Robert George Eickhoff died peacefully at home on September 20, 2019. Robert was born February 20, 1947 in the borough of Manhattan, New York City, the son of Catherine Aho. At age six Robert entered Belchertown School and was there until age twenty-two, although he escaped once making it to Utica, NY via bus, before being made to return. When he was allowed to leave Belchertown he moved into a pioneering residential group home on Crescent Street in Northampton, MA with eleven other students.
Bob absolutely cherished his independence and cats, smuggling one from Belchertown into the group home in a pillowcase. He remained in Northampton, living for long periods on Conz Street and later Hawley Street and was employed for almost twenty years by Cooley Dickinson Hospital and other establishments in food services where he adopted his signature chef’s pants. He later worked for many years at Thorne’s Marketplace. Bob maintained a can and bottle route, driving his vehicle about town visiting various businesses and residences for pick-ups.
In retirement Bob spent hours each week at Valley Antiques Store and visiting A2Z Science and Learning Store, the Post Office and other locations, and after his driving years passed he still maintained the can and bottle route with a little help from his friends. Bob endured severe and chronic physical conditions over many years but was doggedly resilient, securing his freedom up until the end.
Robert's determined attitude inspired those he surrounded himself with. He had a fun sense of humor, a great love of music, and concern for the environment and those who suffered, donating to many, many charities over the years. Bob deeply valued being part of the College Church congregation. He will be missed by many devoted and loving friends and his final cat Cisco. Gifts in Robert’s memory can be made to Dakin Humane Society online at dakinhumane.org or via mail: Dakin Humane Society, PO Box 6307, Springfield, MA 01101-6307. A Celebration of Robert's Life will be held at College Church, 58 Pomeroy Terrace, Northampton, MA on Wednesday, October 16 at 3:00 pm.