Robert J. Blozzon Sr.
September 8, 1941 – September 28, 2020
Robert J. Blozzon age 79 of Shelton passed away peacefully on September 28, 2020.
Left to remember him is his son Bob Blozzon Jr. and his wife Sue, daughter Marcy Petrov and her husband Steve, daughter Kathleen LeClerc and her husband Brian, along with grandchildren Meggie Angelovic and husband Scott, Brody Blozzon and fiancé Lucy France, Riley Blozzon, Lily and Annika Petrov, Emma and Owen LeClerc and great grandchildren Eli and Oliver Angelovic, Mia France and Jackson Blozzon. He also leaves behind a niece Judy Schwarz and her husband John. He was predeceased by his wife of 56 years Carla, his brother Jules, his sister Bette and his parents Julius and Barbara (Novotny) Blozzon.
Born and raised in Bridgeport, Bob graduated from Bullard Havens. He served in the US Army for a brief period before working for multiple manufacturing companies including Sikorsky and US Baird. He was also affectionately known as “Big Job Bob'' for his carpentry and handyman skills. After his retirement Bob could proudly be seen driving his red Ford Ranger with the “Big Job” license plate around Trumbull and Oronoque Village to his Handyman jobs, or taking his grandchildren on his "famous mail runs.”
Soon after Carla’s passing, Bob received an unexpected diagnosis. In the face of what could have been another setback, he faced it with bravery and optimism. We are grateful he was able to experience two additional years of making memories with his children, grandchildren and great grandchildren. He loved carpentry, cooking, gardening, sunshine, the ocean; especially the OBX, trips to the casino and a drink or two with friends.
Calling hours will be held at Spadaccino and Gallagher Funeral Home, 315 Monroe Turnpike in Monroe, this Friday beginning at 4pm with a brief memorial, followed by eulogies, at 7pm. In lieu of gifts, please consider donating to Smilow Closer to Free or The Thomas Merton Center in Bridgeport, Ct. Online condolences may be left at SpadaccinoFuneralHome.com.
At the request of family, below is the complete EULOGY shared during the visitation service-
Eulogy ~ Kathleen Blozzon LeClerc Robert John Blozzon Sr. October 2, 2020
Where do I start? I drove home after my father passed thinking I am an orphan. Then I thought there is so much about him to share…. I believe I should start by telling you all to get comfortable. Because as the youngest of three; like my father; I spent the longest time living with my parents. I also saw different things than my older siblings saw. My brother and sister saw the early days. So they can remember stories I was too tiny to recall. My brother Bob can speak to the early days of our multi-family house in Blackrock and times before me. My stories may be different.
Now let me begin.
Robert John Blozzon Sr. was born September 8, 1941 in Bridgeport, CT to Julius and Barbara Novotny Blozzon. He grew up in bi-lingual working class family, his close friends knew they were truly poor. As I got older my god-parents would quietly tell me stories of the way he grew up. They would say you know your Uncle Jimmy’s family was poor, but your dad’s family well, they were “really poor”. I knew this about my dad as he would share stories with us. You may ask why would I start a memorial about my dad this way? I guess because if you knew my dad or well if you didn’t really KNOW my dad, you should know he came from humble beginnings. He worked hard every day of his life for everything he earned. He wanted these things for himself and his family, eventually a family of his own.
As a young teen he fell in love with my mom Carla Jane Seaberg. She too came from a bi-lingual family but they were middle class. They met at the 4H club, he always told me she was much too pretty for him. He was so lucky he got her, she was way out of his league. He felt he was an ugly poor boy with a big nose. He also knew her dad never cared much for him. He was in love and proud to be dating my mom. They married on April 22, 1961 and were married for 56 years, he said she was the best thing that ever happened to him.
