SACO – Robert Alvin “Bob” Whittier, 85, passed away Wednesday evening, April 10, 2013, at Southern Maine Medical Center, Biddeford. He was born Jan. 6, 1928, in Portland, Ore., the son of Alice Wunderlich and Norman Blanchard Whittier.
Due to his father’s career, Robert attended 13 different schools. He was a member of Bangor High School, class of 1946, and completed his senior year at Taft Preparatory School, Watertown, Conn. After settling in Saco, he prided himself on raising his family in just one community. Oct. 1, 1946, Robert enlisted in the U.S. Army and served in Korea. March 26, 1948, as a beneficiary of the GI Bill, he enrolled in Boston University, School of Management and earned his degree in three years. Aug. 31, 1952, Robert married his wife, Mary-Jane (Redman) Whittier. He joined International Latex Corporation, Dover, Del., as a trainee in the Playtex products division. He worked in their sales analysis department until 1956 and then began his traveling salesman’s career as the first Playtex foundation division representative for Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont. In 1959 he left Playtex and traveled for Colonial Handbag Company, owned by Alfred W. Altman. Together, they formed Cobbler’s Classics, Inc., to manufacture casual handbags designed for Boston co-eds; and formed Colonial Industries, Inc., to manufacture leather goods for Cobbler’s Classics and several New England footwear manufacturers including Maine Woods, Bass Shoe and Frye Boot Company. Robert’s retirement began in 1983 with the partnership’s sale of Colonial Industries. Robert was a wonderful husband and father to his four children and grandfather to his seven “favorite” grandsons. He got a kick out of living. His personality and sense of humor were well known and will be missed by many. Robert strived to pass the importance of humor and friendship on to his family. Robert was associated with United Baptist Church, Saco.
He was predeceased by his wife of 50 years, Mary-Jane, Dec. 4, 2002; and sister, Eleanor Jean “Patsy” Whittier. Robert is survived by four children, David Whittier and wife, Sheryl, of Camden, Susan Haley and husband, Brian, of Saco, Cristine Bolton and husband, Robert, of Warwick, R.I., and Connie Mae McLeod of Topsham; seven grandsons, J.C. and Jeffrey Whittier, Matthew and Benjamin Haley, Douglas and Connor Bolton and Jordan McLeod; and an extended and loving family including eight nieces and nephews.
A celebration of Robert’s life will be held 1 p.m. Saturday, April 20, at United Baptist Church, 318 Main St., Saco. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Robert’s name to Theater Project, 14 School St., Brunswick, ME 04011. Arrangements are by Cote Funeral Home, Saco. To sign the guestbook or send condolences go to www.cotefuneralhome.com.