Robert Allan Nilsen, 61, of Hebron, passed away peacefully at his home on Tuesday, May 16, 2023. Robert, known by his family and friends as “Bob” or “Bobby” was born to the late Allan and Glennyce (Brown) Nilsen; he and his four siblings grew up in Rocky Hill, Connecticut. Robert will be remembered for his inventive mind and entrepreneurial spirit. He was a career plumber who could sweat pipe better than anyone else in the trade (no wiping rag required) and proud owner of Nilsen Plumbing Heating & Cooling. He enjoyed spending his spare time working on antique cars, motorcycles, and tractors and took satisfaction in turning industrial equipment and kitchenware into sculptors. Although he may have been offended if you called him one, he was a passionate artist.
He will be missed greatly by his companion Deborah (Dunnett) Smith and family. Robert is survived by his children Matthew Nilsen and wife Sara, and Sarah Dugan and husband Nick; siblings Clinton Nilsen, Marilyn Nilsen-Jerz, and Kathleen Nilsen-Baker and husband Donald; grandchildren Elizabeth Dugan and Amelia Nilsen (born only 54 hours after his passing); and many nieces and nephews. In addition to his parents, he is predeceased by his sister Carolyn Personette.
Robert and his son Matthew were able to develop a strong relationship with an emphasis on respect for the other’s choices later in Robert’s life. Matthew is deeply grateful for the knowledge, passion, and commitment to excelling that Robert passed on to him and knows that someday they will meet again in spirit to talk about wrenching, fabricating, and those pesky OBDII codes.
A memorial service will be arranged by the family and announced at a later date. Care of arrangements have been entrusted to the Aurora-McCarthy Funeral Home of Colchester. To sign the online guest book or share a memory of Robert, please visit www.auroramccarthyfuneralhome.com
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