Robert V. "Bob" Thayer

Robert V. "Bob" Thayer 73, of North Kingstown, Rhode Island passed away Friday May 13, 2016. He was the beloved husband of Marion (Appleton) Thayer. Born in Providence, he was the son of the late Frederick and Martha (Kiernan) Thayer. Bob had a zest for life and a great sense of humor. He was blessed to have a job that matched his passion for helping others. Bob spent 41 years working for the Machinists Union (IAM). He was initiated into IAM Local Lodge 147 in 1965 as an electronic assembler and tester at the Brown & Sharpe Co, Rhode Island. In 1966 he was elected Shop Steward, Local Lodge Vice President in 1970, and Local President in 1973. He served on the Advisory Committee of Rhode Island State Unemployment Compensation; the Board of Incorporators of the Rhode Island Group Health Association; the Commission to Study Mandating Third-Party Coverage of Alcoholism Treatment; the Board of Directors for the United Way of Southeastern New England, and was appointed by Senator Edward Kennedy as a labor representative to the GATT negotiations in Geneva, Switzerland. In 1978, Bob was elected as a Business Representative for District Lodge 64 which he held until 1989 when he was appointed as an IAM Special Representative. He became a Grand Lodge Representative in 1990. In 1997 he was elected General Vice President and served as chief of staff of all IAM Headquarters operations including the William W. Winpisinger Education and Technology Center. Besides his wife he is survived by his three sons Robert Thayer Jr. and wife Kimberly, James Thayer and wife Deborah, Joseph Thayer and wife Ann-Marie and 10 grandchildren. He was also the brother of Thomas and Marguerite Thayer, and the late Mary Perkins, Anne Marie Beckstead, and Frederick Thayer. His funeral will be held on Tuesday at 8:45am from The Butterfield Chapel 500 Pontiac Avenue Cranston followed by A Mass of Christian Burial in St. Matthews Church in Cranston at 10:00am. Burial will be private. Visitation will be held on Monday from 4:00-7:00pm. In lieu of flowers memorial contributions may be made to Cure Alzheimer's Fund 34 Washington St., Suite 200 Wellesley Hills, MA 02481

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Bob and Barbara Jarry - 05/14/2016

Our deepest condolences, Marion, to you and your family. We will keep you in our thoughts and prayers.

KARLENE HOGAN - 05/15/2016


Edwina & Ed McElroy - 05/15/2016

Our thoughts and prayers are with you Marion and your family. Bob was a dedicated and caring friend and trade union leader. A life well lived.

Philip D. Barr, dds - 05/15/2016

I worked with Bob in the Electric Panel Assembly Department at Browne and Sharpe after serving in the Coast Guard, in 1965-1966....I always enjoyed Bob's sense of humor and that little glint in his eye that would signal some kind of mischievous he was up to...I had no contact with him after I left working with him but he left enough of a memory with me that, to this day, I remembered him when I saw his obituary in the paper today and was sympathy so to his family and friends...

Dan Pires - 05/15/2016

Bob has been a friend since since our boyhood days growing up together in Cranston. As we went our separate ways after those early days, our contact became less frequent until the last several years when we were retired. Regardless of how long it was since our by last contact, we seemed to pick up from where we last left off as if it were only a day or two. Those visits always seemed to start off with, "Hey, do you remember when...or whatever happened to...". And they always ended with a bragging gratefulness for family and friends. I'll miss Bob; and "See you when I see you" as we said when we ended our visits together.

Dave Ritchie and David Ford - 05/15/2016

Our thoughts and prayer's are with you all at this time.Bob was a great humanitarian wilh a fabulous sense of humour of which l will miss.

