Robert C. Andrews of Mashpee, formerly of Keene, N.H., died peacefully on Feb. 13, 2021 at the JML Care Center in Falmouth. He was 83.

He was the beloved husband of the late Emily (Steere) Andrews of Oak Bluffs, with whom he had shared 48 wonderful years of marriage.

Robert was born in Oak Bluffs on Thanksgiving Day, Nov. 25, 1937, to the late Edwin and Valerie (Czajkowski) Andrews. Bobby was raised in the Vineyard Haven home his father hand-built during the Great Depression. He the Tisbury School through 12th grade, graduated from Fitchburg State Teacher’s College with a bachelor’s degree in education in 1959, and returned to teach at the newly-opened Martha’s Vineyard Regional High School. He married Emily on August 20, 1960 and they moved to Chelmsford to start a family. He obtained his master’s degree from Northeastern University in 1965, and his doctoral degree from UMass-Amherst in 1984.

At Keene State College, Robert enjoyed a 33-year career as a tenured professor of industrial arts and technology, dean of graduate studies and program development, and director of teacher education. He had a deep commitment to excellence in higher education, and was well-known among students, colleagues, and international exchange families in England. Robert and Emily were founding members of the KSC Gourmet Group who met monthly for over three decades to enjoy fine foods and lasting friendships.

For 13 summers, Robert and Emily managed the Sandy Island Family Camp of the Greater Boston YMCA on Lake Winnipesaukee in N.H. Later they returned to Martha’s Vineyard with their sons to build a cottage in the woods next to his family homestead. Robert’s love of the Island inspired his rich and colorful storytelling while giving bus tours to the seasonal visitors. In West Keene, the family attended St. Margaret Mary’s Roman Catholic Church where Robert served as a lay minister and choir director. During their golden years, Robert and Emily settled in Surry, N.H. where they designed and built a modern custom home surrounded by scenic views of the village and Ashuelot River valley. There he served as a town selectman for nearly a decade, providing leadership to the small community they so loved. After retirement, they moved to Mashpee, closer to family on Cape Cod. Robert and Emily enjoyed travel in Europe and across the U.S., visiting relatives, scenic national parks and historic sites. A lifelong passion for photography, shared with his sons, leaves a legacy of heirloom memories.

Robert cherished spending time with family and friends. His defining character and personality were larger than life, and the progression of Parkinson’s disease did not impede his positive spirit and infectious humor. In his final years at JML Care Center, he was known as the Mayor, bringing joy and levity to the nursing staff and residents each day. He will be missed greatly by all who had the pleasure of knowing him.

He is survived by his sons, Michael and Peter Andrews of Hayward, Calif; his grandson Benjamin, and great-grandson Noah Andrews of Portland, Ore, and his wife Betsy; sister Ann Pearl Sylvia of Falmouth; and dear friend and travel companion Elizabeth Zinn of Spofford, N.H. In addition to his wife, he was predeceased by his son David, wife Emily, and older brother Edwin Jr.

A funeral mass was held on Feb. 18 at Christ the King Parish in Mashpee. Interment was Friday in the Oak Grove Cemetery in Vineyard Haven.

Donations can be made to the Parkinson’s Foundation (

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