Robert Eggleston
May 4, 2009

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  Robert C. “Bob” Eggleston, devoted husband and father, passed away unexpectedly at the Lahey Clinic Medical Center on Monday morning, May 4, 2009. The husband of Julia (O’Reilly) he was 69 years old.

Bob was born, raised and educated in Springfield, IL. He was the son of the late Robert and Dorothy Eggleston. Bob was a graduate of the University of Illinois. He had a successful career as a Software Engineer working primarlily on military contracts. He founded P.E. Systems in the 1970’s working on software development for the military. He sold the company and went onto to work for RCA and Booze Allen Hamilton. In a unique turn of events, he ended his career working once again at P.E. Systems.

Bob and his wife settled in Burlington in 1981 where they became active members of the community. He was a member of the Burlington Historical Society, A Boy and Girl Scout Leader, a member of the Woburn Racquet Club as well as the Burlington Swim and Tennis Club. He was an avid tennis player, who regularly played doubles with his longtimne friends. Bob enjoyed photography, playing solitaire, and cooking. He made a great sauce. He was also an avid red sox fan. He was a member of the Masons in Viginia. He was a faithful parishioner at St. Margaret’s Church. Bob will be lovingly remembered.

Bob was the beloved husband of Julia (O’Reilly) Eggleston of Burlington. He was the loving father of Robert Eggleston & his wife Heather of Merrimack, NH, Helen Peabody & her husband Adam of Burbank, CA, and Molly Eggleston of Somerville. He was the brother of Thomas Eggleston & his wife Doreen of Sonora, CA.

A Memorial Mass will be held at St. Margaret’s Church, 111 Winn St., Burlington on Friday, May 8 at 10 a.m. followed by an interment in Pine Haven Cemetery, Burlington. Visiting hours will be held at the Edward V. Sullivan Funeral Home, 43 Winn St. (Exit 34 off Rt. 128, Woburn side) Burlington on Thursday from 4-8 p.m. Memorials in Bob’s name may be made to Coalition for Pulmonary Fibrosis, Suite F, #227, 1659 Branham Lane, San Jose, CA 95118-5226

Thank you all for coming. Its great to know that there are so many people who cared about my Dad.

My Dad was a wonderful father and great man. I know that I will miss him dearly.

I remember when he got diagnosed with Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis back in 2003. The doctors told him that the average person lives about three years after diagnosis. My family was very sad to hear this horrible news, but my Dad seemed to take it in stride and he managed to live six years. I was very sad to see my Dad getting progressively sicker. I was more impressed with his attitude. He continued to play tennis for a while after he was sick. He’d bring his oxygen bottle out on the court and swing his racket. I was impressed with his perseverance. Later, when he couldn’t play tennis anymore, he still kept a positive attitude. He genuinely seemed to enjoy his life. Whether he was cooking a nice meal for his family, watching the Red Sox, doing photography or brewing his own beer, he did a lot of things he enjoyed. He didn’t let his illness get in the way of what he wanted to do. It didn’t stop me from taking him on a tour of the Anheuser-Busch Brewery which is down the street from where I live, for father’s day. We both enjoyed that trip.

When he couldn’t play tennis on the tennis court, he’d play it on the Nintendo Wii. When he needed to be on oxygen all the time, he got a portable oxygen machine that allowed him to travel with my Mom to Alaska, Vegas the Caribbean, and up the Mississippi river. He even took the oxygen machine on his first helicopter ride. Its cliché, but my Dad was the kind of guy who made lemonade when life gave him a lemon.

I always enjoyed spending time with him and talking to him on the phone. My Dad was an easy going guy and his positive, happy attitude always made me feel good to be around him.

My Dad was a great man, and I will really miss him.

Family Remembrance - Molly Eggleston

I wanted to read something I wrote for school 9 years ago. I think it captures his personality perfectly.

