Robert A. “Bob” Potter, Jr. of Rochester, MA died unexpectedly on October 7, 2020.
He was born on September 29, 1951 in Dayton, Ohio to Patricia Herbert Potter and the late Robert A. Potter, Sr.
Bob was known for his charisma and optimism and his ability to speak and connect with anyone. He was also renowned for his candor and never being afraid to speak his mind, but he knew how to give hard truths with a healthy dose of humor. His sense of humor was loved by all. He never took himself too seriously, and was always ready for a good laugh, often at his own expense. Bob’s work ethic was unsurpassed. He was always completing projects and planning new ones for the future. If something was broken his family could just place it on his workbench and knew it would be fixed.
His natural leadership ability led him to attend West Point, where he graduated on June 6, 1973. He continued his military career for over 27 years, which took him and his family throughout the United States, Turkey, Germany and finally back to West Point. He earned a PhD in Engineering. At West Point, he raised his family and taught in the Engineering Department for nine years before retiring in 2000. After retiring from the Army, he and his family moved to Massachusetts, where he began teaching at Roger Williams University in Rhode Island. A short time later, he became the Dean of the School of Engineering, Computing, and Construction Management (SECCM). During this time, Bob worked hard to make SECCM a nationally recognized program. The strength of this program was instrumental in the conception, funding, and construction of the new SECCM building.
Bob could be found on the weekends getting coffee and going for walks with his wife, Patty, in the cranberry bogs near their home in Rochester, MA. Bob enjoyed living in Rochester, often referring to it as “God’s Country”. After his son, Chet, started playing hockey at 4 years old, Bob became an avid hockey parent. When Chet began attending RWU, Bob became the catalyst for the creation of the RWU club hockey team. Over the last 11 years, Bob managed the team that is now recognized as a top club hockey team in the country. Other activities that he enjoyed include maintaining his cars and home and playing racquetball.
Bob is survived by his wife of 45 years, Patricia “Patty” Ades Potter; his mother, Patricia H. Potter and sister Rebecca “Becky” Page; his children Lindsay Sezen and her husband Ismail, Kendall Andrade and her husband Brandon, and Chester “Chet” Potter and his fiancée, Grace Trow; and his beloved grandchildren Safiye, Kennedy, Ibrahim, Teagan, Nesibe and Bristol.
His public visitation will be held Tuesday, October 13, 2020 from 4 to 8 p.m. in the Saunders-Dwyer Mattapoisett Home for Funerals, 50 County Road, Mattapoisett, followed by a private memorial service in Rochester, MA. He will be buried at West Point Cemetery at a later date. Attendees must wear a mask and practice social distancing. Capacity at the funeral home will be limited so there could be wait times outside the funeral home. Thank you in advance for your cooperation. In lieu of flowers, donations in Bob’s name may be made to either the Robert A. Potter, Jr. Endowed Scholarship or the RWU Club Hockey Team, please visit https://www.rwu.edu/academics/schools-and-colleges/seccm/remembering-dean-potter. For online condolence book, please visit www.saundersdwyer.com.