Robert “Bob” John Brockmann, 93, of Watch Hill/Westerly, died November 4, 2020. He is survived by his wife of 70 years, Marilyn (Frechette) Brockmann; seven children, John (Sarah), Mary O’Neil, Ann, Paul (Rhonda), Jane, Susan (Brad) Beattie, and Peter (Michaela); eleven grandchildren; and two great-grandchildren.
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Bob was born on Long Island, NY, and grew up on his family farm in Ozone Park. He attended public schools and graduated President of the student body and salutatorian of his graduating class from John Adams High School, at the age of 16. He entered Columbia University in New York City where he completed two years of college before entering the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy at Kings Point, LI. He served as a Cadet-Midshipman aboard several Merchant ships during the final days of WWII in the Atlantic, Mediterranean and Pacific Oceans.
After leaving the Merchant Marines, he returned to Columbia and graduated with a Master’s Degree from the School of Business. He joined the Arthur Andersen Public Accounting Firm but after achieving his CPA, he accepted the position of Treasurer and Controller of Minerals and Chemicals of America in Menlo Park, NJ. Over the succeeding years, Bob climbed the proverbial “corporate ladder” until he achieved his final goal, that of President and Chief Executive Officer of a “Big Board” (NY Stock Exchange) company, the American Investment Company in St. Louis, Mo., in 1975.
After multiple moves, in 1978, Bob and Marilyn bought what the family considers “home”, a cottage in Watch Hill that Bob named “Mandalay.” In 1984, Bob retired and the family moved in “full time.”
Bob’s retirement was not just sailing, tennis and racquet ball, all of which he loved, he also entered fully into community life, serving on the Board and as Treasurer of The Westerly Hospital. He was also elected Vice Commodore of the Watch Hill Yacht Club but declined the honor of becoming Commodore when he was elected Moderator of the Watch Hill Fire District, a role in which he served for ten years. Bob was also a frequent Reader and Eucharistic Minister at the Church of St. Clare and brought Communion to the sick at home on a regular basis.
In 1994, he and Marilyn began to winter on Marco Island, FL but, in 2019, they moved into “The Elms” in Westerly where they anticipated “living happily after.”
The family requests that in lieu of flowers, donations be made to St. Clare Church, The Honor Flight or charity of the donor’s wishes.
Because of COVID, there will be no visiting hours and burial will be private.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated on Monday, November 9 at 11am. Gaffney-Dolan Funeral Home, 59 Spruce St., Westerly is in care of the arrangements. For online condolences please visit www.gaffneydolanfuneralhome.com