When my daddy goes out to the tennis court, it always turns out to be interesting. He loves to play tennis. In the summer, we play a lot together especially on Sunday after church. My dad's personality shines through the way he plays tennis. He likes to spend time with me and helping me to get better. He offers a lot of good advice on how to get your forehand better or how to make your serve more accurate. He is proud when I ace him with a serve because he helped me get to that point. The next game he always gets me back with one of his really fast serves in order to remind me that I'm not Venus Williams. He can sometimes get really cocky when he wins.

My dad is usually happy with the way I play, but he also gets very frustrated when I don't do as well as he knows I can. He yells at me from across the court to tell me to focus, he has a very loud voice, people three courts away can hear him. (unfortunately my grandmother made him take elocution lessons when he was a boy, which he definitely didn’t need.)

After we're done playing I watch my dad play with some of his friends. It is really funny because he is so competitive. Just like he gets impatient with me, he gets impatient with himself when he doesn’t play well. All of his tennis buddies know when he blows a shot because he yells out in disgust "e;ROBERT!!!!"e;(that’s his name). He yells at himself just like he yells at me, except worse.

My Dad’s always been stubborn, for example his favorite tennis shorts are about twenty years old but he won't buy new ones. They are this ratty old blue corduroy that is so old it looks gray. They are too tight and too short. He knows but doesn’t care, he insists on wearing them whenever he plays. He gets all defensive when we tell him how bad they look. My whole family has bought him numerous pairs of shorts but those just stay in his drawer. Even his tennis buddies make fun of them but he still won't wear new ones.

My dad is short with a big round tummy and a bald head. He has short little legs but still manages to run after balls. He always wears a Boston hat. He wears it to keep the sun out of his eyes and to keep the top of his head from being sunburned. He wears a brace on his right arm because of his tennis elbow. It has bothered him for years but he doesn’t let that stop him.

I like the fact that my dad plays tennis because it a nice way for him to get some exercise and to hang with his friends. I also love the fact that he plays because I get to play with him and we get to spend time together. If my daddy hadn't played tennis then I would never have been introduced to such a fun sport, and I would have missed out on all fun we’ve had on the court.

Family Remembrance - Helen

When I was at Sandy Island, the camp my family went to every summer, I woke up in the middle of the night to a “whooshing” sound. I found a flashlight and discovered it was a bat flying past my head. I started screaming for my dad to get it out. My father was sound asleep and couldn’t have cared less about me and my bat problem. I continued screaming so much that he finally got up. He rummaged around in a drawer for a while and appeared with a toothpick. He handed it to me and went back to bed. I was very confused and asked him what good that would do. He shouted from his bed “wasn’t Dracula a vampire bat? Just use a wooded stake through the heart.” Everyone else thought it was hilarious. However, my father could actually be very tender and thoughtful.

When I was 19 years old and in college, my father took me to New Hampshire to buy a computer, which left me literally trapped in the car with him on the highway. My father turned to me and said, “I wanted to talk to you about sex.” Keep in mind, that I had never in my whole life heard my father say the word sex, much less tell me about it. I told him that mom had had a few talks with me years ago and that I had also high school health class so he really didn’t need to. I looked for an escape, but there wasn’t one. He insisted that what he had to tell me was not covered in health class and that he wasn’t sure if mom had told me this. I was very uncomfortable but I said, “okay, dad. What is it?” He turned to me and said, “Most girls know that their first time is supposed to be special, and it should be, but I want you to know that EVERY time is supposed to be special, so make sure it is.”

A Special Spaghetti Sauce
We would each like to share with you a special memory or thought about Bob. I would like to tell you about one reason why I married Bob. When we were first dating Bob took me out to dinner many times but sometimes he cooked for me. He made a mean Spanish rice and wonderful Chinese food but it was his spaghetti sauce that made my mouth water. It was rich and meaty and delicious with just the right amount of spice. I definitely wanted more of it. I asked him for the recipe but he just smiled and said it was his own and he didn’t give it out to anyone. I really wanted that sauce and told him so. He said “you’ll have to marry me then,” so I did. We were married for thirty-three years and he made Chinese Food and Spanish Rice and a new dish from our honeymoon, New Orleans Red Beans and Rice but it was his spaghetti sauce that remained my favorite, rich and delicious with just the right amount of spice. It always made me smile.

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