Robert Everett Segil

Published May 09, 2016, issue of May 19, 2016.

Robert Everett Segil was born in Salt Lake City, Utah in 1922 and died on May 7, 2016. His family immigrated from Chelm, Lithuania, and first settled in Cripple Creek Colorado in the late 1800’s. At the end of the gold rush, the family moved to Salt Lake City, Utah, where Robert’s father and uncles established several clothing businesses, and where Bob grew up. After high school in Salt Lake, Bob started his education at UC Berkley, but was interrupted by WWII, and he joined the Army in 1941. He served as a Lieutenant in ‘Artillery and Forward Reconnaissance’ and led a tank destroyer unit in the Philippines. He served on General Douglas MacArthur’s personal staff when he first entered Japan after Surrender in 1945. During the immediate aftermath of the war, as part of that assignment, Bob ran the Ernie Ford movie theatre in Tokyo, an assignment that he remembered fondly.

On his return to the states, he completed his education at the University of Utah before moving to New York, and then Chicago, to begin his career in business. Chicago was where he met the love of his life Debby, and together they moved to Hazleton, PA, Debby’s family’s hometown, to start their own family. A decade or so later, they moved to Marblehead for Bob’s work, and this is where he and Debby put down roots and have lived since 1965, more than 50 years. His career spanned many businesses, from small-town newspaper owner/editor in Hazleton, to jobs in advertising, sports merchandising, and sports-wear manufacturing. He ran divisions of several major corporations, including Mitsubishi, Hyde Athletic, and McGregor Athletic Products.

Although Bob spent his career in business, his life-long passion was art. In his thirties, in Pennsylvania, he was drawn to abstract painting, and some of his early work can still be seen in his home. His real love was sculpture, and in this regard, he will be remembered most for his recent wood carvings, two of which he had cast in bronze. One of these carvings, a contemplative head emanating from an Aladdin’s lamp, won the Beverly Siemens Prize, as well as “Best of Show” in the 2015 Marblehead Festival of the Arts. He was extremely proud of this; “not bad for a guy in his 90’s”, he said. A bronze copy of that piece now adorns the homes of each of his children.

Bob has been an active member of Temple Emanu-El in Marblehead for 50 years, where all of his sons were Bar Mitzvah’d, and where Bob, at the age of 78, himself became a Bar Mitzvah; another accomplishment of which he was extremely proud. Bob spent countless hours working with the Clifton Heights Improvement Association (CIA), dedicated to the renovation of the beautiful Clifton Seaside Park on Atlantic Avenue.

Bob was devoted to his wife Debby, his three sons, Neil, Joel and Jeffrey; his daughters-in-law, Greta, Rosie and Stacey; and his six grand children, Ben, Helen, Matthew, Alix, Jenna, and Nathan, all of whom he loved unconditionally, and who returned that love a thousand-fold. His presence in all of their lives, and in the lives of his many friends and family members will be missed tremendously.

In lieu of flowers, donations in Bob’s honor can be made to the American Cancer Society, DAV (Disabled American Veterans) Charitable Service, or Clifton Improvement Association (CIA). for online condolences, please visit

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