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Robert Gordon “Bob” Strachan, 92, of Essex, formerly of New York City, passed away peacefully on March 5. He never married and had no children.
He was born Jan. 1, 1929, in Manhattan to Robert and Edna (Holihan) Strachan. His elder brother Donald predeceased him in 2018. He left three nieces and three nephews, Donald’s children: Susan Giles of Manakin-Sabot, Virginia, Nancy Normandeau of Waitsfield, Vermont, Jennifer Strachan of St. George. Utah, Robert Christopher Strachan of Woodlawn, Virginia, Steven A. Strachan of Martinsville, Virginia, and Donald Rittler Strachan of New Braunsfel, Texas.
Bob attended and graduated from University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Class of ’53, and from its Business School in ’54. He served briefly in the U.S. Army.
Bob’s tremendous appreciation for the scholarships made available to him to supplement his paying his own way while a competitive student at University of Michigan, induced him to make remarkably generous and enduring provisions for ongoing future scholarships there, at certain specialized undergraduate divisions and the Ross School of Business there. The university will be by far his largest beneficiary, just as he wished.
His most enduring and accomplished affiliation was with International Hotels Corp., later Int’l Hotels Group (IHG), which involved extensive travel to and service in European capitals. His final positions were as senior then executive vice president of Finance and Administration, and ultimately chief financial officer of at least one major division of that worldwide enterprise.
Bob was a dedicated and fine sailor, and his final and favorite sailboat was a 40-footer, which he kept in Stamford and to which he would retreat from New York on weekends. He also was an accomplished skier, and especially appreciated Western U.S. powder skiing. He was best known among his friends as an exceptional pianist who was totally comfortable at the keyboard, and he entertained his friends frequently. One close friend observed that what truly distinguished Bob was his consistently and unfailingly coming to the assistance of his friends when in need. He was incapable of saying No.
Bob was a member of The Anglers’ Club of New York; the University Club and Union Club, also in New York; The Balsam Lake Club; and The Dauntless Club in Essex, at each of which he appreciated his fellow members’ company. He was a devoted trout and salmon fisherman.
After retirement, he moved to and thoroughly enjoyed Essex, first owning an antique home on Main Street, and finally enjoying his own cottage at Essex Meadows.
Bob’s personal physician Peter S. Dixon, M.D., and his favorite aide, Wilhemmina Boateng, extended themselves in remarkably unselfish ways to this gentleman who they appreciated during his final years, and Bob felt extremely fortunate to have been so caringly attended to.
Those wishing to offer a contribution in Bob’s memory are encouraged to remember The Boys’ Choir School at St Thomas Church, One West 53rd St New York, NY 10019-5496, or Brave Hearts—Kind Souls c/o Dr. Dixon’s office at 192 Westbrook Road, Essex, CT 06426.
To share a memory or express your condolences, please visit www.rwwfh.com. Arrangements are by the Robinson, Wright & Weymer Funeral Home in Centerbrook.