Robert Bruguiere


Robert Smith Bruguiere — husband, father, and grandfather — passed away peacefully at home after a brief illness on Feb. 19, 2024 at the age of 89 years. He was also known as Bobby B and Robby the Robot. He was the son of Altha Bunnel (Smith) Bruguiere and Harold Oscar Bruguiere.

His maternal grandparents were Hattie Mae Bunnel Smith and Henry Carpenter Smith, a founder of Glen Rock, N.J. His paternal grandparents were Mary and Oskar Bruguier, who owned pharmacies and the Bruguier Chemical Company in Newark, N.J. The Bruguier Chemical Company was famous for “The Mystery of Youth” beauty products featured in such magazines as the Saturday Evening Post in 1910.

Bob grew up in Plainfield, N.J., and attended Camp Calumet on Lake Ossipee in N.H. with his father, a senior camp counselor for over 11 years. He learned about sailing, woodworking, hiking and all the joys of nature. He developed a great love for the mountains, hiking and later skiing. After camp he spent the remainder of the summer on Martha’s Vineyard.

His father was a high school teacher and track coach who held the one mile track record in New Jersey for years. His father coached Bob in cross country and his classmate, Milt Campbell. Both tried out for the Olympics. His father promoted Olympian Milt Campbell, who won the decathlon becoming the first African American to win a gold medal in 1956. 

Bob was a member of the U.S. Air Force, earning an honorable discharge as a medical administrator. He was known for building his first sailboat in his room in the Air Force!

Bob graduated from Virginia Polytechnic Institute with a degree in business administration/education in 1961. His stamp collection helped to pay his tuition. He had various careers as a high school business education teacher, the New England sales representative for McGraw Hill business textbook division, summer policeman during the Kennedy tragedy, bank officer for the Edgartown National Bank, and finally found his passion as a financial advisor for IDS/Ameriprise helping the young prepare financially for the future. He was known for his kindness, honesty, generosity and promptness. 

Bob met the love of his life, Judith Hoglund of Edgartown, in 1964. After their marriage and the birth of their son, Erik, and daughters Nancy and Suzanne, they moved from Wayland, Mass., to Martha’s Vineyard where they lived for 41 years. 

They enjoyed the best of Island life. Bob loved vegetable and flower gardening, especially growing pumpkins with engraved names for each grandchild. The family enjoyed beautiful less populated, peaceful beaches, clamming, oystering, and lots of family excursions on his catboat, the “Cat’s Meow.”

In the winter, Bob enjoyed Florida, working on making fine wool oriental rugs. He was never idle and spent hours planning trips/cruises around the world, including finding and planning a reunion with Judy’s family in Sweden.

When Bob retired, they moved to New London, N.H., a small college town and summer and winter resort with its beautiful lakes and mountains, enjoying a wonderful new life of retirement, revisiting and sharing memories of his youth. New London offered everything for seniors. All of the natural beauty of out of doors activities were available to everyone. Bob was known for his dahlias as he definitely had a “green thumb.” He especially enjoyed belonging to COA Outdoor Recreation for Seniors (biking and hiking) and Squires Mens’ Luncheon Group.

He was predeceased by his parents, brother and sister-in-law Tom and Emilie Bruguiere, and brother-in-law Philip Jeffrey Norton Jr. 

Bob is survived by Judy, his wife of 59 years, son, William Erik Bruguiere, wife Holly, children Will and Sydney of Edgartown, Mass., daughter, Nancy Morris, husband Edward, children Charles, Hilary, and Avery of Hingham, Mass., and daughter, Suzanne Seymour, husband Howard, children, Anna, Merritt, and Ella of Darien, Conn., sister, Jane Bruguiere Norton, nephews Jeffrey and Andrew Norton and their families, and his Virginia nephews Tommy, Robert, Curtis, and John Bruguiere and their families of Dickie Brothers Orchards, Roseland, Va.

A celebration of life will be announced and held in the summer on Martha’s Vineyard, as well as a final farewell family sail on a catboat.

Memorial gifts may be made to the Lake Sunapee Region Hospice, P.O. Box 2209, New London, NH 03257; Martha’s Vineyard Museum, 151 Lagoon Road, Vineyard Haven, MA 02568; and Sail Martha’s Vineyard, P.O. Box 1998, Vineyard Haven, MA 02568.