Robert G. Ayres

  • Born: September 12, 1945
  • Died: April 30, 2019
  • Location: Concord, Massachusetts

Concord Funeral Home

Director - Glenn D. Burlamachi, CFSP
74 Belknap St.
Concord, MA 01742
Tel. (978) 369-3388

Tribute & Message From The Family

Robert George Ayres, musician, accomplished athlete, coach, nickname generator and lover of dogs and babies, died suddenly on Tuesday, April 30th. Rob (also known as Robin, Robbo, Fabio, Apple Rob, and Ghee) was a loving husband to Demi, proud father of his children, Ursula (Tom) Ostrom, Eliot, and Meryl (Max Wall) Ayres, and enthusiastic co-conspirator to his grandchildren, Alexandra and Julian.

He is fondly remembered by his sister Margo (Tom) Smith, brother Burgess (Cindy), mother-in-law Sally Walsh, and brothers-in-law Jack (Chris Hannan) Walsh, Michael (Debbie) Walsh, and Barney (Amy Clifton) Walsh, his beloved nieces and nephews, and their children. Rob was predeceased by his dear sister, Susan Noble, and his sister-in-law, Constance "Lucille" Walsh, with whom he shared the belief that all music should be played LOUD.

A graduate of The Choate School (1963) and Lake Forest College (1967), Rob was a true believer that every day was game day. He was a natural athlete who played two sports at the collegiate level (soccer, hockey) ultimately earning a place in the Lake Forest Athletic Hall of Fame. His love of competition (and of winning) continued throughout his life. He ran multiple Boston Marathons and was a member of the Tour of Greater Boston. He said he loved these sports because they continued to teach him "important lessons about relentless mental toughness, diligent training, and singular passion for challenge".

No stranger to hard work, Rob started his career at age 12 as a paperboy in Wallingford, CT ultimately becoming a Vice President at Digital Equipment Corporation where he was a champion of women's careers before it was fashionable. Further realizing that the future is female, Rob finished his career as the Chief Operating Officer at the all-girls Dana Hall School where he coached (soccer, golf, hockey) and advised countless young women.

Rob served his country with honor from 1967 to 1969 as a member of the United States Army 1st Battalion, 48th infantry, promptly catching a ride to Woodstock upon his honorable discharge (little known fact: he can be seen in a panoramic crowd photo published in Life Magazine -- "the only guy there growing out a crew cut").

A firm believer in the idea that to whom much is given, much is required, Rob proudly served as a member of the Personnel Board of the Town of Concord, Moderator of Trinitarian Congregational Church, Board Member of Emerson Hospital, and President of the Concord Country Club. From ages 70-73 he rode in the Pan-Mass Challenge raising tens of thousands of dollars for cancer research.

Rob loved playing his guitar and was a member of the Dana Hall Jug Band. He could often be found at open mic nights playing songs he had written. He was in the process of recording an album of original music at the time of his death.

Notoriously un-handy, he was also the inventor of the occasionally effective Rob Ayres Miracle Fix (which involved smacking a broken item against a countertop and hoping for the best followed by a prompt application of duct tape).

In addition to his deep and abiding love of Demi, Rob also had had a life-long love affair with all condiments, but especially ketchup, mayonnaise, horseradish -- and also ketchup.

Perhaps most importantly, Rob loved life and time spent with family and friends of all ages. He loved a good joke, but never at the expense of others, and was a welcome addition to any gathering of friends, including those he had not yet met. He will be dearly missed by all who knew and loved him.

Family and friends will gather to honor and remember Rob on Sunday, May 19, 2019 at 2:00 p.m., at Trinitarian Congregational Church, 54 Walden Street, Concord, MA.

In lieu of flowers the family hopes you will consider a donation to:
Pan-Mass Challenge
77 4th Ave.
Needham, MA 02494


Condolence & Memory Journal

Demi and Meryl, I am so sorry to hear of Rob's passing. He always appeared happy, content and oh so like-able. He will be sorely missed, but your memories will live on forever. My thoughts are with you during this difficult time.
With Sympathy,
Jim Stern

Posted by Jim Stern - Maynard, MA   June 02, 2019

So sorry to hear about the loss of your loved one. May you find comfort reading Psalms 94:19

Posted by J Roberts - Fort Lauderdale, FL   May 29, 2019

I am so thankful to have been coached by Mr. Ayres during my time at Dana Hall. He made me realize that everyday is "a beautiful day to play soccer". I will miss his kind heart and the support he gave me even in the years after I left Dana. I'll always remember him surprisingly showing up to one of my college soccer games because he had been golfing in the area earlier that day. Thank you for everything you've done for me, Mr. Ayres.

