NAUGATUCK — Robert D. Veillette, 72, husband of Bonnie (Sanford) Veillette, died peacefully on Wednesday, Sept. 13, 2017, in the VITAS Hospice Care Unit at St. Mary’s Hospital, surrounded by his loving family.
Bob was born on Feb. 1, 1945, in Waterbury. The son of the late Albert and Agnes (Gibbons) Veillette, he resided in Naugatuck most of his life. He attended St. Francis School and Naugatuck High School, where he was a varsity swimmer and very active in the music program. He graduated from Post Junior College and later received his bachelor’s degree from the University of Connecticut. Bob worked at the Waterbury Republican-American for 40 years, retiring as managing editor. Bob was a United States Army veteran and was a faithful parishioner of St. Francis of Assisi Church, where he often served as lector.
Over his career, he became deeply involved in several local, charitable organizations, including the Red Cross, the United Way and the Campership Fund of Waterbury. Bob loved baseball and running, but his greatest passion was his piano. If there were a piano in the room, it was difficult to keep Bob from placing his hands on it. He could sit for hours at a stretch, never needing a break, or, apparently, sheet music. Bob performed regularly throughout the area at many community and civic events, refusing payment for his services, reveling in the opportunity to share his talent.
In addition to his wife Bonnie, Bob is survived by his daughter, Stephanie DeLuca and her husband, David DeLuca, of Terryville; his son, Gregory R. Veillette M.D., and his wife, Danuta Veillette, of Ridgefield; his son, Mark S. Veillette, Ph.D, and his wife, Kristin Veillette, of Wilmington, Mass.; his grandchildren, Kaitlyn Voity, Natalie DeLuca, Dylan Veillette, Colin Veillette, Jacob Veillette, Ethan Veillette and Henry Veillette. He is also survived by his brother, Richard G. Veillette and his wife, Veronica Veillette, of Baton Rouge, La.; and several nieces and nephews. In addition to his parents, Bob was predeceased by his sister, Lois Rudnyai.
Bob’s family would like to acknowledge and thank the staff at St. Mary’s Hospital, especially those in the VITAS Hospice Unit, the Emergency Department, the Intensive Care Unit and the Pastoral Care team.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated on Monday, Sept. 18, 2017 at 11 a.m. at St. Francis of Assisi Church, 318 Church St., Naugatuck. Those attending are kindly asked to go directly to the church. Burial will follow in St. James Cemetery, Naugatuck. Calling hours are Sunday, Sept. 17, 2017, from 4 to 8 p.m. at the Buckmiller Thurston Mengacci Funeral Home, 82 Fairview Ave., Naugatuck. Members of the Naugatuck Veterans Council will assemble at the funeral home Sunday at 7:45 p.m.
In lieu of flowers and to honor Bob’s memory, contributions can be made to the Robert D. Veillette Scholarship Fund, c/o N.H.S. Alumni Association, P.O. Box 474, Naugatuck, CT 06770 or to the Greater Waterbury Campership Fund, P.O. Box 2090, Waterbury, CT 06722.
To leave an online condolence, visit www.buckmillerthurstonmengacci.com.