Loving Husband, Father, Grandfather, Great-Grandfather
U. S. Navy Veteran
Robert R. Frank, “Bob”, a longtime Westford resident, entered into rest on May 5, 2022, at his home, aged 88 years. He was the beloved husband of Marilyn (Fleckner) Frank with whom he had celebrated 42 years of marriage.
Born in Philadelphia, PA, on September 1, 1933, he was the son of the late Robert Ralph and Filomena (Orlando) Frank. He attended Philadelphia public schools, graduating in 1951.
Just six days out of high school, Bob joined the U. S. Navy, serving until his honorable discharge in 1958. While enlisted, he worked in electronics. He later worked for IBM and Royal McBee.
Bob always loved acting and, in his youth, was a professional actor and also directed off-Broadway productions. He directed Bruce Dern in his first play, and also studied with Lee Strasberg.
He was owner and chef of the 250 seat DaVinci Restaurant on Walnut Street in Philadelphia from 1959 to 1971, a frequent haven for theatrical people performing in the area. His diners included Lucille Ball, Louis Armstrong, Helen Hayes, Rudolph Nureyev, Sammy Davis, and Betty White, to name a few. After 17 years, Bob sold the restaurant, and under President Nixon, became the principal investigator for a grant proposal written, approved, and funded for the first alcohol rehabilitation center in Southern New Jersey.
He then purchased Scotland Run Antiques in Malaga, New Jersey, where he spent seven years restoring and selling antiques.
In 1976, Bob met Marilyn on a singles trip to Puerto Rico and St. Thomas, which turned out to be his last. Just three weeks later, Bob moved to Westford to be with Marilyn.
At 46 years old, Bob went to college for the first time, acquiring a Master’s in Education from Antioch College. He then held several jobs with Hewlett Packard and later, at Apollo, as a hardware technical writer. Looking for a change, he, along with his son Brett, bought Bagel Alley in Nashua, NH, where the business has continued to thrive for over 34 years.
Over the last fifteen years, Bob became a respected and recognized watercolor painter. His beautiful works of art have been hung by the New England Watercolor Society, and the Concord Art Society, and have won awards and recognition in Westford at the Parish Center for the Arts. Some of his paintings now hang in the renovated Westford Town Hall.
Bob truly fit the category of Renaissance Man.
In addition to his wife, he is survived by his children, David Stewart Fleckner, Marcia Susan McAuliffe and Brett Alleyn, and Marianne Fleckner; his grandchildren and their partners, Rebecca Fleckner and Jed Kravitsky, Tyler and Danielle Fleckner, Zachary and Michelle Fleckner, Colby and Tara Fleckner, Alexis McAuliffe and Nicol Leddington, and Kaitlyn McAuliffe and Andrew Clark; and four great-grandchildren, Ayla and Sebastian Fleckner, Olivia Fleckner and Ella Fleckner. In addition, he leaves five nieces and nephews and their families: Rick and Sherry Shenberger and their son Ryan, David Shenberger, Patti Shenberger, Michael and Cecelia Shenberger, and Marcy Balent. He was the brother of the late Helen Shenberger, and the brother-in-law of the late Richard Shenberger.
Friends are invited to attend his Graveside Service at Pine Grove Cemetery, Forge Village Road, Westford, on Tuesday, May 10 at 2:00 p.m. Shiva to be observed at the home of Tara and Colby Fleckner and Brett and Marianne Fleckner, 23R Almeria Circle, Westford, on Wednesday, May 11 from 2 to 5 p.m., and 7 to 9 p.m. with a Shiva Service at 7:30 p.m. Please omit flowers. Donations in Bob’s memory may be made to Merrimack Valley Hospice, 360 Merrimack St., Bldg. #9, Lawrence, MA 01843, or online at <a style=”font-weight:bold” href=”https://www.homehealthfoundation.org/donate/donate-online/”>Merrimack Valley Hospice</a>.
Arrangements are in the care of the MORSE-BAYLISS Funeral Home, 122 Princeton Boulevard, Lowell, MA. Funeral Director, Frederick W. Healy. Please visit Bob’s life tribute at www.morsebaylissfuneralhome.com.