Posted by Emily "Little D" Dumont - North Andover, MA - Student   May 20, 2019

Demi, so saddened to hear this news. Rob lit up the place (DEC) all the years he was there. When I arrived in 1972 as the loan woman personnel rep, Rob took me under his wing and helped me sore. Having recently lost my husband Dick Esten, also a long time DEC he, I know how hard it is to lose one's beloved. Sympathies, condolences and hope you take comfort in knowing that his memory is a blessing for those of us lucky enough to have known him.

Posted by Ellen Karp - Mission Hills, KS   May 17, 2019

I loved Rob. We worked together at Digital Equipment Corporation, and indeed he was a champion of women's leadership. He was so funny - we used to bond over the fact that we both ran marathons and yet enjoyed the occasional cigarette. A wonderful man.

Posted by Claire Muhm - Cambridge, MA - Coworker   May 17, 2019

Let us tell you the sort of man Rob Ayres was, from the perspective of a Dana Hall parent: Our daughter, Mary Kate, played on the ice hockey team under his and "Suby's" tutelage. Rising on pitch black, freezing cold January mornings for before-school practices, Mary Kate would tell us what gave her the wherewithal to get up out of bed, and onto the ice: Coach! When she needed surgery, he visited her in the hospital and reassured her that all would be well. She--and we--have never forgotten that; his thoughtfulness mean't SO MUCH. While she was a boarding student, it was comforting to know that she had the kindest, most patient coach (and sometimes surrogate parent) keeping an extra eye on her. His passing is truly a loss, but judging from the remarks here, he will always, always, be remembered.

Posted by Jane & Michael Switchenko - Sturbridge, MA - Friend   May 15, 2019

What a sad day. Rob was a wonderful person who will be missed. Our thoughts are with Demi, Ursie, Meryl and Elliot.

Posted by Betsy and Rich Levinson - Concord, MA - Friend   May 15, 2019

Absolutely shocked to hear of Rob's passing, a childhood playmate and Choate classmate. Rest in peace Rob.

Posted by Craig D Munson III - CARLSBAD, CA   May 13, 2019

Shocking to learn of Rob's passing. A childhood playmate and Choate classmate. Rest in peace Rob.

Craig D. Munson III

Posted by A friend   May 13, 2019

I am so sorry for your loss. He was a lovely man. I only met him a few times (at Max and Meryl's wedding, in VT), but he was so fun and interested in all people around him. Such a vibrant spirit. May his memory be a blessing.

Posted by Sally Gould - Northborough, MA   May 12, 2019

Rob and I met playing ice hockey when he worked for Digital. I was a ringer (and a woman). When Digital decided to have a playoff I assumed I wouldn't play. Rob, our leader, said no one would go if I didn't. Needless to say, I played. Years later I discovered we we're neighbors when Coretta fed Rob and Demi's pets. There was a picture of Rob in his hockey gear. I recognized him immediately!

Posted by Kathryn O"Leary - Westborough, MA - Friend   May 12, 2019

Hi Burgie, I was so sad to read about your brother Robin's death. He was always so full of life and fun. You must miss him terribly. Please feel my hug, Daphne Thurlow Stevens

Posted by Daphne Stevens - Northampton,, MA - Classmate   May 12, 2019

Many fond memories of Robin at LFC; Hockey team, Delta Chi fraternity brother. Saw him last at our LFC 50th just a year and a half ago. RIP, brother.

Posted by Ned Guild - Hingham, MA - Classmate   May 12, 2019

He was a kind and caring man and I will always be grateful for his support of my daughter at Dana Hall. Our condolences to his family. May his memory always be a blessing.

Posted by Jan Schwartz - Wellesley   May 12, 2019

Rob was the nicest person in the entire Brookside Square community. He was always friendly to everyone and had an upbeat manner. He will be sadly missed by all.

Posted by Mary Lou Farmer - Concord, MA - Friend   May 10, 2019

We have lost such a great guy and athlete. I was fortunate to have played both soccer and hockey with Rob at Choate and got to know the Ayres family pretty well. I saw Rob and family at my 50th reunion after years and he was still that great guy that I admired, just so full of life. My thoughts and prayers are with the family.

Posted by Jeff Gould - St. Petersburg, FL - Classmate   May 09, 2019

May our Lord Jesus Christ himself and God our Father, who loved us and gave everlasting comfort and good hope by means of undeserved kindness, comfort your hearts and make you firm.2Th 2:16,17

Posted by A friend   May 09, 2019

Rob's picture at the top of this page brings a wistful smile to my face even in this time of immense sorrow. Rob was a true Renaissance man who excelled at so many things. I had the great pleasure of playing doubles with Rob for a few years in the DEC tennis league. We had more than a few games where I would hit 4 first serves in and Rob would volley the return away with his patented skillet/frying pan shot. He just made things so easy. I feel honored to have called him a friend.

