Robert Edward "Bob" LaCroix, 74, passed away peacefully on November 8, 2022, at his home in Westwood, MA, surrounded by family, after a long and courageous battle with cancer.
An aviator and sky diver, Bob was a high-flying adventurer who was simultaneously grounded and down-to-earth. Bob is survived by loving family and friends who benefited greatly from his lifelong altruism and integrity. He had an incredible talent for seeing the bright side of people and situations. Even when his illness became insurmountable, Bob found joy and peace surrounded by those who loved and were loved by him. Bob was an excellent example of a true gentleman; humble while still being everyone's favorite person.
Born in Newton, MA, Bob graduated from Waltham High School where he played hockey and baseball. A highlight of his hockey career was when he played goalie in the New England High School Championship game in the Boston Garden.
Bob lived life to the fullest, or on "Volume 10" as he liked to say. He worked, played, and loved hard. He made big, bold decisions quickly and without hesitation, such as buying a summer home in Maine on an island without electricity or driving to New York City to rescue a 120-pound Bernese Mountain dog. He felt both good and bad feelings very deeply; he loved to laugh but it was also easy for him to cry.
Bob was a thrill-seeker who was passionate about having fun as much as a small child. He loved his family, dogs, rollercoasters, hockey, baseball, fishing, planes, irreverent comedies, and non-fiction books.
Bob never waited for life; he seized it. He wanted to become a skydiver so at age 49 he drove to the drop-zone every weekend and practiced jumping until he was certified. For almost twenty years, Bob traveled to Arizona every winter to skydive with a cherished group of friends from all over the country, the "FOB Skydivers". He completed more than 1,200 jumps in his lifetime, including 86 with his son Michael.
After learning to jump out of planes, Bob decided he wanted to learn how to fly them, so he took lessons and earned his pilot's license. One of Bob's favorite things to do was to get up early and fly with his friend Jim Quinn to get breakfast at the Plymouth airport. Bob experienced more in his 74 years than many people do in their entire lives.
Bob is survived by his partner, best friend, and the love of his life, Nancy Dykstra, of Westwood. Bob and Nancy were close friends for over 12 years before he finally got up the nerve to kiss her on a warm summer night. In their 10 plus years together they enjoyed the simple pleasures of life like cuddling on the couch watching a movie, going to Red Sox games, and fishing. They traveled coast to coast and spent many cherished summers together at their lake-side cabin in Maine. Bob is also survived by the other love of his life, Georgia, a coonhound beagle mix, rescued in 2019 from the NorthEast Coonhound Rescue organization.
Bob was a loving father and grandfather to four children and five grandchildren: Adam LaCroix, his wife Suzy and their children Parker and Henry of Los Angeles, Christine Warren, her husband Nick and their children Maya and Harper of Mattapoisett, Kara Ristaino, her husband Tony and their daughter Evie of Wrentham, and Michael LaCroix of Wrentham. Bob was a mentor and friend to Nancy's sons, Andrew Gettings of Tampa, FL and William Gettings of Boston.
Bob is survived by two brothers, Steven LaCroix of Fort Pierce, FL and Patrick "Pat" Girolamo of Wrentham. Pat worked alongside Bob for over 40 years, and together they turned houses into homes. While working and for years to follow, Bob and Pat became a part of the families whose homes and lives they changed. In fact, Bob installed a deep bathtub at Nancy's house in 2004, and by 2012 it was his bathtub too.
Bob and his dearest cousin Frances "Fran" Parker were good friends since childhood and her loving care in recent months was a godsend.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Edward "Jack" LaCroix and Helen (Waterhouse) LaCroix of Medfield, and brother, Thomas LaCroix of Maynard.
A Celebration of Life will be held at the United Church of Christ in Medfield at 10:00 AM on Saturday, December 3rd, followed by a reception in the church hall. Brunch will be served. Casual dress is encouraged.
The family would like to thank Old Colony Hospice, and in particular Marie O'Shea, RN and Ashley Napier, LICSW for their outstanding and thoughtful care which allowed Bob his wish to be at home when he passed.
In lieu of flowers, donations in Bob's memory may be made to Old Colony Hospice or to Northeast Coonhound Rescue.
Those who knew Bob congratulate him on a beautiful life well lived. He will be remembered fondly always.