June 29, 1908 - March 15, 2007
Rob in 1934, age 26. Also shown are his sister, Irene, and his parents, Abraham and Sarah.
In spite of the Depression, Rob and his brother Ben, managed to keep a small sailboat at City Island, NY, the site of this 1939 photo. Rob's love of sailing never faded, and many friends and family remember visits to City Island in the 1950's and 1960's for excursions on Long Island Sound. When, in 1995, his son Martin purchased a glider, Rob confessed that soaring was one of his as yet unfulfilled, life-long dreams. At age 87 he was hesitant to try and get in and out of the extremely confined cockpit, but his spirit of adventure won out and he did go for a glider ride -- getting in and out of the glider with no trouble!
Rob is on the left in this 1940 picture taken at Rockaway Beach, NY. To his right are his brothers Chas and Ben. Middle row: his sister Irene, his mother Sarah, and his brother Richard. Bottom row: Chas's wife Florence and his father Abraham.
In 1940 Rob and his wife Adelaide drove from New York City to the Pacific Coast, including this stop at the Grand Canyon. Before Interstate highways, and even before paved roads in some areas, this was a major adventure! Upon reaching the 1939-40 Golden Gate International Exposition in San Francisco, he saw a Chinese sailing junk for sale. With his ever present spirit of adventure, he suggested to "Ad" that they sell the car, buy the junk, and sail back through the Panama Canal! Fortunately, good judgment prevailed and they survived the trip back to NY -- by car.
In 1943, as a Second Lieutenant in the Army's Signal Corps, Rob was stationed in Boston for training. He is holding his eldest son, Howard, with people ice skating on the Charles River in the background. Two years later, in the Spring of 1945, he shipped out of Seattle on a troop ship to the South Pacific. With wartime censorship, he did not know his destination until the ship reached Hawaii. He was stationed on Hawaii for a year, returning home in the Spring of 1946 (below) where a somewhat larger Howard had some difficulty figuring out who this strange man was.
This 1958 photo shows Rob, Adelaide, Howard (age 16), Steve (age 10), and Martin (age 13).
For many years, Rob longed to revisit Hawaii, but had some difficulty convincing Adelaide. In 1978 he finally succeeded and, in spite of Ad's intial reluctance, they had a wonderful visit. Stopping in California afterward, Ad even taught her granddaughters there to dance the hula.
In 1999 "Grandpa Robbie" as his great-grandchildren called him, taught Zoe Bogumill (L) and Celeste Hellman (R) how to make pirate hats and pirate swords by folding newspaper. He also taught them the fearsome pirate glare, but tended more (below) to mischievious smiles.
Rob is shown below with his son, Martin, at the 65th wedding anniversary celebration of Richard and Violet Hellman. At events such as this, he was often partial to bow ties. The Signal Corps and Rotary pins were used for all occasions.
Rob with three of his brothers (Richard, Chas, and Ben) in 2003.
Rob's 98th birthday, June 29, 2006, with four generations of Hellmans: Rob, his son Howard , Howard's son Paul, and Paul's children Aaron (age 7), Abigail (age 10, near the car) and Alexa (age 3 and playing shy). Taken at Rob's home since 1978, on Pine Grove Court, Yorktown Heights, NY. Neighborhood children remember him fondly for the treats he handed out during his frequent walks.
February 2007, Rob and his close friend Theresa "Terry" Pedicone having lunch at The Seabury, Cortland Manor, NY. Until late last year, King Buffet and the Officer's Club at West Point were their almost weekly lunch time destinations.
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