Robert J. Packer Sr., 70: Former American Cancer Society executive director

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ESTERO, Fla. — Robert J. “Bob” Packer Sr., 70, formerly of Cape Elizabeth, died peacefully on Nov. 24 with his family at his side.

He was born on May 9, 1939, a son of Joseph and Mary Packer.

He grew up in Pennsylvania and at age 15 became an active volunteer firefighter with the Bon-Aire Fire Company in Haverford Township, Penn.

After graduating from Havertown High School, he attended the University of Pennsylvania.

From 1963-1969 he served in the U.S. Army Reserve. In 1969, he moved to New Jersey and began working in the automotive parts industry. In 1973 he moved to Maine to open his own automotive parts business, Warehouse Inc., and over the next 18 years expanded the company throughout Maine. In 1992, he became an executive director for the American Cancer Society.

After officially retiring in 1999, he stayed busy by driving a school bus for the South Portland School Department.

He was active in his community as a member of the Cape Elizabeth Police Review Board. Additionally, he was a member and past president of Cape Elizabeth / South Portland Rotary, and regularly volunteered at the Ronald McDonald House.

In 2006, he and his wife Peggy retired to Florida, where he became involved with the Estero Rotary Club.

A hard-working man, loving husband, father, grandfather, and friend, he will be dearly missed.

He is survived by his wife of 43 years, Peggy; son Robert Jr. and his wife Julie; daughter Kristin Schuler and her husband Michael; five grandchildren, Kayla, Sarah and Madolyn Packer and Kyle and Cory Schuler; his brother Joseph Packer Jr., and his wife Diane; four sisters-in-law, Vernie Jackson, Alice Packer, Virginia Budd and Sr. Marie James, RSM; many nieces, nephews; and friends.

Visiting hours are from 4 to 8 p.m. Friday, Dec. 4, at Hobbs Funeral Home, 320 Cottage Road, South Portland.

There will be a Mass of Celebration on Saturday, Dec. 5 at 11 a.m. at St. Bartholomew Church, 8 Two Lights Road, Cape Elizabeth, with internment to follow.

Memorial donations may be sent to The Ronald McDonald House, 250 Brackett St., Portland, ME 04102.