When our dad was young he worked many different jobs and told us sorted stories of growing up in their house. They had no heat where they slept, how his bathroom was the coffee can, the stories went on. My family would laugh but it was TRULY not anything we could relate to as his children or our children or our children's children. I know we are all blessed because of him. Because of the lessons he showed us and instilled in us. He started working the day he could get a job and even after retiring he still puttered. Then when they sold the Lake Ave house and moved to Oronoque he was the resident handyman there. He recently told me the story of how he worked for I believe it was Jackie Diamond selling liquor or he was buying liquor or just working for him. Either way he was making money and he had his own liquor, he was stashing his hooch in the basement. His parents didn’t have enough money to buy the “good stuff”. They knew he had his ‘stash’ in the basement and they would ask him if they could borrow it when they had company coming over. Imagine being an adult and asking your teenager for their alcohol so YOU can entertain your friends? They did and he willingly gave it to them. It seems small, but he was proud he could work hard and provide for them to host their friends and not be embarrassed.
Over the years I watched both of my parents and the way they instilled the importance of family first. One of the many BOBISMS you will hear in my Eulogy this evening is “Blood is thicker than water”. Man my dad used to say that often to us in the teenage years. The only people who are obligated to be there at a moment's notice for you are your family members. I had that drilled in my head. He wanted us to know we had to put family first. The five of us were to come before anything and anyone else.
Now that's NOT to say that my father did not value friendships. Well no, no. That is not the case! He and my mom showed us that things like blood relative Aunts and Uncles were of course important. Jules, Bette, Margit, Phil, Martha, Alan, Jimmy and other Aunts and Uncles and cousins were important. They brought my Mormor into our house to live with us when I was tiny and she was ill, they invited my cousin Judy to live with us when she needed it. The memories we made with the Seaberg and Connelly families were legendary. My Uncle Jim was like a brother to my dad and my Uncle Alan gave my father a job when he truly needed it. They also told us we had other Aunts and Uncles that weren’t related, this is where the friends came in: Aunt Jacki, Uncle Ricky, Aunt Winky, Uncle Johnny, Aunt Marie, Uncle Dave, Auntie Diana and Uncle Johnny. It also included good friends like Joan and Bill. We had endless family memories with these people and more. Then our friends became their friends. Paco, Dana, and Jenny and Beth were welcomed, when Andy came to the US he grew to be family with Susanah along with the people in the little red house Aunt Judy, Uncle Bill, Lionel and Julie. Not to mention the other many unnamed friends throughout the years. When we married our extended families were brought into the fold. They were treated the same. Everyone was important and included. My mom would always have extra food at the table so if someone stayed they could be included. One of the other things my dad was proud of was buying his home in Trumbull. He eventually bought himself his little Red Corvette, which gave him and my mom many days of fun trips and the older grandchildren some fun memories he then moved onto the little red truck and his Big Job days. The stories and memories in both cars will live in infamy.
Now let me tell you about the first of two friendships that came from the little red house next to our house on Stonehouse Rd. It was our Uncle Bill and Aunt Judy. I asked my Uncle Bill if he could tell me if he had a funny line or simple story I didn’t know. Bill was one of my dad's best pals. My Uncle moved into the little red house as a young Manager for Richarsdon Vick he eventually moved to Proctor and Gamble in Cincinnati and became Director of Employee Services for North America. They also had a condo in Newport and sailboat. As families we made many lifelong memories in CT and RI through the years. These include Bill's brother Tim. My dad was always inspired and impressed by Bill. He went to undergraduate school at Lehigh and got a BA in Mathematics, then went on to get an MBA from Harvard Business school. They were the definition of opposites attracting. I knew they loved each other and their families but they were men of few words regarding their long standing history. It was kinda like “fight club”. His story about my dad caught me a bit off guard, but I did ask for something I might not know. So here I go...
Your dad and I have been great friends for a long time. Everyone knows that but what people don't know is that your dad has also served as a role model for me. His devotion to his family and the extra effort he always made to provide for you set a standard for me that I have tried to achieve. I specifically remember one Saturday in the early 1980's when your dad and I met for lunch at The Windmill after he had put in some extra hours that morning. We talked about our families and our jobs. He told me about going to technical school, working as an apprentice to a carpenter and finally getting a job with U.S. Baird. After lunch we went over to Baird and he gave me a short tour and explained his role in assembling the machines. It made me appreciate the hard work that he did, the extra hours he put in and all the "side jobs" he did in addition to his regular job. To this day I have never met anyone who has worked harder for his family. So yes, your dad and I are great friends, but he is more than that to me. He is someone I look up to, a positive force in my life and someone that I love very much.
