Kenai Peninsula resident Robert "Bob" Alan Reilly died Monday, Nov. 30, 2009, at Providence Medical Center in Anchorage, with his family by his side. He was 77.
An open house gathering for family and friends will be held at 2 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 5, at Patrick and Kelly Reilly's home at 1302 Lawton Drive, Kenai. The family invites friends to stop by and have a bite to eat, a sip of drink, and share a story or two.
Mr. Reilly was born Jan. 24, 1932, to James and Armenta Reilly in Norwalk, Conn., where he was raised and graduated high school. He attended Whitney School of Art in New Haven, Conn., then went on to four years of service in the United States Air Force.
"He was stationed at Elmendorf Air Force Base in Anchorage, and bases in Great Falls, Mont., and Sioux Falls, S.D., where in 1955, he met and married the love of his life, Patricia Jean Girten," his family said.
The couple relocated briefly to New York City followed by Norwalk, Conn., Tucson, Ariz., and Lakewood, Colo., where they raised their children. In 1983, they followed their adult children to the Kenai Peninsula where they spent the last 25 years.
"He was an artist, inventor, photographer, woodsman and humanitarian. Bob's art, many times, portrayed the natural world with surrealism born of his inexhaustible creativity. His work is cherished among his friends and family. His creativity also was seen in the workshop where in his early career he designed and patented several ideas. As a young man, he spent many weekends hunting, fishing, searching for fossils and training birds of prey. He aspired to adventure, reason and humility, imparting this spirit to his children and grandchildren," his family said. "Shopping at 'Sally Ann's' was a great past time. It was hard not to laugh at his jokes because if one didn't, he would grab you by the arm until you found yourself laughing. He most enjoyed watching his children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren succeed in life. Bob was thankful everyday for his beautiful family. He cherished his wife and many times composed poetry for their anniversaries. His legacy is long. He will be missed by his extended family and friends which include, Glenn and Kathy Bush, the Ed Girten family, the Hutchison family and many more that called him 'Grandpa.'"
Mr. Reilly is survived by his wife, Patricia Reilly; brothers and sisters, Teen, Sis, Bud and Patty; sons, Mark Reilly and his wife, Maggie, Matt Reilly and his wife, Eileen, Michael Reilly and his wife, Margo, Patrick Reilly and his wife, Kelly; daughter, Kelly Nelson and her husband, Michael; grandchildren, Zack and his wife, Aubrey, and Levi, Keegan, Stryder, Matt, Meghan, Mike, Kevin, Patricia, Jessica, Amanda, Jennifer, Andrea, Shiloh, Joshua, Rainy, Bo, and Mikaela; and great-grandchildren, Arianna, Sarina, Logan and Connor.
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