DOVER, N.H. – We are saddened to report that Robert L. LaBrie, 88, of Dover, N.H., passed away peacefully on Friday, Dec. 7, 2018, surrounded by family and only six weeks after a diagnosis of advanced pancreatic cancer.

Robert (aka “Bob” aka “Beeba”) was born on Sept. 3, 1930 in Hartford, Conn. He was the son of Hormidas and Lauretta (Desfosses) LaBrie, of Lewiston. Robert was educated at Ste. Croix Elementary School and St. Dominic’s High School.  Higher education was completed at Auburn Maine School of Commerce and Bentley College in Boston, Mass,, where he studied accounting and business.

In 1952, Robert married Theresa McGuigan at St. Peter and Paul’s Parish in Lewiston. They had two children, Paul and Patricia.

Robert served as a Marine during the Korean War, which set the tone for his lifelong sense of duty, exercise and adherence to honesty, order and routine. After his return from Korea, Robert began a very successful business career starting as an accountant with Eastern, Inc., a Maine statewide beer and wine distributor.  Robert went on to own the distributorship and expand the business into soda bottling and sales with the purchase of Cocheco Bottling Company in Rochester, N.H., which, at one time, was the world’s largest bottler of Moxie.

Robert led a full life, and his love for boats and fishing were lifelong. After taking early retirement at the age of 53, Robert began a second career as a “gentleman lobsterman” on the tidal Piscataqua River in Dover, N.H. where he kept family and friends in good lobster and oyster supply. He was a downhill skier who, with his partner of 30 years, Maureen, traveled annually to Europe in pursuit of a good downhill experience. Robert was an avid runner, who, even after a serious bout with colon cancer in the late 1980s, ran a number of marathons well into his 60s, including the Marine Corps marathon in Washington D.C.

Robert was an incorrigible food experimenter, often working for months “Beebacizing” the perfect recipe. His lobster newburg sauce and award-winning apple pies are legendary. He famously developed Beeba Bread, a baguette which he continued to perfect with his grandson, Jonathan. He would dish out his special crepes as quickly as his grandchildren, and in recent years, his great-grandchildren, could consume them. Robert developed an original methodology for cooking whole pigs to perfection, a tradition the whole family continues.

Robert was a great influence on his children and grandchildren. He taught a young Paul how to navigate a boat in the fog and how to water ski. His daughter, Patricia, was Robert’s “sidekick” throughout their lives, whether it was keeping him company as a child while he cut wood at camp in the dead of winter or having many opportunities to spend warm and wonderful time together as adults.

To the chagrin of their parents, Robert taught his eight year old grandson, Jonathan, and five year old granddaughter, Erin, how to drive his old Jeep Wagoneer. During summer vacations, a young Erin, wearing an over-sized life jacket and waving at local Portsmouth tour boats, often served as Robert’s lobster boat “stern man.”

Robert is survived by Maureen Kelliher, his wife and soulmate.  He is also survived by his son Paul LaBrie, and wife, Sharon, of West Gardiner, his daughter, Patricia LaBrie of Dover, N.H.; two sisters, Rita (LaBrie) Sabourin, and husband, Ronald, of Auburn, and Rejeanne (LaBrie) Cyr, and husband, Dr. Duane Cyr, of Bristol, Conn.; and two beloved grandchildren, Jonathan LaBrie, of Williston, Vt. and Erin (Houghton) Sullivan, and husband, John Sullivan, of Barrington, N.H. Robert also had two great-grandchildren, whom he adored, John Sullivan II and Brienne Sullivan.

Robert was predeceased by his younger brother, Raymond; and his first wife, Theresa.

Arrangements are in the care of Wiggin Purdy McCooey Dion Funeral Home in Dover, N.H. According to Robert’s wishes, there will be no funeral services. The family plans a spring memorial service.

The family wishes to thank Wentworth HomeCare and Hospice and give special thanks to Karen for her help and care.

In lieu of flowers or other gifts, please consider making a donation in Robert’s memory to Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston, Mass. at dana-farber.org (gastrointestinal cancer).


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