Robert C. Semmler

March 31st, 2020

Robert Charles Semmler, “Bob”, age 94, a resident of Bear Hill Nursing Center in Stoneham, formerly a long-time resident of Wilmington, passed away on March 30, 2020, at the age of 94.

Bob was born on December 4, 1925, in Rye, New York; he was the dear son of the late Charles and Freida (Meyers) Semmler. Bob, along with his sisters, Mildred and Madelyn, were raised and educated in Harrison, New York. His mother passed away when he was a young boy and the children moved to the family farm in Montville, Connecticut to live with their grandparents. Bob was a hard worker and quickly learned how to be a farm hand; he was active with various farm chores like tending to the animals, bailing hay, plowing fields and chopping wood.

Bob enlisted in the United States Navy just two days shy of his 18th birthday to serve the Country as they entered World War II. Bob worked as a fireman and electrician during his nine-year stint in the Navy. He served aboard various vessels including the USS Yellowstone AD-27, a Shenandoah Class Destroyer, The USS O’Neill DE-188, a Cannon Class Destroyer and other Naval vessels. Bob traveled the world from Italy to Japan and was awarded several medals for his honorable service. He spent time in the Pacific and was fortunate that his ship was outside of the harbor when Pearl Harbor was bombed. Bob did sustain an injury while in Hawaii on active duty when his ship was shelled, and he spent time recuperating there. Bob was honorably discharged in February of 1950.

During his time in the Navy, Bob, met his future wife Doris Chapman, a shipmate’s sister who lived in Boston and the couple hit it off right away. They wed in 1947 and settled in Somerville with family while they saved for a home. Bob worked hard in a steel plant and the couple were able to purchase their home in 1961 in Wilmington. Bob and Doris soon became parents to two wonderful children who he loved dearly.

Bob took pride in his home where he enjoyed gardening, growing vegetables, repairing radios and doing his own carpentry around the house; he was fondly known as a “jack of all trades”. Bob was also a good mechanic who fixed countless cars for family, friends and neighbors throughout the years; even throwing in free vegetables from time to time.

Bob worked hard throughout his whole life; when he left the steel plant he went to work for B & M Railroad as a pipe fitter where he performed maintenance and repairs on all kinds of trains. He later took a similar position for Amtrak where he was a valued employee as well as a good friend to many.

Bob will be fondly remembered as very outgoing, social and friendly; he became involved in the Wilmington Senior Center in 2005 where he enjoyed participating in their many activities, his favorites being Bingo and watching any and all Western movie classics. When Bob’s health declined, he went to stay at Bear Hill Nursing Center in Stoneham where he quickly became part of their daily socializing and activities. He loved to play poker, do crafts, spend time with his new friends and of course play Bingo.

Bob was a wonderful, sweet man who will forever be in the hearts of those he loved.

Bob was the beloved husband of the late Doris (Chapman) Semmler, devoted father of Robert C. Semmler II of Chandler, AZ and Susan Frank of Wilmington, father-in-law of Elise Semmler of Wilmington, grandfather of Robert C. Semmler III and Kirsten Semmler as well as his two great-grandchildren. He was the brother of the late Mildred Salvo and Madelyn Burgess. Bob is also survived by his nieces, nephews, cousins and friends.

Due to the current situation with the Corona Virus and for everyone’s safety, Bob’s family has chosen to have a private service at this time.

In lieu of flowers, donations in Bob’s memory may be made to the Wilmington Senior Citizen’s Center, 15 School St., Wilmington, MA 01887 or to Local Heroes, Inc., P. O. Box 536, Wilmington, MA 01887.

Arrangements are under the direction of the Nichols Funeral Home, 187 Middlesex Ave., Wilmington, MA.


2 Entries in Guest Book for “Robert C. Semmler”

  1. Frank West says:

    Karen and I are saddened at the loss of Bob. I knew Bob all my life and had many pleasant memories of him as a friend and neighbor. I remember many “over the fence” talks as neighbors. In later years, this turned into weekend tea in his porch. Bob was a great guy and I hope he is at peace. God bless Bob and his family at this time now and always!

  2. Sharon Bissell Kurusis says:

    Dear family,
    I can only remember talking to my Great Uncle Bobby on the phone holidays and birthdays. I remember every time he’d call we were all shushed because Grandma’s brother is on the phone and watch how my grandma Madeline seemed to turn into such a happy person. Then he’d talk to my Mom Roberta and she too became very happy. I know I talked to him a few times on the phone too and he was always so nice. Everyone seemed to love my Grandma’s brother, my Mama’s Uncle and my Great Uncle. I hope to see you in heaven Uncle Bobby. Love, Sharon??

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