Robert Fell Rockafellow, who was known to all as Bob and a 49-year resident of New Canaan, Connecticut, as well as a veteran, died in Norwalk Hospital after a long illness on Thursday, November 21, with his family by his side. He was 81.
Born November 24, 1931, in Abington, Pennsylvania, to Samuel Fries and Dorothy Fell Rockafellow, he attended Wesleyan University, served in the Navy as a neuropsychiatric medic at Philadelphia Naval Hospital during the Korean War, and graduated from Lafayette College in 1956.
Mr. Rockafellow was an international banker who began his career with Marine Midland Trust Company in 1956 and worked for Manufacturers Hanover Bank, American Express International Bank, Allied Bank International and Bahrain Middle East Bank before his retirement in 1988. His career took him and his family to live in Greece, Belgium and Bahrain, affording them years of exploration and foreign travel that they loved.
In retirement, Mr. Rockafellow, an avid gardener, became a dedicated 15-year volunteer for Americares, focused on the HomeFront program. He also assisted his brother-in-law at Primary Purpose, a halfway facility in Northern California, for several months a year. He was actively involved in the New Canaan Senior Men’s Club.
In addition to his wife of 55 years, Robin Reynolds Rockafellow, he is survived by two daughters, Carolynn Rockafellow and husband Frank López-Balboa of New York City and Southampton, and Elizabeth Rockafellow and husband Luciano Lazzarino of Florida; and two grandchildren, Cristian and Olivia López-Balboa. He is also survived by his older brother, John David Rockafellow and wife Marion; two nephews, Peter and Daniel Rockafellow; and a niece, Katharine Rockafellow, all of Pennsylvania.
A memorial service will be held on Saturday, December 14, at 2 p.m. at St. Mark’s Church in New Canaan. Interment will be private.
Memorial donations may be made to HomeFront, 88 Hamilton Avenue, Stamford, CT 06902 (www.homefrontprogram.org). Please make a memo on the check, “Rockafellow Memorial.”
Online condolences may be left at www.hoytfuneralhome.com.