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Robert Edward Beaudette, 75, departed from this terrestrial world the week of May 9th, 2022 at his home in Waltham MA.
Bob came into this world on September 12, 1946 in Waltham, MA. He was the youngest of eight children, son to Henry Joseph Beaudette of Quebec, Canada and Elizabeth Viginia (Lil) Clinton of Brighton, MA. He is survived by two sisters Elizabeth Viginia (Betty) Cheever of LaJolla, CA and Mary E. Marchant of Watertown, MA and late siblings Henry J. Beaudette, James A. Beaudette, Barbara A. Flanigan, George A. Beaudette, Clinton T. (Buddy) Beaudette. His two children Robert Joseph Beaudette of Houston, TX and Cara Johnston of Jamaica Plain, MA. One grandchild, Beau Beaudette of Houston, TX, and his former wife Karen York Beaudette of Charlestown, MA.
Mr. Beaudette, who went by ‘Bob’ was a successful Machine Shop trade school graduate of Waltham Vocational High School, class of 1966. He was honorably discharged from the Air Force Reserve and served between the years of 1966-1972. During his time in the Air Force, he worked as an airframe mechanic on various aircraft. His early career was spent outdoors as a surveyor throughout Massachusetts. He had fond memories of his time out in the field and would share stories while driving down the roads he worked on, the most notable being Route 2 in the Belmont and Arlington areas. He next transitioned his career to another of his passions, which was working with machines. Bob joined the Charles N. Miller co. (later purchased by Stark Necco) in the early 80s, through the advice of his sister Mary and became an indispensable asset over the years, applying his problem-solving skills on a daily basis to keep the candy machines running. Always a family man, he would often take his children to work with him on Saturdays, where they would wander around the plant causing mischief, seeing their father’s handy work as he built parts to keep the 100-year-old machines running.
Bob’s creativity was a gift he shared with many, his handiwork has left a trail of tangible memories for all of us to remember him by. Always one to lend a hand, some of the stories that come to mind are the kitchen he built for Ed and Elly York, the basement apartment he built out on Clematis Avenue for the Thompsons (which he later lived in), beautifully finished ceilings at his mother’s house on Warren Avenue in Waltham. He also built out the upstairs of his sister Mary’s house in Watertown, creating a small apartment out of a spare room in his brother Jimmy’s house in Waltham, replacing the kitchen floor at the York family cottage in Plymouth (after someone fell through). Bob also used his skills up in Rome, Maine building the family vacation home and what could be considered his life’s work.
His life with his family was mostly spent in Medway where his first home was purchased, 19 Barber Street, a true fixer-upper that his mom asked ‘were you drunk when you bought this?’ Bob was up for the challenge, rewiring the 100 hundred-year-old home and converting it into a two family over 7 years' time, the first tenant was his nephew Jimmy Flannigan.
Bob could find a solution for pretty much anything that needed fixing, including his own ability to walk. In the early 90’s Bob suffered from an ‘unknown’ sickness paralyzing him from the waist down. When he came through from the coma, the doctors told him he would never walk again. Bob did not agree and one day he wiggled his big toe, over the following years through rehabilitation and help from his high school friend Richie Curry, he learned to walk again. In his early years before his sickness, Bob had a passion for creating, and when he was not helping others, fixing the car or things around the house he could be found making his Nut Men. Small figurines made of old brass components that he brazed together, became a family activity as he taught his daughter how to braze and he sold them with his son at local craft fairs.
Bob was a quiet man and enjoyed being in the solitude of nature, ‘watching the trees grow’ as he would say, you could often find him sunning himself on a lawn chair in the yard with a Miller High Life in hand. He would dangle his feet in the lake up in Maine, and spent most of his time quietly thinking up solutions. He had a love for animals and the interconnectedness of life. At his vacation home in Maine, he befriended the crows and fed them daily, enjoying the stray fox or owl that would occasionally make an appearance. Over the years the family installed over 30 birdhouses and at last, in 2021 he had his first tenant, Bob was a lover of birds, his favorite being the Bald eagle. When not enjoying nature he would dive into the world of science fiction, one of his favorite storylines being that of Star Trek, when asked why he likes sci-fi so much, he said: “it’s because it makes me think differently, I like that.” He was also big into cooking, there would often be a huge pot of tomato sauce simmering on the stove for hours, no recipe needed, he was always collecting recipes and kept close at hand his prized possession, his mother’s cookbook.
Bob could often be found at the American Legion Post 156 in Waltham when he wasn't in Maine, a second home where he would spend time with fellow legionnaires to many to list, and his sister Mary and departed brother-in-law Ron Marchant. He would visit his friend Bill Thompson’s Machine shop, stop by to say hi to his sister Mary and grab lunch with his friend Bob Colangelo. His love for his ex-wife Karen never ended, they were often together in the later years of his life, having lunch, grocery shopping, or spending time up in Maine.
Bob was a calm man at peace with life, always giving, grateful for his second chance of life, he was never one to rush, always one to appreciate, never one to ask for help, always one to offer it, he was a loving man, and was well-loved.
Common Sayings by Bob
Please join us for a burial service on July 9th, 12PM at the Grove Hill Cemetery, 290 Main Street, Waltham, followed by a Celebration of Life at the American Legion Post 156 located at 215 Waverley Oaks Road, Waltham, MA at 1PM. This date in July was chosen in an effort to allow as many friends and family as possible to join and say farewell.