Robert Bob Neilson

January 6, 1946January 30, 2013

Robert “Bob” Neilson, Sr., 67

Auburn – Robert Burns Neilson, Sr., 67, of New Gloucester died Wednesday January 30, 2013 at the Hospice House in Auburn after a period of declining health. He was born on January 6, 1946 in St. Louis, MO, a son of Arthur and Janet (Bulger) Neilson. He was educated in St. Louis schools and graduated from Taylor School, Class of 1964.

Shortly after graduating Bob enlisted in the US Navy and enjoyed a 20 year career in education and antisubmarine warfare. After his enlistment the family returned to Maine and Bob began a 23 year career with LL Bean.

Bob enjoyed sailing and fly fishing. He was known to be able to fix just about anything and was an engineer at heart. He had a great sense of humor and was known as a first rate punster – every pun intended. He possessed a poet’s eye and ear and the generosity and heart of a teacher. Bob had a special fondness for the family retreat in Pentwater, MI.

Bob will be remembered for his great love of his wife Maggie, his fairness in all things, his openness and acceptance of others, his practicality, diplomacy and overall generosity of spirit.

Bob is survived by his wife of 42 years, Margaret “Maggie” (Shenk) Neilson of New Gloucester; his daughter Mary Elizabeth “Beth” Mazzillo and her husband Christopher of Mechanic Falls; his son Robert Burns Neilson, Jr. and his wife Tammy of Danville; his four grandchildren: Megan, Arthur, Christopher and Robert III; his great-grandson Louis V; his brother Hugh Neilson and his wife Pat; his sister Janet Wells and his brother Bill, all of St. Louis, MO; his sisters-in-law: Karen Neilson, Carmen Neilson, Janet Chipman and her husband Keith, Jamie Shenk and a large extended family. He was predeceased by his daughter Lisa Neilson and his brothers Arthur and Dennie and his brother-in-law Bill Shenk.

A memorial service will be held on Saturday February 2, 2013 at 1:00 PM at the New Gloucester First Congregational Church, 19 New Gloucester Hill Road, New Gloucester. Please visit to share your condolences, memories and tributes with Bob’s family.

For those who wish, donations may be made in Bob’s memory to: Hospice House, 236 Stetson Road, Auburn, ME 04210.


  • Memorial Service Saturday, February 2, 2013

Robert Bob Neilson

have a memory or condolence to add?


receive updates when new memories are posted

Ann Calkins

February 8, 2013

Dear Maggie- how we will miss Bob at Pentwater. He contributed so much - in time, effort and spirit. If I can get to the Memorial Bench next summer I will certainly sit and have a nice conversation with him through the sky and the waves. And will hope to see you there anyway.

Keith & Janet Chipman

February 4, 2013

Keith & I have always considered Bob a brother. We have spent the last 42 years together, through happy time, sad times, vacationing & on lake Webber. He has always been the most positive person I know. It's hard to express how sadly he will be missed by all of us. <3

Alice Lewis

February 3, 2013

My dear Maggie... so very sorry to hear of Bob's passing. He put up such a gallant fight - he was a good man and I pray that you will be comforted in the memories that you hold in your heart. Please convey my sympathy to the rest of the family.

February 3, 2013

Margaret, so sorry to her about Bob. Now we really feel bad we did not get to see you two while on our short and last visit to Maine this past August. Carol called me this morning to let me know - I will call you later.
Bob was a fighter and did his best. Hope you are going to OK.

Phyllis & Smitty - Elberta, Alabama

Donna & Mary

February 2, 2013

Maggie, Rob and family, So sorry for your loss. May God bless you all with peace and warm memories.

Bruce & Nancy Bourget

February 2, 2013

Maggie & Family,
Nancy and I are so Sorry for your lost and Bob will be missed very much here down at the Camp on Webber Pond. He was one of the Best Neighbors we ever had and Great Friend, Bob will be in our Prayers and Nancy and Me will miss him very much, use to love how he loved talking to our Granddaughters and Bob was always there to put a smile on everyones face, Your Friend and Neighbor Bruce & Nancy Bourget,

Steve Heminger

February 1, 2013

I am truly heartbroken to hear this. Bob, was one first people I encountered from VP-23 and became one of my "Sea-Daddies" when I was a young wet-behind-the-ears E-3. I looked up to him and emulated his professionalism. I particularly enjoyed conversing with him on Facebook this past year. One of my last posts about Bob was in response to a post from Tyler. Tyler's post touched my heart and reminded me of the Bob I knew. Fair winds and following seas, my friend and may we meet again when I reach me PLE. You sir, were one of a kind. My thoughts and prayers are with Bob's family.

Steve Heminger, USN Ret and fellow Seahawk

David R. Alger

February 1, 2013

Maggie and the rest of your family: I was saddened to learn of Bob's passing. Though we only met (Face-to-Face) last year in Petwater, I valued our relationship. What a joy it was to finally meet you all and enjoy your hospitality. I will miss Bob as though he was a brother. What a fine gentleman he was.

May God take your aching hearts in His healing hands and bring you peace.

Bob and Marcia Shipley

February 1, 2013

Maggie and family, so sorry for your loss, Bob was a great husband, father, grandfather , brother, uncle,friend, he was loved by a lot of people. One courageous guy who fought this terrible diease with all he had. He is at peace now with no more pain. My prayers are with you and the family at this time.

Karen Neilson

February 1, 2013

Race Course
a long broad reach,
upwind tacking occasionally in irons,
falling off downwind, spinnaker up,
and the wind is at his back
in the wake we marvel,
what a race