Cover photo for Robert Grier Monroe's Obituary
Robert Grier Monroe Profile Photo

Robert Grier Monroe

d. May 9, 2019

Monroe, Robert Grier died peacefully at his beloved home "Pine Cone Farm" on May 9th, 2019 at age 97.

Grier's long life was filled adventure - starting with his early childhood living with his sister in the heart of New York City. His active mind and enjoyment of practical jokes were not a good match for the education system of the 20's and 30's - he was so mischievous that he was thrown out of boarding school and, in fact, never completed high school. Like many young men in the early 40's, the war and military presented opportunities outside of academia. He served in the Navy as a Chief Petty Officer, seeing action in the Pacific theater. After the war, he took advantage of the GI Bill to enroll at Harvard and eventually completed his medical training at Tufts Medical School. This training led to a long research career in the Pediatric Cardiology Lab at Boston's Children's Hospital. In his late 50's, he started another chapter of his medical career – he became an Emergency Room physician and worked in emergency medicine for more than 20 years.

Grier's life was never singly focused on school, research, or emergency medicine – he was passionate about many pursuits – in his 60's, he started flying hang gliders and, after a hang gliding crash, moved on to piloting small fixed-wing airplanes into his 70's. In his 80's, he released his artistic passion - sculpting countless mythological creatures and animals – all anatomically (and sometimes embarrassingly) correct, as only a physician would do! These sculptures can be found scattered in the woods, hanging in the trees on his property and in the homes of many of his friends and family.

In every season, Grier could be found riding his tractor - mowing the lawn in spring, summer, and fall, and plowing the snow in winter. Over his long life as a gentleman 'farmer', he kept goats, chickens, and dogs. The dogs roamed freely – the goats and chickens lived in constantly and cleverly evolving almost zoo-like enclosures.

Grier loved to travel and did so often and widely but France was a favorite destination, in part because he grew up speaking French and was fluent throughout his life. Each trip would result in sets of photos and fascinating stories filled with amazing food and wonderful hotels.

Grier's energy and interests truly knew no bounds, fed by an active mind and life - but what kept him most youthful and happy was his unbelievably devoted wife of 33 years, Helene J. Monroe.

In addition to his wife, Helene, he is survived by his father-in-law, Maurice Jacques, daughters Jenny Monroe (Douglas Gray) and Mina Monroe (Thomas Coleman), and step-son Shawn Gregory as well as grandchildren Spencer, Bryce, Abigail, and Molly Gregory, Lila and Oliver Grier Gray, Clara and Willa Coleman. His first wife, Clara Strauss Monroe, (1939-1984) predeceased him.

In keeping with his character, we will have a small private celebration at Pine Cone Farm.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Robert Grier Monroe, please visit our flower store.


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