Robert (Bob) Mennucci, 71, a machinist and welding expert who worked in the fishing industry for nearly 45 years passed away peacefully after a courageous battle with cancer on May 20,
surrounded by his loving family.
Born Robert John Mennucci in Pawtucket, RI, son of Francisco (Frank) Mennucci an industrial blacksmith/ironworker and his mother Mary Ann Mennucci (Schommer).
He lived with his parents, two sisters Cathie and Mary, and brother Jim in Pawtucket RI. During his childhood, Bob developed a love for the water which started with family vacations to a small lake house on Lake Sabbatia. He also developed skills as a machinist/welder/ironworker in the family metal fabrication shop G. Mennucci and Son that would shape the rest of his life.
After graduating from Tolman High School in 1967, Bob was drafted into the Navy for the Vietnam War. Bob was stationed in Jacksonville, FL and Puerto Rico working as a master
aircraft technician(E5) with his specialty aircraft an A4 Skyhawk. After serving 4 years Bob took advantage of the GI bill and studied commercial fishing at the University of Rhode Island. Upon graduating he worked for NOAA to help develop the sustainable fisheries program and regulations for the fisheries in the Bering Sea (AK).
After braving the bone-chilling temperatures of the Bering Sea for 4 years, Bob moved to Bainbridge Island, where he would go to work for a (then) small fishing supply company called
NET-Systems. Bob started his days at NETs as a craftsman until someone found out he could weld. His family experience with welding/ironworking would prove invaluable to grow a small
local fishing company into an international fishing systems expert. NETS had only been in operation a short time before hiring Bob, and Bob became a critical team member by designing,
building and managing the machine/welding shop for nearly 40 years. Bob worked hand in hand with designers and fisherman to build and develop commercial fishing gear for use
throughout the world. Even in retirement Bob made himself available to help whenever needed.
Bob's passion for the sea and friendly nature carried on outside the workplace as much as in it. He loved fishing, crabbing, and hosting work gatherings at his home on Bainbridge Island. One of Bob's best friends and coworker Dan Oliver said, "Bob was extremely loyal and a larger than life man". After retiring in 2015, he decided to move closer to his family, and bought a home in Bristol RI, and also a winter home in The Villages, FL.
He is survived by his two sisters Cathie Mennucci of Palmetto, FL and Mary (Mennucci) Small and her husband Jack of Seekonk, MA, sister in law Coleen Mennucci of Annapolis MD, three
nieces Julie Mennucci, Nikki Mennucci and Jennifer Capron, and two nephews Mike Mennucci and Luke Small. Due to current State Health Department guidelines his graveside funeral with military honors will be private, however, it can be watched live on Facebook at Manning Heffern's Facebook page beginning at 11:00 am on Wednesday, May 27, 2020. Relatives and friends will be invited to a celebration of his life at a later date. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Bob's honor to: Helpline House, www.helplinehouse.org (A free food bank and social services for Bainbridge Island Residents)
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