MILLBURY - Robert J. Stairs, 92, a long time resident of Millbury, passed away peacefully at UMass Medical Center on January 8th with family members by his side.
He leaves his wife of 65 years, Audrey Stairs, three sons, Bradley J. Stairs of Millbury and daughter-in-law Joan Stairs, Douglas R. Stairs and his wife Karen of Boylston, and William K. Stairs of Red Springs, N.C.; seven grandchildren, Aaron, Ryan, Alexander, Zachary, Lilly, Drew, Cole; and two great grandchildren Oliver and Ethan. He was preceded in death by his parents Kenneth K. Stairs and Rose M Stairs, and by his daughter-in-law Debra (Walsh) Stairs.
Bob grew up in Whitinsville and was an all-star basketball player at Northbridge High (breaking the single season scoring record his senior year) and went on to become Captain and conference all-star at the University of Rhode Island (which included a few battles with Tom Heinsohn from Holy Cross!).
He also served in the Navy during the Korean war and sailed with the Pacific Fleet on the aircraft carrier U.S.S. Sicily. At a height of 6 feet 6 inches, he was quickly selected to become a landing signal officer on the carrier deck! Bob served four distinguished years and was honorably discharged.
Upon returning he met the love of his life, Audrey Howarth, and they were married in June of 1957. Bob was a physical education teacher for over 30 years in the Northbridge school system. He also served as the head basketball and baseball coach at Clark University in the 1960's and Nichols College in the early 1970's. Over a 10 year period, he was also the Director of an outstanding summer YMCA camp in Washington, NH (Camp Morgan). He loved the game of golf and played continuously throughout his life (which included 5 hole-in-ones). Upon retirement, he and Audrey traveled the world and vacationed in Myrtle Beach during the winter months, but they always enjoyed coming back home to resume their golf play and many friendships with members at both Clearview and Pine Ridge Country Clubs.
He was a faithful follower of the Patriots, Red Sox, and Celtics throughout his life and especially enjoyed watching his sons and grandsons compete in athletic competitions. Bob lived a wonderful life and will be greatly missed by his family. He was truly a fine example of an honest and loving husband, father, and grandfather.
Relatives and friends are invited to honor and remember Bob's life during calling hours on Tuesday, January 17, 2023, from 4:00 to 6:00 p.m. at the Mulhane Home for Funerals, 45 N. Main Street, Millbury.
In lieu of flowers, donations in his memory may be made to Veteran’s Inc. 69 Grove St. Worcester, MA 01605.
69 Grove Street, Worcester MA 01605