Robert Spinnler, 83

Fri, 10/25/2013 - 2:00pm

Robert Spinnler, of Middletown, Conn., died peacefully with his family surrounding him at Middlesex Memorial Hospital Hospice on Oct. 10, 2013. He was born in 1930 in Lynbrook, New York, and was a graduate of Lynbrook High School and the State University of New York Maritime College at Fort Schuyler.

Upon graduation he was an engineering instructor at the Maritime College, during which time he acquired a master’s of engineering degree from Columbia University. He went to sea with American Export Lines and worked for American Electric Power Co.

Bob was commissioned an Ensign in the Navy and served two years active duty, retiring from the Naval Reserves as Lieutenant Commander. Bob and Irene moved to Connecticut, where he worked for Pratt & Whitney (UTC) and subsequently for Energy Services of Farmington, Conn., traveling all over the world building cogeneration plants.

Bob is survived by his wife Irene of 58 years, and their four children: Lisa Spinnler Townsend, her husband, Tom, and their two sons, Michael and Devon; Rob Spinnler; Karen Spinnler Goersch, her husband Jerry, and their two children, Chris and Jenny; June Spinnler Gardner and her two children, Scott, Kate and step-daughter Kelly.

Bob was predeceased by his elder sister, Evelyn Spinnler Unger. He is survived by his brother, Ralph Spinnler, and wife Cynthia of Branford, Conn.; and sister Florence Spinnler of Boise, Idaho. He is also survived fondly by numerous nieces and nephews.

Bob will be remembered as a kind and good man with a warm smile, who loved adventure, nature and endless fun times with his family: sailing, skiing, fishing, canoeing, gardening and playing card games. He will also be remembered as a quintessential handyman/engineer; often found in his red barn tinkering on a car, boat or engine of some sort. He took great pleasure explaining how things worked to his children and grandchildren.

Bob was a member of St. Pius X Church where he was a Eucharistic minister. He was an avid sailor and member of Sachem Head Yacht Club in Guilford, Conn., as well as a member of the Appalachian Mountain Club (AMC), leading and participating in many exciting white water canoe trips. Bob has a home on Block Island, where he enjoyed fishing and clamming well into his 80s.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be sent to St. Andrew Church, Spring Street, Block Island, R.I. 02807.