Robert Corcoran Gillette

January  1st, 1948 September  12th, 2021
Shepherdstown, WV
Robert Corcoran Gillette

Sounds of laughter shades of life are ringing,
Through my open ears inciting and inviting me,
Limitless undying love which shines around me like a million suns,
And calls me on and on across the universe


On January 1, 1948, Jacksonville FL started a new year with the birth of Bob. 73 years later, on September 12, 2021 we said goodbye to Bob for the last time in a hospital room in Martinsburg, WV. He passed while his wife who he adored, Nancy, his son with whom he organized and studied, Robbie, and his daughter of whom he was so proud, Pace, held his hands. While his passing is very sad for so many, Bob would always remind us that "life is a matter of balance," that the great sadness of his loss is balanced by the great love he brought to the world.
His love was felt by many through many different titles. Son. Husband. Dad. Pop Pop to his beloved grandsons Rainier and Bowie and their father, his son-in-law and friend, Mike. Oldest brother to his sisters: Elise, Annalee (Rick), Amy (Todd), and Laura (Jay, both deceased). Uncle to Laura, Brooke, Dorothy, Alice, Kristen, and Kala. Lifelong friend to many especially Johnny and best buddy to Mike, with whom he made up the famed two headed monster.
Bob's amazing ability to make and build lasting friendships was a mainstay through his school years, attending the Landon School in Bethesda, MD. During his two trips to Chapel Hill, NC., to attend his Alma Mater the University of North Carolina (Go Heels! Beat Duke!), first for his Bachelors and second for his MBA. Through his career in the U.S. Navy as a Supply Corps officer, which took him across the Pacific and even into the Vietnam War, which he proudly protested against with Officers Against the War. He maintained that talent through his long, successful business career as a consultant which took him around the world and only finally ended in 2017 with his retirement from Communications Resource, Inc (CRI) where he was Director of Business Development.
Bob had definitely earned his chance to retire to the quiet, beautiful home outside Shepherdstown he and his wife had renovated so nicely but there was always more to do. Bob spent his retirement traveling with his wife, daughter and her family, doting on his grandsons who he loved deeply, exploring the beautiful state of West Virginia he had made his home, making friends and becoming a mainstay around Shepherdstown where he is still known for his quick wit, friendliness, and gentle ribbing. He also reignited his passion for standing up for what he believed in and making his voice heard. As a member of the Democratic Socialists of America, Bob could be found protesting against polluting industry being forced on his home, the inhumane treatment of immigrants and refugees, and the mistreatment of workers who he joined on the picket lines any opportunity he could. He studied politics weekly with his son and organized local canned food drives, clothing swaps, and trash cleanups. His activist work lead him to an appointment to the Jefferson County Developmental Authority where he worked tirelessly to help bring opportunity for local people, especially farmers, to be successful.
While Bob has passed on from this life, his passion, commitment, love and friendliness will all be felt for decades to come as he and his work are remembered by his family and friends. Bob will be inurned at Arlington National Cemetery. A service will be held at Arlington National Cemetery on 4/17/2024 with a celebration of his life to follow at Army Navy Country Club. In his memory, the family asks that donations be given to the Colorectal Cancer Alliance at in memory of his youngest sister Laura.

Memory wall

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April 17, 2024
Bob was a great friend and mentor as well as my lunch buddy at CRI. I miss Bob and the good times we spent together over many years.
Robert E Smith


Please join us in a celebration of life on April 17th, 2024.

We will lay Bob to rest in an inurnment at Arlington National Cemetery with a reception to follow at The Army Navy Country Club. RSVP would be appreciated at

Arlington National Cemetery
1 Memorial Ave, Arlington,VA

- Service begins  at 1:00pm but all guests need to arrive 45 minutes early at 12:15.
- Please line up in the designated line at the Administration Building.
- Arlington National Cemetery requires all guests to have a government issued photo ID.

Army Navy Country Club
1700 Army Navy Drive, Arlington, VA

- Please join us at 2:15pm - 4:15pm to celebrate Bob's memory.
- Refreshments including vegan options will be provided.
- Please adhere to Army Navy Country Club's business casual dress code. (Shirt with a collar, slacks, and a coat or blouse or sweater with slacks, skirt, or similar)

Arlington National Cemetery
1 Memorial Ave, Arlington, VA 22211
04/17/2024  1:00pm (Guests must arrive 45 minutes early at 12:15)


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In honor of our beloved Bob's beloved baby sister, we invite you to contribute to the Colorectal Cancer Alliance at a cause that was near and dear to his heart. Your generous donation will serve as a meaningful tribute, perpetuating the spirit of Bob by supporting a meaningful cause.
Together, let us continue the legacy of compassion and kindness that Bob embodied throughout their life.

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