Obituary: Robert Maritano, 1939-2023 | Obituaries | Seven Days | Vermont's Independent Voice

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Obituary: Robert Maritano, 1939-2023

Accomplished golfer, community volunteer didn't let cancer get in the way of delivering kindness

Published August 21, 2023 at 6:00 a.m.
Updated August 21, 2023 at 6:19 p.m.

Robert Maritano - COURTESY
  • Courtesy
  • Robert Maritano

On March 23, 2023, Robert "Bob" Maritano finished his last round of golf, after battling cancer. He passed peacefully at the McClure Miller Respite House, with friends visiting and honoring his life and friendship. As his brother, I had the honor and privilege of staying with him throughout his journey at the hospice facility. I know Bob knew we were there.

Bob was born in Torrington, Conn., on October 8, 1939, to Amerigo and Lucy Maritano, who predeceased Bob. Bob had an older brother, Raymond, an accomplished musician who predeceased him, and a younger brother, Amerigo "Joe," who resides in Torrington.

Upon moving to Vermont over 40 years ago and residing in Winooski, Bob quickly made his presence known in a very positive way. The state of Vermont and the world lost a great man, great friend and a great brother. While Bob excelled as a person, he also excelled in golf, was a trained chef, had a compassion towards others — especially those in need — was extremely loyal, and he had an unselfish desire to make everyone around him better.

While Bob was a tough competitor, he never let that get in the way of friendship. As he stated, "Friendship far exceeds winning." Joe Bouffard, a dedicated friend, fellow golfer and brother (as I refer to him), shared with me the aforementioned value of friendship over winning at a competitive round of golf while vying for a club championship.

While my brother had many golf achievements — most noteworthy as Vermont amateur champ —and many club championships, the one I am drawn to is when he and his partner, Bob Gaboriault, recorded a hole in one while playing together on the same hole at the Links at Lang Farm on Tuesday, August 27, 2019. By the way, Bob recorded 21 holes in one, but this one was special because he was playing with a friend and it was his first.

Bob's dedication to his community is perfectly depicted in Eva Solberger's wonderful mini-documentary called "Stuck in Vermont: Bob Maritano." While Bob had many talents, Eva eloquently portrayed my brother as a man of honor and compassion, with a strong drive to help those around him. As Bob stated, "The system helped me 35 years ago," and he wanted to pay it forward.

As we discussed his journey with cancer, he commented, "I still have people to feed." With a strong background in the food industry — as a restaurateur and chef — he prepared and excelled in serving tasteful dishes. He didn't let anything get in his way of delivering kindness, not even cancer.

As a brother, I hope I channel even a small part of the man he was. I have the deepest respect for him, and he was someone who was bigger than life. I hope I was a good brother; he certainly was.

Many thanks to those people and organizations (albeit a condensed list) which Bob held in the highest regard, including Joe Bouffard, Pat Bouffard, David Bouffard, Rick Snow, Mark MacCormack, Barlow Street Friends and Neighbors, Mike, Rick, Lynn, Sherry, Peggy, and these businesses/organizations: Rice Lumber, Sara Holbrook, Shelbourne Market, with special thanks to Stephen C. Gregory and Son.

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