As many others have pointed out, he was always thinking of others. One of my favorite poems speaks of a life well-lived.

"...the songs I had have withered or vanished clean.
But yet there are bright tracks where I have been.
And there grow flowers for other's delight..."

Rob surely planted many flowers for all of us. I will miss him.

Posted by Eliot Quill - Stow, MA - Friend   May 08, 2019

Rob was loved by all his friends and all the staff at Concord Country Club. He was cheerful, kind, positive, thoughtful, fun and supportive. Rob certainly leaves this world better than he found it because of all the lives he touched. He will be dearly, deeply missed. Heaven is lucky to have him. We hope they have ketchup!

Posted by Elaine Dupuis Concord Country Club - Concord, MA - Friend   May 08, 2019

Rob and I only recently crossed paths, and I enjoyed his music and getting to know him. My sympathies to his family and friends.

Posted by Mark Abare - Westford, MA - Acquaintance   May 08, 2019

You're a good man, Rob, and yes, I'm using present tense. You're not done. You've moved on to the next journey. Of course, we shall miss you here and look forward to meeting up again at the big Open Mic in the sky. Save me a seat, buddy.

Posted by Jon McAuliffe - Ashland, MA - Friend   May 08, 2019

Sorry you are gone too soon, Rob. Glad I knew you, and wish I had known you better.

Posted by Steve Rapson - Boston, MA - Friend   May 08, 2019

You were and are a towering soul. I am so grateful for every moment we spent together. You know that I continue to play for you at night.... when it's quiet and possible. Blessings and may God keep you on the ice and out of the penalty box :-)

Posted by Seth Connelly Connelly - Acton, MA - Friend   May 08, 2019

We didn't spend time together, other than the house I built him years ago. His light did shire bright and I could see it from here.
George Bogosian

Posted by George Bogosian - Pittsfield, NH - Acquaintance   May 08, 2019

Your in good hands Rob.

Posted by Gb Moseley - Bflo, NY - Family   May 07, 2019

What a kind man. You might remember Ursie I caddied for him a few time at the CCC and I remember him, mainly in stark contrast to the typical clientele, being inclusive and having lunch with us at the turn and talking like we were just out walking the course. I saw him on Facebook recently and thought how great he was playing music and getting out. We could all take a page from the book of Rob! So sorry.

Posted by Zack Assarian - Waltham, MA   May 07, 2019

Deepest condolences. We were both LFC and DEC graduates.

Posted by Ted Sares Sares - NORTH CONWAY, NH - Coworker   May 07, 2019

My deepest sympathies to the Ayres family. I had the pleasure of knowing Mr. Ayres, who always said "please, Sara call me Rob!" for the past 11 years. He was such a genuine and kind person and we will miss him dearly here at Concord Country Club.

Posted by Sara Killelea - Fitchburg, MA - Acquaintance   May 07, 2019

My sincerest condolences to the Ayres family. I worked at DEC while Rob was a VP there. I will never forget his kindness and generosity. Upon learning that I was running the Boston Marathon to raise money for Children's Hospital, Rob was one of the first to deliver a very generous check along with continued encouragement and support. Rest in Peace Rob.

Posted by Steve Bagley - Tewksbury, MA   May 07, 2019

Dear Demi, I was so incredibly saddened to hear about Rob's death. I had just talked with both of you about your trip South and a stop in Kiawah. My thoughts are with you in this time of immense sorrow.

Posted by Astrid Williams - Stow, MA - Friend   May 07, 2019

I got to know Rob on the open mic scene over the last 5 years. His easy smile, enthusiasm, mellow voice and the deep conviction with which he sang, especially his original songs, endeared him to all. I had the great pleasure of playing with him on several occasions, and would always sit with him if he was in a room as we awaited our turn at the mic. His kindness, generousity, good humor and upbeat demenor will be his legacy.

Posted by Peter Potthoff - Ashland, MA   May 07, 2019


I had the privilege to work with Rob who provided me with great advice his love of life and family was always a priority. I'm sorry for your loss he is in my thoughts and prayers. John Caulfield

Posted by John Caulfield - Greer, SC - Friend   May 07, 2019

My deepest sympathies to Roberts family and friends. He was a great man.

Posted by John Kuczynski - Greensboro, NC   May 06, 2019

I knew Rob from playing music. It was always a delight to see him at an open mike. He brought such a positive energy and I considered him a friend. He will be missed. My condolences to his family and dear ones.