I have mentioned my dad felt friends were important. Whether it was the annual February trip to NH with the Masckos or their infamous Christmas party. He would often be found saying F.U.N you only go around once! Our dad and Uncle Ricky would do anything for one another, but could never agree on anything, there is an infamous story about one time when they went fishing; one of them wanted to leave; the other one didn’t; they actually had to be rescued! Because of this “fighting” they were lovingly called Frick and Frack by our families. As a young girl I can’t remember not doing the Christmas open house tour with all the families. Driving around and seeing those Aunts and Uncles on Christmas day. As time went on and more people came into our lives my dad began to get more into the BOBISMS with things like “It’s Miller Time” while sitting on the stonewall or the saying, It’s 5 o'clock somewhere.
My dad was often perceived as a man who was “tight’ with money. He would often say, “I am not Cheap I'm Frugal there is a Difference!” He really wanted you to know the difference. He was the first person I knew to have solar panels, use a kerosene heater, and compost. He was ahead of his time! Bill Lee told a story about after spending a night out with my dad he was going to try to apply my dad's lessons in “frugality”. He laughed and said it just didn’t seem to work for him like it seemed to work for my dad! He truly had a gift in that way!
He was always teaching the family lessons. Even the grandchildren spoke of it. I asked them some of their favorite sayings. They shared their BOBISMS: Anyone can be stupid. Work Smarter not Harder, A’s Pay, Learn Chinese. Pop Pop says you have to have PATIENCE. Measure twice cut once.
These lessons are invaluable. Work smarter NOT harder. He wanted us to take advantage of all the opportunities we had. He pushed us to become all we could. The saying A’s pay came from if you got an A he paid you $10, it was his incentive for us to do well. He wanted the grandchildren to Learn Chinese or any language, the more the better. When he learned Riley was taking Aerabic he literally told anyone and everyone he came in contact with. He was beyond proud. When he worked he took his time, he never rushed. If you were working with him he would tell you to check the lines twice, Measure twice and cut once. It's a carpenter’s line but it's a great life lesson. Don’t rush into the work without checking what you have done. He wanted to understand every detail so in case you weren't there and he had to do it himself, he could. That's where the next BOBISM comes in. Pop Pop says to have PATIENCE. We are living in a FAST world. Phones, computers, cars, life, that's not him not the way he was, not the way he learned or needed to learn. I watched him and thought a great deal about all these BOBISMS. Especially in these past three years and then over the past two weeks. They make so much sense. I have since learned to TRY to slow down, stop, listen and breathe. It really does help.
As a father and a grandfather he wasn't the most traditional guy. He wasn’t sitting in the driveway shooting hoops with Bob or playing goalie for me with field hockey, nope he didn’t toss softballs with Marcy back in the day. Yet he was at Bob’s basketball games, those games were at night so he could be there, typically there were no night side jobs. I sat squished between my proud parents watching my big brother dominate the court. He was impressed by how smart my sister was with her grades and boasted about it. He was proud of all of us in our own individual ways. His parenting came in showing us how to grow our own blueberries, strawberries and garden. We learned “Pride in Ownership''. How to mow a lawn, police the area. We learned the hard way that if you didn’t put your bike away at night he might put it away for you and the next day you might not be able to find it. We learned to take care of the things we owned. He taught us how to make spritz cookies even if the super shooter caused some tension. There was always a little Cherry Kijafa to calm the nerves. He taught us how to camp in the backyard and cook our breakfast outside. We had soluna picnics with the bounty from our garden. With the grandchildren he taught them how to make garlic bread, clams casino, build models, take trips to the dollar store or harbor freight, he’d give them special Hess trucks or trains. With Steve his ‘broder’ it was trips to the casino eating at special places doing their usual routine, grilling at home, with Sue it was watching him with her grandchildren, puzzles at the OBX and the joy he had when he was in the OBX, for Brian it was how he taught him the proper way to boil and cut a lobster and watching him teach Emma and Owen his secret recipes. Johnny Marcinka recently said when they spoke Pop did most of the talking. It was always about the kids and grandchildren and how proud he was of everyone, he just listened to dad talk. All of the lessons he gave us adults have been and will be passed down to our children and grandchildren.
