Bob and Lucy Violette were always together. Bob drove her to work every day. Lucy went with Bob to watch him coach youth bowling on Wednesdays and Saturdays.

Bob and Lucy Violette celebrate a wedding anniversary. Photo courtesy of Cassandra Violette

“They weren’t just married for 48 years, they were deeply in love for that time,” said Cassandra Violette, their daughter-in-law.

Bob and Lucy met about 50 years ago in the offices of the Lewiston School Department. Lucy worked as a secretary there, and Bob had come in to do some maintenance work.

“It was a lovestruck-right-from-the get-go thing,” said Cassandra.

On their first date, Lucy made spaghetti. “Bob said it was the worst spaghetti he ever had,” Cassandra said, laughing. Not long after, Lucy proposed.

“That was always the story. She knew how special he was and couldn’t let him go,” Cassandra said.


Bob was equally smitten. He was a doting husband who set timers on his phone to make sure his wife never missed her medication. He cooked her dinner every night when she came home from work.

“His first thought every day was her,” his daughter-in-law said.

Although she tried, Lucy was never much of a cook, but she was an excellent baker. Her apple pie and coffee cake were famous in her family.

Bob and Lucy had three sons, Andrew, Tom and John, and six grandkids.

Lucy, 73, came from a tight-knit family in Fryeburg. She and her sister used to go swimming most days in a pond near their house growing up. She went to Fryeburg Academy for college and then on to the Lewiston School Department, which she knew like the back of her hand.

“She was so knowledgeable, and she had incredible connections with the people there,” said Cassandra, who has been speaking for the family. “Her friends in the office all knew everything about each other. They were very close.”


Lucy had a knack for getting along with kids and animals. Even when she was relaxing after a long day, she made sure her grandkids felt included and loved. She’d sit on the couch playing Wordle or Candy Crush on her phone and call her young grandkids over to take a turn or help her come up with a word. She always took the time to sit and talk one on one with them. And when they misbehaved or made a mistake, she would say, “That’s all right. He’s (or she’s) a keeper.’ ”

When her son John and Cassandra adopted a dog, Ruger, who was afraid of people, Lucy was determined to win him over, especially once he took to Bob. She campaigned for Ruger’s trust. For months, she would sit near him on the couch and talk to him, and at one point she was walking him four to five times a day to build their bond. At work, Cassandra said, Lucy updated her friends on where they stood – that they’d started to make eye contact, that she’d walked him around the block. She was determined.

Bob, 76, was a retired Sears mechanic and avid bowler. He was born and raised in Lewiston, where he grew up speaking French and attending Catholic church.

After high school he spent years in the Navy before working as a truck driver all over the country and eventually moving back to Maine.

Bob was gregarious and lively.

“He wouldn’t let you walk out the door without giving him a hug and a kiss on the cheek,” said Cassandra.


Lucy was Bob’s foil. She was a calm and gentle soul who never raised her voice. When Bob would make a joke, she would often laugh, shake her head, and say, “Oh, Bob.”  Sometimes, friends said, they thought Bob would make jokes just to see her reaction.

Bob was the kind of guy who thought deeply about things. No decision was too small to weigh carefully – even what brand of kitchenware to buy. “He would research until you couldn’t research anymore,” his daughter-in-law said. “We used to make fun of him because he would go online and research a crockpot for like three weeks before he’d buy it.”

He also carefully researched the iPads and iPhones he bought to bring to his youth bowling league. He wanted to get good videos of the kids’ form to help them improve. He helped start the youth bowling league at the bowling alley years ago. He and Lucy had bowled together in a couples’ league and separately in men’s and women’s leagues for some time, but he wanted to get more young people involved. He trained to get certified as a coach.

The youth league played on Saturday, but Bob set aside Wednesday nights for extra practice. Each Wednesday, he would rent out a few lanes and stay all evening, with Lucy by his side, to coach any kids who showed up.

When the shooter entered Just-in-Time Recreation on Oct. 25, witnesses say, Bob stepped in front of the kids he was coaching to protect them. He died at the scene, and Lucy died in an ambulance on the way to the hospital.

“They were just the best people. They were kind. The more difficult you were, the more effort they’d put in,” their daughter-in-law said. “They just loved everyone.”

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