paper, St. Peter says, “We’ve been expecting you, Bob. I’ve got the basics here from your obituary.”
Robert J. Landry, 82, of Moodus, passed away at his home surrounded by his family on Tuesday April 28, 2020. Robert (Bob) is survived by his loving wife of 56 years, Lucille [Couture] Landry, and three children Sue Kocsis, her husband Bruce, John, his wife Karen and Mike, his wife Rebecca. Before his marriage, he was a member of the United States Air Force and Marine Corp. Shortly after his marriage on June 1,1963, Bob moved from Biddeford, Maine to Connecticut to begin his career with Pratt & Whitney where he worked for over 25 years. While raising his own children, he often coached and umpired youth baseball and softball and never failed to attend his children’s and, later, grandchildren’s games and events. Bob was an avid life-long fan of the Boston, Milwaukee and present Atlanta Braves. He loved to build things with his hands and often added significant additions to his homes by himself. He was an active member, leader and mentor in Alcoholic’s Anonymous. After his retirement in 1992, Bob began his hobbies and volunteerism in earnest. He took up model ship building and painting and hand-crafting custom pen and pencil sets. He played an active role in St. Bridget of Kildare where he helped to map out their cemetery and he was a driver for Meals on Wheels.
Bob played an active and meaningful role in the lives of his beloved grandchildren, Erik, Val, Marissa, Cassandra, Rita, and Stephen.
The surviving Landry family members would like to thank all the healthcare heroes of Middlesex Hospice Care for their professional support and loving care in assisting Bob on to a better place. A special thanks to, Nadege Viruet. Even in the darkest hour, the sun can shine. The Landry family was blessed to have a retired nurse and a silky voiced angel help care for Dad and befriend Lucille in the final months of Bob’s life. No words can express our gratitude, simply put, you are the best.
In place of flowers, it was Bob’s wish for contributions to be made to the Veterans of Foreign Wars, https://heroes.vfw.org/page/21776/donate/1?ea.tracking.id=homepage. Funeral service will be private and at the convenience of the family.
“Well,” continues St. Peter, “what can anyone really learn about another from a paper resume? I mean 56 years of devoted marriage to the same woman, impressive. And . . . I’m sure you never gave her a hard time?” St. Peter glances at Bob’s spirit which is shuffling nervously. “I see,” mumbles St. Peter. “This should be easily resolved with an audit. A few interviews with the people that knew you best. Simple matter really, nothing to worry yourself over.”
St. Peter: So, Sue, as the oldest child of Lucille and Bob, what did your father mean to you?
Sue: Dad? Through his everyday deeds he taught me the importance of using the talents and gifts God bestowed on each of us for the betterment of the community in which we live. He always freely gave his time and talents anywhere and anytime asked - be it his Church, his local Little League, his AA community and not least of all, his family. He instilled in me that drive to use the talents I have to help my community - particularly youth sports - a passion we both shared. I will always cherish the times that he came to watch Erik and Val compete in their respective sports, and the times he came to watch me coach my team of rising stars in the field of girls’ lacrosse. From the bottom of my heart, I thank my Dad.
Now, St. Peter, let Dad get to his family, so together they can Play Ball! We will be listening for those thunder boomers and know that Dad hit one out of the park [Emoji]
St. Peter: Let’s not get ahead of ourselves, Sue. I have an audit to complete. I believe you’re married. Time to talk to Bruce. What does Bob mean to you, Bruce?
Bruce: First off, St. Peter, Bob will always be Pepéré to me. Pepéré's greatest lesson to me is his willingness to give and help out when asked. Pepéré was always there for us to help out around our home (splitting 5 chords of wood every fall), dropping off/picking up Erik & Val from school, watching our pets when we were away, delivering Meals on Wheels, setting up AA meetings, projects for the church (mapping the cemetery, ushering), taking the kids for day trips just for fun, being here for us in cases of emergency, driving through a snowstorm to help us move in, helping me at the greenhouse when I was first getting started...the list goes on. And if he heard there was a project he always asked "Do you need a hand?". Whenever I offered to repay, he just said put that chip on the pile with the others. The best I can do now is repay those chips to others going forward since it was impossible to pay them all off before he left.
St. Peter: Clearly Bob made an impression on you, Bruce. Is there anything else to share?
Bruce: The other thing I will always remember about Pepéré is all the evenings we spent playing cards with Meméré and Pepéré. It was always the guys against the girls, and we always lost. Those evenings were always filled with laughter and fun, and the reward was just the gift of time with each other.
St. Peter: So, John, the middle son and a teacher? I won’t hold that against you, after all this isn’t your audit, yet. What did Bob mean to you?
John: Hours and hours of selflessly pitching baseballs, which often strayed way inside, and hitting fly balls to me as I aspired to be the next all-star outfielder for the Montreal Expos. One sunny spring day he cracked a towering fly ball to me. I easily drifted under it, adroitly raised my glove and the ball went cleanly past the top of my glove and bounced off of my head rebounding at least three feet back up in the air. As an adult, I know it must have looked hilarious and my adult self would have busted out laughing. Dad just grabbed another ball out of the bucket and said, “you’ll get the next one.” Not the slightest laugh or reaction just the confidence that I’d get the next one. That’s Dad, always there.