Posted by John Ferullo - Westford,, MA - Friend   May 06, 2019

Ci mancherai sempre, Robin!

Posted by Filippo Quaretti - New Port Richey, FL - Friend   May 06, 2019

Rob may you RIP

Ted Campbell DEC

Posted by Theodore Campbell - Bristow, VA - Coworker   May 06, 2019

I had the pleasure (no honor) of playing hockey with Robin at Lake Forest College. A stated by many, he was the ultimate competitor, But he also had a human side that took in others and made them feel good about themselves and their skills even if they didn't match his. Although I haven't seen Robin in many, many years, I will remember him. RIP -Robin.

Posted by Robbie Cole - Glastonbury, CT - Classmate   May 06, 2019

Demi, Ursula, Eliot and Meryl and the entire Aryes Family,
We were so saddened to hear of Rob's passing. He was full of life, quick with a joke and razor sharp with his wit.

We spent many days and nights with Rob in Honey Harbour. It was always a treat when Demi and Rob arrived with the rest of their crew. We knew that the party had finally arrived. Rob could give as good as he got when it came to good-natured ribbing, especially on the golf course.

Many don't know what a dedicated brother-in-law Rob was. Rob attended almost every hockey game Mike played in during college.

We count ourselves among the lucky ones to call Rob our friend. To get to know him over the years was a highlight of our lives. I will always have in my mind's eye a picture Rob with that ever-present smile on his face. Rob liberally shared his love of life with anyone who wanted to come along for the ride. Demi and family, please know that the Kelly family offers our most sincere condolences. We are thankful to have known Rob. He may no
longer be with us but he but his spirit will never be forgotten. May God hold all of you in the palm of his hand.

The Kelly Family

Posted by Ken Kelly - Chicago, IL - friend   May 06, 2019

I'm still in shock. Although I saw him at our 40th LFC reunion, I always remember him as he looked in college. Always kind, fun, and even then I knew he was one of the good ones. I will miss him and knowing he's in this world making it better. I'm so sorry. I wish his family and friends a soft place to land.

Posted by Barbara Rich - Durham, NC - Classmate   May 05, 2019

Rob was such an open human being, a friend to all at LFC, and rediscovering him after many years as a Facebook friend was so wonderful. I am so sorry for his family's loss. Rest assured --- the world is a better place for his having been here.

Posted by Betsy Adrian - Shorewood, WI - Friend   May 05, 2019

An email that informs me that my friend Robbo is dead, suddenly, unexpectedly, and any other adjective that describes a major out of order death. Memories too vibrant to be in black and white swirl in my head.

A subtle tear trickles down my cheek until I rub away the telltale sign of hurt.

I recall the last time I saw him; about six monthsI don't recall. Robbo is as alive and happy as always, exuding the passion he has for Demi, his family and music. He has an aura of calmness that only comes from being content in one's own skin.

Kalvin, my seven-year old son is with me and the two of them bond, in a fashion that only happens when adults really see a child. Did I thank you Robbo for seeing Kalvin?

I watch a YouTube video of him singing. Tears flow freely as I hear his voice, watch his expressive face, and follow his fingers as they float over the strings of his guitar.

I search to find an obituary. Too soon perhaps to be posted and instead I read a profile of him on a website. But it does not know my friend. The site lists him as Robert Ayres, aka, Rob Ayres. Clearly they don't realize he is, and will always be, Robbo.

There is a numerical rating on this website associated with his reputation. But it too is wrong. He is listed as a 4.08 on a 5.00 scale. A hacktavist clearly corrupted his file, for Robbo was as close to a 5.00 as any man I have ever known.

And now I join the chorus that will sing the praises of this man. It is only fitting since my earliest memories of Robbo are of him singing in the church choir. He is wearing a robe bringing sanctity to this place of worship. But the glee in my heart comes from knowing the playful and joyous sprit of the man in the robe.

There are few people who love life the way you did and because of that you will be loved more upon your passing. RIP my friend. Danno

Posted by Dan Lemaitre - Park City, UT - Friend   May 05, 2019

The world has lost a great man. Worked with and for Rob at DEC for years. A great coach and leader, he was most importantly a guy you could talk to about anything and always get sage advice. I plan on seeing you again in Heaven Rob. God bless you Demi and family, Praying for peace and comfort.

Posted by Alan Zimmerle - Manchester, NH - Friend   May 05, 2019

Family Album

Community Photos

Rob Feb 2019 Serendipity Cafe, Maynard, MA
Rob the singer-songwriter