My parents loved to travel, in the past three years that did not change for our dad. . He actually joined a grief group. Who would have guessed! He made new friends. When he was well enough he took every chance with them to go somewhere, whether it was to the casino or to see To Kill a Mockingbird in NYC. Sometimes he’d host his friends like Joan for a bowl of soup or to visit Irene or stop by to see Anne or rest her soul Flo. He enjoyed spending time with Al and Cheryl, and Bob and Pat. He loved the beach and sun. That love started back in Milford when our parents rented a house locally so we could work our summer jobs while my dad was on his summer week shop shutdown. It was perfect; it wasn't the ocean or RI but it was water and the sun and a drink in the hand! Many fun memories were made there, family and friends could enjoy the house. He was always willing to share. Later they discovered the OBX and it was love. He was able to go one more time with Bob's Family and he also went to Narragensett with my family.
In the past six months my father would talk with me about what I should do with certain decisions in life. How he and my mom never had the money. He said, if I am waiting to make that purchase or go on that trip…. To just do it! Life’s short, you're never going to have the money. We never had the money, we just figured it out. You'll figure it out. Do it, you won’t regret it. He said, I have seen a lot of things, I’ve had a great life. You guys need to do it while you are young.
Bear with me and let me take you back to that little red house in front of our house on Stonehouse Road. Remember people still question whether my Pop has a soft side. They still think he is a bit stingy with his cash. Some say cheap. He says frugal, I know he is just careful. He wants to care for us all. My Aunt Judy and Uncle Bill moved out and in moved another nice couple; Lionel and Julie Shapiro. When my mom passed Lionel’s wife shared an abbreviated version of this story with me. I asked him if he would share the whole story with me now. He did via email and it is with his permission I am reading it to you.
Mr. Bob. this is what my girls liked to call him… (As Requested)
During the government shutdown in 1995 ( about 4 weeks Dec - Jan) the government workers had our pay disrupted and delayed/suspended...I can't recall how many pay periods were hit but it was enough to cause us (Julie and I) concern. We had been in "The Little Red House" as we called it since June of 1992 after our transfer from New Orleans. Since we moved in our family's had got to know each other pretty well. All those Budweiser's on your wall helped.....
As you know Julie wasn't working and we had the girls (ages 4 & 7) so your Dad knew we were not rolling in cash taking our vacations on the Rivera... I think he saw at times how stressed we were as we raised the kids and juggling finances... He would sometimes would tell me...don't worry "things will get better"....
Anyway the shutdown was in the news and it was serious business. I had already called my credit union which had my credit card as well as an auto loan to ask for a pass on a month's payment and both had agreed...It's not like we were eating cat food but it was getting very, very tight......
Anyway one night I pulled somewhat late into my driveway and fumbled with my gear before I got out of the car. You may recall we had that motion detector light on the front of the house that shone on the stairs to the deck. The light came on and as I started up the stairs I heard a low voice say....Psssst ! Pssst..! Lionel..! I looked up towards your driveway where the voice was coming but I couldn't see clearly, however there was a silhouette. At first I thought I was back doing a surveillance that I just finished...but then I could see and I figured it was your Dad....!!
I said.. Hi...,Bob..! (in a normal tone)... I then hear...shhhhhh..?? I was confused ...?? What the hell was going on..? Your Dad says quietly...."Lionel come here"...So I walked over to the end of the deck and then over to your driveway where he was standing in the shadows.