St. Peter: My records show that you are married to Karen. Karen, what did Bob mean to you?
Karen: Dad to me? Creative, dedicated, involved and fun. He played with his grandkids without reservation. In 2003, Dad, Marissa, 3.5, and Cassie, 2, sat at the girl’s plastic Little Tikes picnic table and intently colored and discussed the zoo animals and Disney Princesses, for whom he was familiar, that they were coloring. He was giggling with the girls, but they were all so intent on their art. 15 years later, when Dad’s health had greatly deteriorated, he displayed the same creativity as he decorated gingerbread cookies, a Landry family tradition, with four of his grandchildren, Stephen, Rita, Marissa and Cassie. The detailed cookies and giggling around the table created a special memory for Meméré and me.
St. Peter: Mike, youngest child, and a father with a beautiful wife and two children. Obviously, you have a frame of reference through which to share your views of Bob, so, proceed.
Mike: Rebecca and I had been engaged for just over six months at the time and all was right in the world. We got a couple of tickets for him and me to go to the Bronx. The date was June 28 2006 and it proved to be a day we got our money’s worth. The game went 12 innings.
Sure, I wanted the Yankees to win but did it really matter? No. The part that was the best for me was seeing dad watch his team and keep score. Throughout the day his emotions never ran high or low, it was just a great early summer day with my dad.
I don't recall what we talked about all day long but that was not important. What I do remember is it was a long day where him and I were together with 50,000 plus of our closest friends and we just got to be together, a dad and his kid.
St. Peter: “A dad and his kid,” seems like a common theme. You, too are married, time to speak to Rebecca. What did Bob mean to you?
Rebecca: Coming into the family last, I unfortunately only knew Dad's last chapter. However, I was very taken with the stories heard of his life. I was very impressed with his many talents, creativity and work ethic. My father-in-law was quiet but always ready and willing to help us with any project at hand. I loved seeing the overjoyed look on Pepéré's face when being around his youngest grandchildren and especially when sharing an ice cream treat. Dad always treated me with kindness and makes me very proud to be a Landry.
St. Peter: That’s all the children. Let’s talk to some grandchildren. Erik, what did Bob mean to you?
Erik: Pepéré was an incredible influence on my life and the decisions I have made throughout. As a child, Pepéré would take me to go watch RC planes before preschool, which ignited a passion for flight deep within me. This led to my choice to study aeronautical engineering at college. His passion for golf has permeated into my life, and although not half the player he was, I fully embody his belief of "only picking up the score card to know how far away the pin is." He will never be forgotten and always loved. I'll miss you Pepéré, rest easy. In heaven, of course, right, St. Peter?
St. Peter: I see you are your mother’s son, few more interviews to conduct before a decision can be made, Erik. I see you have a sister. Val, what did Bob mean to you?
Val: Pepéré is a person who had a major influence on my life. When I was little, Pepéré and Meméré would take Erik and I to places like Mystic Aquarium for the day. Days like those kick started my love and passion for going on adventures and exploring new places. Pepéré was a person that you can always rely on coming to my birthday parties and sporting events. We had fun traveling to different locations like San Antonio and Quebec. The connections and memories made on those trips are worth ten lifetimes.
You will always be remembered, never forgotten, and loved forever. Rest easy Pepere, you will be missed.
St. Peter: Marissa, John’s and Karen’s, oldest daughter and going to school at Assumption College, a fine Catholic school. What did Bob mean to you?
Marissa: I specifically remember one Christmas with Meréré and Pepéré when I was 6 or 7. That Christmas, I played War with Pepéré in the living room in front of the Christmas tree. That was the first time I remember playing cards. Today, cards is something I love to play and I have always enjoyed playing set back with Pepéré.
St. Peter: We have reached the final interview. I can see from all the pictures of Bob with his youngest grandchildren, Rita and Stephen, that he has made an impact. That leaves, Cassie. Cassie, what did Bob mean to you?
Cassie: Pepéré was a fantastic man. I knew this even at a young age. He was always there for me, and all of his grandchildren. He would go out of his way to make sure we were happy, no matter what. I have so many fond memories of Pepéré that I couldn’t possibly list them all. One of my favorite memories of him is a seemingly simple one. Marissa, my sister, Pepéré and I were going to our aunt and uncle’s house. Pepéré knew that as kids, we might get a bit bored there because there were no other kids there to spend time with us. So, being an amazing and considerate man, he got my sister and I ice cream, and said “Now you have ice cream to keep you company!” This simple gesture showed just how much our Pepéré cared about how we felt. I will always remember him as the caring, loving, amazing man he was. I love him very much, may he rest in peace now.
“Bob,” concludes St. Peter, “You have lived a good life. Please enter the realm of God and Play Ball!”
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