Growing family. Strengthening community. Preserving the rural character of the North Fork for future generations to enjoy.
These were the long-term interests to which Robert quietly and steadfastly dedicated himself. Robert A. Villa, a resident of Peconic Landing in Greenport for the past 16 years and previously of Peconic, passed away at his residence Dec. 17 at the age of 88. The son of Amedeo and Jane (Canevari) Villa, he was born May 27, 1930, in Bergenfield, N.J. Robert graduated from Bergenfield High School in 1948, then served two years in the U.S. Army, earning the rank of corporal. He then used GI Bill benefits to earn a Bachelor of Science degree in civil engineering from Newark College of Engineering, today part of the New Jersey Institute of Technology.
Robert (Bob) worked for 33 years as a public health engineer for Suffolk County Department of Health Services in New York, where he rose to the rank of chief engineer of the Division of Environmental Quality. He also served for 11 years as an elected officer, including one term as president, of the 6,000-member Suffolk chapter of the Civil Service Employees’ Association.
Bob served the community in many ways over the past 50 years including as a director of Peconic Landing, member of the auditing committee of Suffolk County Federal Credit Union, trustee of Eastern Long Island Hospital and member of Huntington Town Plumbing Board. During the 1990s Bob served on the Southold Town open space committee, water advisory committee, farmland preservation committee, Zoning Board of Appeals and solid waste management task force.
Bob served as chairman of the ways and means committee of Mercy High School Athletic Organization as well as of the Mercy High School Silver Jubilee Journal. He served on the Parish Council of Sacred Heart Parish in Cut-ch-ogue, as its director of youth activities and as beloved coach to countless young athletes who participated in the Catholic Youth Organization teams he and other local parents created and supported. Bob was a member of the Parents and Friends of Sacred Heart School and a member of the organizing committee for its annual country fair and auction fundraiser, at which his turtle races were a perennial favorite. Bob was a long-term committee member of the Southold Town Republican Party and member of the American Legion, Griswold-Terry-Glover Post 803, Southold, N.Y., since 1966.
Bob enjoyed fishing and sports, especially golf, and won several closest-to-the-pin contests. He was an officer and member for 30 years of the Mattituck Mixed Bowling League as well as a self-taught furniture-maker, folk artist and member of the North Fork Guild, a local artists’ co-op.
Bob was predeceased by his first wife of 50 years, Elizabeth Mary (Lewis) Villa, who died in 2004, and by his eldest son, Michael R. Villa. He is survived by his wife of 11 years, Irene (née Kiesling) Villa of Greenport, N.Y.; his adult children, David M. Villa of Pleasantville, N.Y.; Thomas J. Villa of Rockville, Md.; Eileen M. Marks of Hebron, Ky.; Maureen E. Bittner of Unionville, Conn.; his step-daughters, Deborah Neville of Ronkonkoma, N.Y., Cynthia Keevis of Stafford, Va. and Christine Fitzgerald of Shoreham, N.Y.; as well as a total from both marriages of 16 grandchildren and nine great-grandchildren.
The family will receive visitors Thursday, Dec. 20, from 2 to 4 and 6 to 8 p.m. at Horton-Mathie Funeral Home in Greenport. A funeral Mass will be celebrated Friday, Dec. 21, at 10 a.m. at St. Agnes R.C. Church in Greenport.
This is a paid notice.