Robert J Roberto
July 4, 2016

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  Robert J. “Bob” Roberto, former Burlington Selectman and retired Director of Corporate Security at MITRE, passed away peacefully after a long illness on Monday morning, July 4, 2016 with his family by his side at the age of 84.

Bob was born in Cambridge, the son of the late Samuel and Louise Roberto. He grew up in Winchester, part of a family steep in Italian values and heritage. A 1949 graduate of Winchester High School, he then earned his Bachelor of Science Degree from Northeastern University, where he participated in their ROTC program. After graduation, he enlisted in the Army, during the time around the Korean War and the Vietnam War. Upon completion of his military service, Bob took a position with MITRE as a Budget Administrator. Over the next 32 years he continually rose in MITRE’s ranks to eventually become the Director of Corporate Security for the entire MITRE Corporation. He frequently worked with the U.S. Air Force and flew weekly to Washington D.C. for meetings at the Pentagon. Bob was well regarded for his approachable personality, business savvy, and for earning the respect and admiration of his peers. He traveled the world on MITRE’s behalf and upon his retirement, the military and other countries bestowed gifts of appreciation, including a piece of the Berlin Wall, and numerous citations in recognition of his illustrious career. He had the great fortune to meet Presidents, including George Bush and George W. Bush, Admirals, Generals, and numerous other dignitaries, including Ted Kennedy. Bob enjoyed a very distinguished career, but always remained humble and reticent about his many accomplishments.

Bob was an active resident in the community of Burlington, where he made his home since 1959. He served on numerous town boards, including the Personnel Board for 7 years and as a member of the Board of Selectmen for 9 years. He served as Chairperson of the Selectmen and was part of the group who influenced the Lahey Clinic to move to Burlington. He was very active in the Burlington Knights of Columbus, one of the founding members of the Burlington Council, a Third and Fourth Degree member, and served on the Board of Directors. He coached Little League and Babe Ruth baseball and assisted youth hockey in their fundraising activities. Bob was also a past member of the Sons of Italy. Burlington held a very important place in his heart, and Bob was proud to be a resident and to have been part of its growth over the 57 years he lived there. Bob learned at a very young age the values of hard work, honesty, being forthright, community, integrity, and above all, that family came first. It was these values and traditions that guided Bob during his life. He was respectful and supportive of his parents. Throughout his parents’ lives, holiday celebrations and daily chats were the routine, and Sunday dinners were a must. When they aged, he passed down those traditions to his children. He was best friends with his brother Sam. They were always together, loved to talk and reminisce, and shared an intense brotherly bond. As a father and grandfather, he was the rock and a role model upon whom his family looked to, relied upon and, sought guidance from. Bob took great pride in his home and enjoyed working in the yard. His home was the gathering spot for family, friends, and his children’s friends. Bob also had a great love for his late wife, Claire. They enjoyed raising their family, seeing their grandkids grow up, and spending their retirement years wintering in Florida. He was “Papa” to his grandchildren and “Papa Bear,” “Bear,” and jokingly “The Great One” to his great grandchildren. Bob shared his Italian traditions and his values with his family and was so happy to see the torch passed to the next generation, who will forever treasure and remember these lessons and moments.

Bob was the beloved husband of the late Claire (Burke). He was the loving father of William & his wife Mary of Billerica, Lisa Runyan & her husband Michael of Burlington, Susan Schmidt of Haverhill, Sandra O ‘Doherty & her late husband David of Burlington, and Richard & his wife Maria of Burlington. Brother of the late Samuel Roberto & his wife Lucy of Woburn and Elizabeth McDermottroe & her husband James of Billerica. Brother-in-law of the late Jean Harris & her husband John of CT. Proud grandfather of Nicole, Robert, & Michael Runyan; Cherilyn Roberto; Kerri Schmidt; Shannon, Daniel, and the late Casey O’Doherty; and Christina, Julia, & Nicholas Roberto. Great grandfather of Robert Noorigian and Jack & Samantha Runyan.

Funeral from the Edward V. Sullivan Funeral Home, 43 Winn St., BURLINGTON (Exit 34 off Rt. 128, Woburn side) on Friday, July 8 at 9 a.m. Followed by a Mass of Christian Burial in St. Margaret's Church, 111 Winn St., Burlington at 10 a.m. Visiting hours Thursday 4-8 p.m. Interment in Chestnut Hill Cemetery, BURLINGTON. Memorials in Bob’s name may be made to the Kaplan Family Hospice House, 75 Sylvan St., Suite B-102, Danvers, MA 01923
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