Robert J. McAnneny (October 28, 1948 - May 18, 2024)

In loving memory of
Robert J. McAnneny
  • October 28, 1948
  • -
  • May 18, 2024

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Early in the morning of May 18, 2024, Robert John McAnneny passed away peacefully in his sleep, following his long battle with Alzheimer’s, at the age of 75.

Rob, as he was known by his friends and family, was born in Boston, Massachusetts, on October 28, 1948 to Joseph McAnneny and Loretta Coyne. With his older brother Joe and his younger brother Brian, Rob called Somerville, Massachusetts, home until he and his family moved to South Windsor, Connecticut. It was in Somerville and Connecticut where Rob learned to play baseball, basketball, and excel as a student. Idolizing Boston sports legends like Ted Williams and Bill Russell, Rob’s early calling could have been as an athlete, but another career awaited him. He attended the University of Connecticut, where he studied international affairs and economics. He received his MBA from the Thunderbird Graduate School of International Management in Arizona in 1974.

Soon after his graduation from UConn, Rob began a lengthy career with the United States government. He was first drafted into the US Army, where he served as an intelligence analyst in Washington, DC. Following his military service, he then attended graduate school in Arizona. In 1974, soon after having graduated, he met Melissa née Helmer at Baxter’s on Cape Cod. Several months later, he joined the General Accounting Office, overseeing inspections on how government agencies used funds provided by Congress. He and Melissa were married in June 1975. Following the conclusion of his time with GAO, Rob joined the Department of State as a Foreign Service Officer. Soon thereafter, his daughter Alison was born, and his son, Alex would arrive a few years later. Rob’s career afforded a unique opportunity for his children to experience the world. Alison and Alex still credit these experiences as shaping them for who they are today.

Rob’s time as a Foreign Service Officer brought him to many countries, including time at the missions in Cyprus, Nigeria, and Senegal. Rob served as the Director of the Financial Services Center in Paris, France, in the late 1990s, and then as Minister Counselor at the US Embassy in Moscow, Russia, in the early 2000s. Following a brief retirement, Rob returned to the Department of State to fill temporary roles with the embassies in Afghanistan, United Arab Emirates, Tajikistan, Oman, and at the consulate in Hyderabad, India. After a third posting in Tajikistan, Rob decided to retire, ending nearly 30 years of service as a representative of the United States.

Despite a career that produced many awards and amazing stories that he would recount at parties and to whoever would listen, Rob’s happiest moments were those spent with Melissa, Alison, and Alex. They enjoyed traveling around the countries and regions where they lived, creating memories that would last a lifetime. Whether it was digging a friend’s car out of a beach in Africa with a quickly rising tide or getting locked out of their Paris apartment at midnight on their first night because no one knew there was an outdoor code in addition to an indoor code. Rob loved every second he spent with his family. He passed on the things that made him happiest: music; movies, especially the Pink Panther movies with Peter Sellers; and his beloved sports teams: the Boston Red Sox, the Boston Celtics, the New England Patriots, and the University of Connecticut men and women’s basketball teams. Rob loved going to Fenway Park, first with his dad and brothers, and then would share the same joy with his kids, Alex and Alison. Like many in Red Sox Nation, Rob never thought the team would not only overcome the Yankees, but “Reverse the Curse” in 2004. Rob would witness three more championships in his lifetime.

During his career and in his retirement, Rob loved the time spent with his family in Florida and on Cape Cod, Massachusetts. The Cape especially was an important place for him, as he spent many of his childhood summers there, and where he later would bring his family. To them, it was their Stateside home. He loved Four Seas ice cream, a fixture during his childhood that still stands today, catching some sun at Covell’s Beach, and taking walks to the Creek behind the Avenues. He summered on the Cape until he no longer could make the yearly journey from Florida.

Rob’s proudest moments were watching his children grow into the people they are today. He instilled in them the importance of education, while delighting in their extracurriculars. He nurtured Alison’s love for music and encouraged her to pursue her dreams of becoming a surgeon. Rob taught Alex how to play baseball, shoot a basketball, and despite having no knowledge of the sport, taking hours out of his day and night to learn the position of goalkeeper in soccer, and encouraged Alex to follow a career in international affairs. Rob supported his children’s professional decisions, and was proud to see what they achieved in their careers.

Between 2019 and 2023, Rob became “Pop Pop” to three granddaughters, Lilah, Molly, and Murphy, who will remember him through pictures, stories, and learning to cherish the things he valued in life.

Rob is survived by his wife of nearly 50 years, Melissa; his younger brother, Brian; his children, Alison Shore, of Chicago, Illinois; and Alexander McAnneny of Washington, D.C.; and his three granddaughters, He joins his parents, his older brother, Joseph, and friends and family who have all departed us.

A service at Arlington National Cemetery will occur in the coming months. Instead of flowers or cards, please consider a donation in Rob’s name to the Red Sox Foundation or the Jimmy Fund.

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  1. Tara Fry lit a candle:
    30 May 2024
    Lit since May 30, 2024 at 5:05:27 PM

  2. Nicki Dawson lit a candle:
    28 May 2024
    Lit since May 28, 2024 at 5:59:02 PM

  3. Nicki Dawson says:
    28 May 2024
    What a fabulous tribute to Rob. He was indeed, a very brilliant representative of the United States. On a personal level, he was great fun to be around....whether singing like Elvis into a spatula or telling jokes. That's something his kids inherited too. He will be missed by all who knew him. Its not easy to lose someone like Rob. We sure have had a ton of great times with various friends....some who have gone on before him, so he'll have great company. May he rest in the arms of the Angels.

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