Robert K. Sweet Jr. died at home on June 29th with the love of family surrounding him. “Bob”, born in Upton MA on 10/11/37 to Robert and Ruth Sweet, graduated from Grafton High School and the University of Massachusetts in 1959. While at UMass he met his future wife, Elizabeth “Betty” A. Graves, and in 1959 he and Betty were married in Shirley, Mass. He started his ministerial training at Hartford Seminary and graduated with a Master of Divinity in 1962. He went on to Obtain a Doctorate in Parish Ministry.
In addition to his wife Betty, Bob is survived by 2 children, Robert Keniston (Kenis), his wife Vickie (Lucia) of Lake George, NY, and Bonnie Rae Spicer, her husband Kevin, and 6 grandchildren: Colleen Maria, Torey Keniston, Eli Martyn and wife Katherine, Noah Chamberlain, Heather Morrissette, and fiancé Justin, and Hanna Morrissette.
Robert was ordained an Elder in the United Methodist Church in 1962 and for 40 years served churches in Easthampton MA, West Springfield, MA, Niantic, CT and Reading, MA. Between 1981 and 1987 he served as District Superintendent of the RISEM District, offering leadership to 84 churches and 72 pastors. Bob led dozens of summer programs for youth at camps and on trips around New England, as well as leading mission work teams in countries around the world. He worked closely with the Bishop as a member of the Cabinet, chair of multiple boards, and Conference Parliamentarian.
Bob was elected delegate to numerous General Conferences of the United Methodist Church, to the World Methodist Conference in Kenya(’87), and in Brazil (’92). Social Justice was very important to him as he chaired multiple related committees, marched in Memphis during the 1968 Sanitation workers’ strike, and organized demonstrations for such causes as labor rights, environmentalism, and nuclear disarmament. In retirement, he served as Trustee of the Marlborough Frost Free Library and Co-Chair of the Library Building Committee. He and Betty traveled to over 50 countries and throughout North America. His first love was his family, followed by the church and its people.
Services will be held on Friday, July 14th, at 11 A.M. at the Federated Church of Marlborough, 16 Pleasant St, Marlborough, NH, with collation immediately afterward, 160 Main St in Marlborough. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Federated Church of Marlborough (address above), Bow Mills United Methodist Church, 505 South St, Bow NH, 03304, and Friends of Frost Free Library, PO Box 457, 28 Jaffrey Rd, Marlborough NH, 03455 (https://greatnonprofits.org/org/friends-of-frost-freelibrary). All services are under the care of Cheshire Family Funeral Home and Crematories, 46 S. Winchester St. Swanzey, NH. 03446.