Your Dad then says.....“Hey I heard on the news how you guys aren’t getting paid...how are you doing...? I said something like I am ok it's a pain but it is what it is....Then he says OK…listen "this is between us...The ladies don't need to know...But I have some money and if you need some help just let me know...Like I said it’s just between us. ! No women involved….!! You can pay me back when you can...!
I almost started to cry (like I am now)....I was speechless I thanked your Dad over and over and told him I would let him know if I needed help....Thankfully we finally got paid and I never had to take him up on the offer.
But up until then and til now no one has ever offered me that type of unselfish assistance....
The two of us standing there, talking in the dark is etched in my memory as one of my life's most cherished events.... I loved your Dad.... And will miss him dearly....
My father truly missed my mother every day and when he was diagnosed almost two years ago with lung cancer he faced it with bravery and optimism. He never for a moment thought he wasn’t going to beat this thing. He believed he was the one who was going to outlive cancer.
One thing the three of us children have seen in the last three years is the inner changes in our dad with the passing of our mom. It’s as though our father began a metamorphosis. Like he began to take on some of her lighter more positive attributes. He didn’t want to go down the rabbit whole of negativity. His diagnosis was a perfect example of that, he honestly didn’t understand when his oncologist Dr. Mike told him continuing the treatment wasn’t going to help his cancer, that there wasn’t anything more they could do. He was brave, I believe in his mind he thought he could fight anything if he worked hard and was strong enough. We were lucky enough before our father moved to his independent living for my dad to have a caregiver who really became his friend named Meredith. She saw this kind determined side to him and was patient and loving with him. We were blessed. She, like us, knew that man who believed with maybe just a few more exercises and PT he’d gain enough muscle strength to get back walking. That was our guy! Bound and determined. Our dad was a fiercely protective, caring and loving man who without a doubt passed as a better version of himself. I hope those of you who knew him had the chance to experience his transformation. For those of you who didn’t I hope his story teaches you that it is never too late to change, no matter how stubborn one might seem to be. May those of you who are here enjoy a drink or two in honor of our father this weekend, he was a Stoli Red Label fan, but truly he just enjoyed a drink or two with a friend. For I know he and our mom will be looking down on us enjoying a drink or two with a friend. We love you Pop Rest Easy, Pea Pod, Zsuzsi, Boober and all your Family and Friends
(Kathleen), (Marcy), (Bob)
Friday, October 2, 2020
Prayer Service and Words of Remembrance
Friday, October 2, 2020
Robert J. Blozzon Sr.
October 2, 2020
Dear Bobby, Marcy and Kathleen, Your father was so proud of all of you and loved you so much. I hope this comforts you during this very sad time. Your Dad was a very good friend , and I will miss him.
With my deepest sympathy,
Al and Cheryl Comen
October 1, 2020
Bob Jr, Marcy, Kathleen and the entire Blozzon family, our deepest condolences on the passing of Bob. We had the privilege of getting to know Bob while he and Carla lived in Oronoque Village, especially In the last three years when we spent many evenings sharing dinners and Bob introducing us to Hungarian food. He was immensely proud of his family and their accomplishments and was often regaling us with what his grandkids and great grandkids were up to. He was very talented with his hands and he and Al often worked together solving maintenance problems. We will miss him, his story telling, his humor and his love of food. Again, our deepest sympathies. Al and Cheryl Comen
October 1, 2020
good guy miss you at mohegan
October 1, 2020
I just remember going to your parents house, hanging out and having sleepovers. Kathleen, your parents were wonderful people. I know they are in heaven looking down on you and all your family. They will forever and always be your guardian angels. I wish I could be there for you. Sending all my love and prayers from Georgia. Love, Paula
September 30, 2020
I will always remember Bob standing over the turkey at Thanksgiving, cutting it up and dividing it up on the white meat and dark meat plates. He was always nice to me, and appreciated music. I remember him listening to me play piano when I was 12 or 13, and requesting songs. May his memories with you live on, and stories be told for years to come. 💕