John Harrity - 05/15/2016

I worked with Brother Bob Thayer at IAM District 91 in East Hartford, CT.
Brother Thayer was an old-school trade unionist who helped hammer United Technologies Corporation into the modern era of negotiating thru a series of contracts in the late 80’s and early 90’s. He was the Grand Lodge Rep assigned to Pratt negotiations when we won Agency Shop in 1990.
I have seen him bright red in the face, literally expelling out all the air in his lungs yelling at management. He could also quickly get down to brass tacks and figure out a deal if it was do-able. Behind it all was a twinkle in his eye that hinted at a dry, Irish humor that could crack up the room and diffuse a tense moment.
Brother Thayer was a road warrior, tearing across the IAM’s Eastern Territory’s highways, accumulating more speeding tickets than any other person I know. He once ripped the rear axle out of a Crown Victoria after hitting a concrete curb at 60 mph.
Bob was an early computer aficionado and amateur expert. He spent hours penetrating the mysteries of DOS and WordStar back when screens were deep blue and the letters white. He taught us how to use computers back when the benefits barely out-weighted the complicated process of using one. I also once saw Bob permanently fry a huge dot matrix printer poking around the printing head with a gold Cross pen.
He was a suit-and-tie guy and always seemed to have a cigarette lit. Brother Thayer’s most repeated description of bargaining with UTC included the word “cluster.” You knew he had your back, but he would tell you to your face what he thought of you, good bad or indifferent.
Robert Thayer was a Union man through and through. It was clear he loved his family deeply, but he never hesitated a second when the Union called, and his sense of duty matched his fierce passion for a better world. He never lost his indignation about corporate excesses and his unflinching vision of what workers deserve. It was an honor to work with him.
My condolences for your loss.

Donna Perinetti - 05/16/2016

Marion and family,
My thoughts and prayers are with all of you during this sad time in your life. Bob was truly an amazing individual and a true Journeyman Machinist.
I am happy to have known him as a child and proud to serve on his team as an Apprentice Organizer in 1997. He believed in my ability, work ethics and most importantly my love for a union which has given back to me everything I have put into it. And I will be forever grateful for this. Thank you Marion for sharing him with us!
Rest In Peace Bob.
Donna (Capobianco) Perinetti

Bill Gaskins - 05/16/2016

My deepest condolences to Joe and the entire Thayer family.

Nancy Flagg - 05/16/2016

Very sorry for your loss and the loss of another fine Union man.

george [sknhvnpoulin - 05/16/2016

To Marion & Family

Toni and I send our deepest condolence.

Bob was a Trade Union Journeyman's, Journeyman. The better part of his life was spent helping others improve their quality of life and to make life a little better for them and their families.

The labor movement had no better Champion. Yet another Old Trade Union War Horse depart to his just reward.

Good-by old Friend. George Poulin

Cristina Munoz - 05/16/2016

Dear Marion and the Thayer family. I am sorry for your loss. Bob (and you Marion) sacrificed so much so that working people could have a better life. Bob's legacy lives on in all of those people as well as the generations of unionist that followed. I worked for Bob for 9 years and in those years, I knew a man that was hard working, tough, with a sense of humor and purpose. I learned much from him. So many have lived better lives because of your family lending Bob to the IAM. God bless and know I'll be thinking of you all on Tuesday.

Justin Ostro - 05/16/2016

Marion...My heart goes out to you and your family over your great loss.
John Harrity and George Poulin, in their condolence massages, captured Bob's "working side"...the spirit of the Trade Union Representative.
Bob believed that his job was both an Honor and a be able to spend your entire working life...helping other working people and their communities to have a better life.
Rest In Peace old friend...You will be missed...Justin.

Mary Thayer-Regan - 05/17/2016

Aunt Mim and boys, Our prayers and thoughts are with the family. Though miles separate us memories are deeply embedded. Uncle Bobby will deeply be missed by all. Love to all
Mary and Kevin

Dianne and Russell Sepielli - 05/17/2016

Dear Mim and family,
I was so sad when Bernice told me about Bob. I know it has been difficult lately but I can only remember him making us all laugh every time we were together. I'm sure he's holding court in heaven and bringing great joy. Our love and prayers are with all of you. God bless. Love Dianne and Russ

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