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Robert Louis Consolini

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NORTH CANAAN — Robert Louis Consolini, 81, passed away on June 14, 2011, at Geer Village, where he had lived for the past six years.

Born in Great Barrington, Bob and his younger brother, John, grew up on East Main Street in North Canaan in a house their father built. His parents, Sophie and Louis Consolini, were the proprietors of a number of different businesses in the area, including a bakery, a locker plant, a drive-in movie theater, a bowling alley and various real estate holdings.

Bob graduated from the Berkshire School in 1948 and Harvard University in 1953. He was a member of the Harvard Dramatic Club and a writer for the Crimson. He then attended Yale Drama School, where he worked toward an M.A. in playwriting. He had a lifelong passion for the theater and attended performances in New York City regularly.

New York City was Bob’s home all his adult life, with the exception of time spent in Texas when he was in the U.S. Army. He served as first lieutenant and commanded his own infantry company of 210 men; the truce at Panmunjom pre-empted his orders to Korea at the 11th hour.

Bob retired from IBM, where he worked on the launch of voicemail, in the late 1980s. He subsequently divided his time between Belize, New York and North Canaan, where he had returned to keep a small apartment.

His plan was to build a home in Belize and spend his golden years there, writing a trilogy of semi-autobiographic plays spanning four generations of his Italian family. But he got sidetracked, starting a business supplying awnings to businesses in Belize City (in association with Tony and Phil Ghi, of Ghi Sign Service in North Canaan).

Also while in Belize, Bob invented a stanchion for use in construction, designed to resist rot in conditions where the building employs wooden posts for support. This is now a patented design.

Bob is survived by his children, Marella and Marcus; his brother, John Francis; his former wife, Karen; and numerous Consolini cousins in the North Canaan area and Massachusetts.

Bob’s children want to recognize, and thank, from the bottom of their hearts, the staff at Gardenside, Geer Village, who looked after him over these last years as if he were their family too. We will never, ever forget your loving kindness.

There will be a celebration of Bob’s life later this summer, which will be announced.