Born Jan. 4, 1928 to Clifford and Florida (Champagne) Avey in Marlborough, he attended area schools, including St. Anthony's in Marlborough and Worcester Boy's Trade High School, where he studied cabinet making. In 1945, at age 17, he enlisted with the MA State Guard, reporting to the Marlborough Armory.
At 18, he enlisted in the Marine Corps. After graduating from boot camp at Parris Island, S.C., he served at several duty stations including Philadelphia and San Diego Naval Bases, Point Mugu, Ca., and Camp Pendleton, Ca. with 3rd Battalion, 11th Marines as a telephone lineman, clerk, and basic rifleman. His awards were Sharpshooter with BAR, Marksman with carbine, and the WW II Service medal.
After the Marine Corps, Bob attended Newman Prep School in Boston and then Clark University in Worcester, earning a BA in Psychology in 1954. He worked at the Fernald School in Waltham for several years as a counselor until his graduation from Boston University in 1959 with a Master's in Education. Accepted into the doctoral program at Indiana University at Bloomington in the fall of 1960, Bob graduated with a PhD in Education in June 1963.
In June 1954, Bob married Jane Patricia Flanagan of Lowell, who predeceased him in August 2010 after 56 years of marriage. In1963, Bob joined the staff at the Veterans Administration Hospital in Cincinnati, Ohio as a counseling psychologist. In 1966, he moved to the Albany, N.Y. VA hospital, and finally joined the Bedford VA Hospital in 1968 to continue working as a counseling psychologist.
Bob and his family settled in Nashua until 1971 when they moved south to Bedford. He remained at the Bedford VA until his retirement in 1992 after 31 years of federal service. He and Jane moved back to Nashua in 1992 and settled into retired life in a quiet neighborhood where they enjoyed their grandchildren's visits.
He was a voracious reader on many subjects and corresponded with numerous people around the country and internationally for years. He enjoyed music and film subjects, Big Bands, Frank Sinatra, Dick Haymes, and was a huge fan of westerns. Bob contributed to several published articles and books dealing with popular music of the 1940s and 1950s.
Bob was a real animal lover and a supporter of the ASPCA for years. In his younger days, he saw himself as quite the crooner.
Bob leaves behind his sons, Mark and James of Nashua, as well as his daughter, Sally and her husband Robert McCrory of Dover, N.H. Bob's grandchildren are Kyle, Jason, Kaitleen, and Colin McCrory. In Marlborough, Bob leaves his sister Carole Avey and brother Clifford Avey, plus many cousins, nieces, nephews, and friends. He was predeceased by his brothers, Donald and Albert Avey, as well as his sister, Eloise (Avey) Flanagan, all of Marlborough. He was also predeceased by his daughter, Joanne.
Visiting hours will be held Thursday, June 27, from 5 to 8 p.m., at the Slattery Funeral Home, 40 Pleasant St., Marlborough. A graveside service will be private, at Bob's request, and held at a later date.
In Bob's final year of life, he received outstanding care from the staff at St Joseph Hospice Care.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in his name to: St Joseph Hospice Care, 24 North River Road, Milford, NH, 03055.