Ronald C. Nobbs, Jr.October 26, 1922 ~ November 18, 2017 (age 95)
Longtime Wilbraham resident, Ronald C. Nobbs, Jr., 95, died at home surrounded by his family on Saturday, November 18, 2017. Born in N. Hanover, MA, he was the son of the late Ronald and Alice (Lawson) Nobbs, the oldest of 3 children. He attended DeWitt Clinton High School, Bronx, NY and Berkshire Business School in Pittsfield, MA. In 1939, he was recruited to play in the Pittsburgh Pirates Training Camp in Baton Rouge, LA. He had to turn it down due to lack of money as expenses for travel and board were not paid. In 1940, Ron went to work for Rockefeller Center as their first18 year old elevator operator. He pitched for their baseball team in the competitive New York Industrial League, as well as the City Prison Circuit. Just like the NY Giants and NY Yankees, Ronald also played games at Sing Sing Prison in NY. That was his baseball highlight, the grandstand full of prisoners cheering and shouting for them nonstop (the inmates did not like their fellow prisoners). The band played between innings, it was quite a thrill (they won). Ronald is a Red Sox fan. In May of 1942, the Draft ages changed from 21-38 to 20-45 and his father was called to service. When Ronald went with his father to the Draft Board, his father was excused but Ronald was assigned to the Army as of his 20th Birthday. Called to active duty in December of 1942, he served proudly in the Army during WWII as a Corporal at the 73rd Evacuation Hospital in Ledo Assam, Burma. He earned several medals and citations, including the Asiatic Pacific Service Medal, Good Conduct Medal, the World War II Victory Medal and the 73rd Evacuation Hospital Post War Meritorious Service Award. During the winter of 1946, his cousin Lovesta Nobbs arranged a date with Eleanor Hansen. Eleanor had a last minute situation and asked her sister Norma to cover for her. In September 1946 Ron and Norma were married. 68 years together and he often said that "each month was fuller and warmer than the last.” Ronald worked for Granville Country Store for a few years, Berkshire Frosted Foods/ S. S. Pierce for 35 years, retiring in 2003. He served as President of Frozen Food Assn. of New England from 1974-1975. He came out of retirement and worked in the food service business until age 80. Ronald always enjoyed work. He was very social and active with a great positive attitude. He was humble and part of the "Greatest Generation". He and Norma loved to dance. A naturally gifted athlete, he enjoyed golf and belonged to The Orchards Golf Club and Quabog Country Club for many years and was proud of his 3 holes-in-one. His best friend, partner, the love of his life Norma passed away in 2014. He will be deeply missed by their four daughters; Noreen Vassallo of Amherst, Susan Pereira and her late husband John Pereira, Jr. of Ludlow, Eileen Vautrain and her husband Robert Vautrain, Jr. of Whitinsville and Deborah Avery and her husband Ronald Avery, Jr. of Monson, son Ronald C. Nobbs, III and his fiance Rayanne Melbourne of Monson, 9 grandchildren and 13 great grandchildren. Visitation will be held on Saturday, November 25 from 10 – 11 am at Wilbraham Funeral Home, 2551 Boston Rd., Wilbraham followed by Ronald’s Funeral Service at 12 Noon at Wilbraham United Church, 500 Main St., Wilbraham. Burial with Military Honors will be Monday, November 27th at 10 am at MA Veterans’ Memorial Cemetery, 1390 Main St., Agawam. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Wilbraham United Church, 500 Main St., Wilbraham, MA 01095 or to Baystate VNA & Hospice c/o Baystate Health Foundation, 280 Chestnut St., Fl. 6, Springfield, MA 01199-1000.