Robert “Bob” Roelke, of South Kingstown, Rhode Island, and Stamford (formerly Greenwich), Connecticut, passed away suddenly at the age of 91. He was born on December 17, 1928 in Kearny, New Jersey to Harold “Hap” and Madeline Jetiru Roelke.
He was a graduate of Kearny High School, and he played professional soccer at age 16. After high school, he enlisted in the Marine Corps and attended the Naval Academy Preparatory School, where he played basketball.
Bob was a 33 rd degree Mason and attended Antioch College on the G.I. Bill. He graduated in 1954, followed by a long, successful career as an executive in the plastics film industry.
He is survived by his loving and devoted family: his wife of 65 years, Norma (Steinbock) Roelke ’56, and his three children and two daughters-in-law, Eric and Lucia (Larson) Roelke of Sharon, Massachusetts, Marc and Debra (Thomason) Roelke of Harding, New Jersey and Dana Roelke of Norwalk, Connecticut.
In addition, he is survived by five grandchildren: Alec, Ryan, Evan, Sara and David Roelke. He is also survived by his sister, Marion Garcia of San Diego, California, and his brother and sister in laws, Robert and Suzanne, and their children.
Bob loved life and lived to the fullest. He found humor in all that he did. He was an enthusiastic lifelong athlete as an avid tennis player until the age of 72. At age 16, he was a lifeguard at the Jersey Shore, and he continued to love being at and swimming in the ocean.
In retirement, he was a devoted volunteer for over 20 years, working to support employment opportunities for disadvantaged individuals and senior citizens. He traveled widely, but his favorite destinations were St. John USVI and Venice, Italy. He sought out a beach wherever he went, and never missed a cocktail hour. He will be sorely missed. Services will be private. Any donations can be made to your favorite charity in his name.