Obituary: Robert Hall, 1923-2023 | Obituaries | Seven Days

Obituary: Robert Hall, 1923-2023 | Obituaries | Seven Days

click to enlarge

Robert (Bob) Ayer Hall died peacefully at his home in Shelburne, Vt. on January 30, 2023 surrounded by his loving family. Bob was 99 years old. He was born in Saint Johnsbury, Vt. on October 2, 1923 and lived in Shelburne for 56 years before his death. Bob was happily married to his beloved wife Fran for 68 years until September 2014 when she was diagnosed with cancer. He is survived by his four children, Steve Hall, Deb Hall, Stu Hall and wife Holly Hall, and Rob Hall and wife Susan Hall; eight grandchildren, Jeffrey Robert Hall and wife Katharine Braun-Levine, Meredith Hall Ritter and husband Matthew Wilson Ritter, Jenna Ross and partner Joe Leo, Dan Ross, Carrie Hersey and husband Lucas Hersey, Heather Hall, Kelsey Hall and William Hall; and five great-grandchildren, Joziah Robert Hall, Joelianny Sky Levine-Hall, Emily Cecila Ritter, David Hersey, and Melissa Hersey.

Bob grew up in Waterbury, Vt. and graduated from the University of Vermont with a BS in mechanical engineering. He was a US Army veteran who served as part of Battery B, 46th Field Artillery Battalion in the European theater during World War II. He was awarded the European-African-Middle Eastern Service Medal with two bronze stars, along with a WWII Victory Medal, American Theater Ribbon, and a Good Conduct Medal. He then worked for General Electric in Schenectady, NY and then in Burlington, Vt. for 31 years before retiring.

Bob was a family man and an avid hobbyist with many interests and talents. He enjoyed hunting, fishing, boating and cribbage – and was a keen amateur radio operator for many years and an active member of several regional and international amateur radio communities and networks, including during his tenure as President of the Burlington Amateur Radio Club in the late ’60s . Bob also enjoyed listening to big band music and used to dance to it with Fran on Friday night outings with friends. As a young couple, they even danced on the deck of the steamer Ticonderoga while she was active on Lake Champlain. Frank Sinatra and Doris Day were two of her favorite singers. In their later years, Bob and Fran bought an electric organ and enjoyed taking lessons and playing at home for family and friends. Bob and Fran were frequent travelers, making two overland trips across 48 states, traversing a southern route on their first overland trek, and heading across the northern US states a few years later. They enjoyed a vacation in Hawaii and numerous summer vacations on the coast of Maine. Between these trips there was a nice stream of family visits or receptions to celebrate special life events.

Bob was a talented and enthusiastic photographer who got his first camera at the age of 10. He set up a darkroom at his family home in Saint Johnsbury and developed black and white prints. During high school, he became a photographer for the yearbook and sports teams. While serving in the US Army overseas during World War II, Bob used any free time he had to take photographs. While an employee at GE, he continued to use his photography skills and ventured into video production, where he helped create some of the company’s earliest instructional videos for its employees. It goes without saying that his family has been well documented with his photographs over the years and he has inspired many family members to follow his love of this great hobby. Before Bob’s eyesight became impaired, he enjoyed painting from photographs he took of important places in his life.

Family meant the world to Bob, and that included family pets: cats, dogs, and even parakeets were all considered special members. He was a devoted son, brother, husband, father, uncle, grandfather and great-grandfather, always generous with his time, energy and love.

Bob really was a “gentle” man and his attitude to life was always “the glass is half full”, which is probably one of the reasons he lived to be 99 years old. His wisdom helped him live in the moment and have a grateful heart—a beautiful model for all of us.

A celebration of life service will be held on Saturday, February 11, 2023 at 11:00 am at All Saints Episcopal Church in South Burlington, Vt. A reception will follow in the church. In lieu of flowers, please make a donation to UVM Home Health & Hospice, 1110 Prim Rd., Colchester, VT 05446 (; Age Well: Vermont Meals on Wheels, 875 Roosevelt Highway, Suite 210, Colchester, VT 05446 (; or Humane Society of Chittenden County, 142 Kindness Ct., South Burlington, VT 05403 (

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *