Robert “Bob” Charles Fuehrer, 83, of Peacham, Vt., passed away suddenly Thursday, Sept. 19, 2019.
Bob was born in New York City, on Sept. 16, 1936 to Charles and Elizabeth (Muller) Fuehrer. He was raised in Queens, N.Y. and enjoyed his summers on Long Island. Bob enrolled at the University of Maine at Orono, in 1953, where he met and later married the love of his life, Sharon Ward, of Limestone, Maine.
Bob majored in Chemical Engineering and was a member and President of Phi Kappa Sigma Fraternity and a member of Pi Kappa Phi Honor Society. He graduated with a BS, and an MS in Pulp and Paper Technology in 1959. As an ROTC graduate, Bob was commissioned a 2nd Lieutenant in the Army Chemical Corps. He served active and reserve duty until he was honorably discharged as a 1st Lieutenant.
After working for Spaulding Fibre Company and Gorham Research in NH, Bob and partner Gordon Mills had a vision. With hard work, innovation and support from the state of Vermont, EHV (Extra High Voltage) Industries was founded in 1969. EHV (later EHV Weidmann, now Weidmann Technologies) became the premier global manufacturer of the highest quality insulation for electrical transformers. Bob’s pride and joy of this time was being a part of the EHV spirit that led to growth and stability for both company and community. Bob retired from EHV Weidmann as President in 1996.
Service to others was a vibrant thread running throughout Bob’s life while working or retired. He served on multiple Boards of Directors: Northeastern Vermont Regional Hospital and Passumpsic Savings Bank. He was a member of the Boards of Trustees for Dartmouth-Hitchcock (Mary Hitchcock Memorial Hospital and Dartmouth-Hitchcock Clinic), University of Maine Pulp and Paper Foundation, Associated Industries of Vermont, Clifford of Vermont, Weidmann Whitely Ltd., and St. Johnsbury Academy. For more than 20 years he served as a trustee of St. Johnsbury Academy. He was particularly humbled to be bestowed the honor of Trustee Emeritus in 2009.
In his beloved town of Peacham, he was a Boy Scout Leader, volunteer firefighter, two-term selectman and longtime business committee member of the Peacham Congregational Church. His latest involvements included supporting the creation of the Peacham Café and serving as a founding board member of the Northeast Kingdom Astronomy Foundation.
Bob loved traveling, and took great pleasure in the preparation and planning of many excursions with his wife. He was fond of regular visits to his summer residence in Harpswell, Maine. “Camp” offered another gathering point for family and assorted saltwater activities.
Affectionately nicknamed Mr. Nature within the family, Bob loved and observed everything in the natural world. He was an avid birdwatcher logging 56 different aviary sightings out his kitchen window over 30 years, and was often excitedly reporting the latest to the family and fellow bird lovers. Seasons, stars, sunrises and sunsets, Bob never stopped marveling and sharing his wonder and appreciation for nature with everyone around him. Six lucky grandchildren knew him as “Papa,” and he dearly treasured his time with them. He held them as babies and celebrated their milestones and achievements as they grew and launched into their own adventures. He was proud and endlessly excited to share many special experiences with them.
To know Bob Fuehrer, was to love him. He was sensitive, thoughtful, empathetic, intuitive and humble. He was perpetually curious and loved getting to know people - learning about their family life or what was important to them. These qualities, delivered with a twinkle in his eye, was a gift he gave of generously. He gave advice, congratulations, sympathy or condolences, stories, encouragement, acceptance, and most of all, his love.
Survivors include Bob’s wife of 59 years, Sharon Fuehrer of Peacham, his children Robert G. Fuehrer and wife, Anne (Burnham) Fuehrer of Freeport, Maine, Joanna L. Celenza and husband, Michael of Bow, N.H., Jennie L. Warner and husband James of Tampa, Fla. and Elizabeth S. Fuehrer of Colchester, Vt.; Also surviving him is a brother Edward Fuehrer of White Stone, Va.; and six grandchildren: Allyson, Gianna, Anthony, Ryan, Alexander, and Oliver.
A Gathering of Remembrance will take place at Brantview, St. Johnsbury Academy, St. Johnsbury, Vt. on Sunday, Oct. 20, 2019 from noon-3 p.m. All are welcome to drop by to celebrate a life well-lived.
A service at the Peacham Congregational Church will take place in the Spring. Details to be shared at a later date.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Bob’s name to the Peacham Café (Checks can be made out to Peacham Community Housing with a notation for the Cafe, PO Box 229, Peacham, VT 05862), the Peacham Congregational Church –Preservation Fund, 56 Church Street Peacham, VT 05862, and the Harpswell Heritage Land Trust PO Box 359, 153 Harpswell Neck Road, Harpswell, Maine 04079.
Most of all, we think that Bob would want us to pause in gratitude and to reflect on the beauty of the world and to appreciate the love and connectedness of family, friends, and community.
Memories and condolences may be shared with the family online at www.saylesfh.com.