On July 7, 2022, after listening to the Yankees win a two grand slam game, Francis Robert (Bob) Amici left this world for the next. There he is reunited with his wife, Martha, his friends and neighbors, sisters and parents, family members, and furry companions.
Born September 26, 1932, in New Haven, CT, Bob grew up learning how to navigate his father's boat. In 1953, he enlisted in the U.S. Army, and proudly served in the Korean War as a tugboat operator, guiding ships through the straights of Newfoundland, Canada. Upon discharge in 1955, he returned to his position with AC Gilbert Company to begin what would be a life-long calling as a toy designer and engineer. In 1958, he married Martha Abbate from Hamden, CT, designed and supervised the building of his home in Northford, and was blessed with his first child, a daughter Diann, in 1959. Shortly after, in 1961, he welcomed his son, Robert (Bob) to carry on the Amici name. In 1962, he completed his family with the birth of his second daughter, Alison, who he fondly referred to as "his baby." While raising a young family, with steadfast determination, he went to New Haven College and earned a degree in Mechanical Engineering in 1962.
Besides AC Gilbert Company, Bob has worked at renowned toy manufacturers such as Ideal Toy Company and Coleco Industries. Bob holds several US patents, including one for the popular Beautiful Crissy Doll and her cousin, Velvet, and their friends and family who followed; specifically, for the mechanism that "grew" their hair. (See: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crissy;https;// patentimages.storage.googleapis.com/e4/e7/6f/68c7d735fd7150/US3698134.pdf https://patentimages.storage.googleapis.com/dc/e5/fe/9915ebe0f3ce49/US3613299.pdf). As the Director of Product Development, he was instrumental in the launch of ColecoVision and Cabbage Patch Kids. Bob spent a great deal of time overseas, primarily in Hong Kong and Singapore, seeing his projects through to production, and all the while developing strong business relationships and lifelong friendships.
Following the closing of Coleco Industries, Bob worked for a short time at Stanley Black and Decker. At this time, his grandchildren were coming along, and he decided to retire from the big companies, and stay closer to home, acting as the owner-consultant of his own engineering company. Eventually retiring from consulting, Bob and Martha took this opportunity to travel and explore the world, Hong Kong, frequently on their itinerary. As his family was expanding, family vacations to Aruba and Disney became frequent occurrences. Many fond memories were created because of him.
Bob had diverse interests, which included bowling (he won several trophies), and woodworking. He even had his own complete workshop in his basement. We each have special furniture pieces, custom made by Bob with precise planning, skills, and of course, with love.
For over 60 years, Bob devoted himself in service at St. Monica's Parish. Anything that needed to be fixed or maintained, Bob was on it. He was proud to dedicate his time, alongside his wife, the church's organist and musical director, as a profession of his faith and devotion to his religion and parish community.
Bob was a kind, gentle man. He generously shared with his family, and never missed an opportunity to celebrate with a meal! He considered his grandchildren his proudest accomplishments, and welcomed invitations to baseball games, music and drama performances, dance recitals, gymnastics competitions, etc. He created wondrous memories at birthday parties, holiday gatherings, Easter Egg hunts, hours on the swing set he built, and of course the trolley, with Santa, just to mention a few.
Bob leaves us with a legacy of love, devotion, and commitment to family first and foremost. We celebrate his life as he celebrated ours.
Our family wishes to extend our thanks to his friends and caregivers at The Landing in North Haven, which he called home for nearly 3 years (he was the fifth resident to this new community) and where he proudly served as Resident Ambassador, the team from Masters In Homecare, and CT Hospice of Branford who compassionately cared for him the last days of his life.
Bob is survived by two daughters, Diann J. Amici and her husband Lawrence Schmitt of Middletown, CT and Alison Laucella and her husband Mark of Berlin, CT, one son, Robert M. Amici of Berlin, MA, seven grandchildren, Gregory and Erica Laucella, Tyler Schmitt, Natalie (Alex) Cartwright, and Kenny, Kevin and Brian Amici, and a great-grandson, Luca Amici. He was predeceased by three sisters, Ursula Casioppo, Dolores Forslund and Frances Doyle. Bob’s family will receive relatives and friends on Tuesday, July 12th from 4:00 to 7:00 p.m. at the Washington Memorial Funeral Home, 4 Washington Ave., North Haven. His funeral procession will leave from the funeral home on Wednesday, July 13th at 9:30 a.m. for a Mass of Christian Burial which will be celebrated at 10:00 a.m. in St. Monica Church (St. Ambrose Parish), 1331 Middletown Ave., Northford. Burial with military honors will follow in All Saints Cemetery, North Haven. www.washingtonmemorialfh.com