Robert Petranek, 86, Ipswich River
Watershed Associationís generous benefactor, known to all his
patients and friends as Dr. Bob, passed away Saturday, January 21,
2012 in his home at Brooksby Village,
Born on October 28, 1925 in
Kankakee, Illinois, he was the son of the late Joseph L. and Stella
Enlisted in US Army in 1943, and served with the 342nd
infantry in Germany and the Philippines. A graduate of Northwestern
Medical School in Chicago, he was an American Cancer Society Fellow
at Massachusetts General Hospital and participated in a National
Institute of Health Breast Cancer Working Group before coming to
Ipswich where he practiced for thirty-five years, retiring from
private practice in 1993.
Dr. Bob built
the house that IRWA now calls home, Riverbend,
in 1965. He enjoyed his beautiful property, building the formidable
stone retaining wall, and did all the
tree work on the property by himself, using a clever pulley
contraption he put together. With unending curiosity, he possessed
a naturally inquisitive mind and eclectic interests (including
dancing, history, architecture, stone buildings, among others), and
an abiding love of and concern for our rivers and the environment.
He wanted to
ensure that the property he loved would be permanently preserved by
an organization that would love and take care of it as he had. He
spent several years vetting IRWA before making the biggest and most
transformational gift of their thirty-five year history by donating
his property to be used as their headquarters.
volunteering as a docent at the Whipple House, Heard House and
Sargent House Museums.
survived by his daughter, Michelle Petranek,
of Dania Beach, Florida and his son, Gregor
C. Petranek, of New York City.
service will be at 1:30 p.m. on Sunday, February 12th at
Riverbend, 143 County Road,
Ipswich. Family and friends are
respectfully welcomed. Arrangements are under the direction of the
Whittier-Porter Funeral Home of Ipswich. In lieu of flowers and in
accordance with his wishes, donations may be made in Dr Bob's memory
to the Ipswich River Watershed Association, 143 County Road,
Ipswich, MA 01938 (http://ipswichriver.org/)