Shrewsbury – Bob Shaughnessy would often tell family and friends “Live every day like it’s your last because someday you’ll be right.” Sadly, Bob died unexpectedly from injuries sustained in an auto accident Friday, Jan. 30, 2015.
Robert E. Shaughnessy was born in 1935 to the late John H. and Kathleen M. (Sanborn) Shaughnessy of Ashland. He graduated from Ashland High School in 1953 where he was a standout athlete in both football and baseball. He played in the first Jimmy Fund Baseball game for the Ashland Junior Dread-Naughts in 1948. He turned down many athletic scholarships to attend Massachusetts College of Pharmacy in Boston. He honorably served as a medic in the U.S. Army in post WWII West Germany as part of the occupation troops. His patriotism continued throughout his life.
His love for travel enabled him to begin his career in the travel industry where he worked at Sullivan Travel, World Airways, Diners Club, as well as the Nantucket Airport. While escorting a group on a cruise he met Martha (Marty) Skirven from Philadelphia, Penn. The couple married in 1969 and recently celebrated their 45th wedding anniversary.
He continued working for the travel industry until he opened “The Place” Diner in 1977. In 1980, he opened the Boylston landmark, The Other Place Pub, often referred to as the “OPP” or “The Pub.” He was looking forward to celebrating its 35th anniversary March 1, 2015. Almost every day except when traveling with his beautiful wife Marty, he could be seen working and enjoying its patrons many of whom became his lifelong friends.
Bob didn’t count the minutes in life. He counted the laughs and he had many. He was proud of his Irish heritage, and in 2012 was honored by the Worcester County St Patrick’s Day Parade Committee by receiving the Agnes Sheehan Award. In the same year he also received the Shillelagh Award by the Leprechaun Society of Clinton. Both are community service awards.
Not only did he own a restaurant, but he was also very active in the restaurant industry. He was a member of the Massachusetts Restaurant Association and served as its Vice President from 1988-1990. He also sat on their Board of Directors for several years. At the time of his death, he served on the Board of Directors for Hospitality Mutual Insurance Co. Bob was a generous man. He made the world and central Massachusetts a better place. He was truly one of a kind. He will be missed.
In addition to his wife of 45 years, Marty, he leaves his daughters, Kelly A. Dunlavey and her husband Bryan of Boylston, Debbie Shaughnessy Gorrie of Shrewsbury, and Holly S. Richardson and her husband Chris of Shrewsbury; his grandchildren, Shaughn, Shannon, Erin, Shane, Jake, Christopher, Carter, and Bryan; two great-grandchildren, many nieces and nephews; and numerous lifelong friends and his family at “The Pub.” Bob was predeceased by his siblings, John H. Shaughnessy and Kathleen M. Sanborn.
Family and friends will honor and remember Bob’s life by gathering for calling hours Friday, Feb. 6, from 4-8 p.m., at Heald & Chiampa Funeral Directors ~ The Sumner House, 5 Church Road, On the Common, Shrewsbury Center. His funeral Mass will be celebrated Saturday, Feb. 7, at 9:30 a.m., in Saint Mary of the Hills, 630 Cross St., Boylston. Burial with military honors will follow in Mountain View Cemetery.
Bob would not discourage flowers. In fact, he often talked about this day that has come and he wants his life celebrated. However, his legacy of charitable giving could be honored with gifts to the Boylston Lion’s Club, PO Box, 50 Boylston, MA 01505 or The Jimmy Fund at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. PO Box 849168, Boston, MA 02284-9168.