Robert Cary, 95, of Stanardsville, Virginia passed away peacefully on Thursday, April 5, 2018 at Mary Washington Hospital in Fredericksburg, Virginia. Born to James Jay Cary and Wanda Plawska in Trenton, New Jersey on April 27, 1922.
Robert was the youngest of six children: Veronica, Perry, Thomas, James, Margaret, and Robert. Their mother, Wanda died when Robert was two and he was sent to a Catholic orphanage for 6 months. His oldest sister, Veronica worked hard to help keep the family together and convinced her father that she could temporarily drop out of high school to help the family get on their feet. Veronica went on to college and became the head librarian of Trenton Library while also helping to raise all her siblings and especially baby Robert.
Robert dropped out of high school and enlisted in the Army Air Corps during WWII. He reached the rank of Sergeant and served most of the war on an aircraft carrier in the Asian Pacific and the Philippines. During his service he designed and built a Supercharger Test Stand for testing & balancing supercharged airplane engines. He did this successfully from limited data and materials. He received a commendation letter for his work on April 6, 1945 where it stated that his stand was “considered to be equal or superior to the General Electric test stand”. Go Dad! According to Robert, his commanding General often quipped “Where’s that Sergeant Cary who runs the Army?”.
After being honorably discharged, Robert earned his GED and became a steel worker. He was introduced to Eleanor Jean Miller, a librarian at Trenton Library who worked with Robert’s sister Veronica. They married on May 16, 1953 and went on to have four children: Ellender, Robert A., Veronica, and Thomas. In the early 60’s, after a broken jaw from a steel girder, the family moved to Virginia where Robert joined his brother Thomas in the homebuilding industry of northern Virginia. They were later joined by brother James. They built the communities of Springbrook Forest, Rolling Valley, Rolling Valley West, and Greenbriar. Robert loved to drive and see the USA from coast to coast. He took his family on a number of 2-week summer vacations to places like Yellowstone Park, the Redwood Forest, through Monument Valley, Disney World and the Worlds Fair in Montreal, Quebec. Those were some car rides! In the late 70s, Robert continued building custom homes without his two brothers, and eventually retired to his own custom built home in Stanardsville, Virginia on a lake at the foot of the Shenandoah National Park.
Robert is survived by his wife Eleanor, and children: Ellender and her husband Hans Worthy, Robert A. and his wife Cynthia, Veronica, and Thomas and his wife Terry. He is also survived by his six grandchildren: Elizabeth and her husband Michael Pixley, Michael Cary and his wife Samantha, Meghan and her husband Capt. Thomas Brown, Cary Jean Weiss, Drake Cary, and Savanah Cary.
In lieu of flowers, it is suggested that donations be given to the Charlottesville Albemarle SPCA or Habitat for Humanity to honor his love of dogs and his homebuilding career.
Do not stand at my grave and weep; I am not there. I do not sleep. I am a thousand winds that blow. I am the diamond glints on snow. I am the sunlight on ripened grain, I am the gentle autumn rain. When you awaken in the morning's hush, I am the swift uplifting rush of quiet birds in circled flight. I am the soft stars that shine at night. Do not stand at my grave and cry; I am not there, I did not die.
~ Mary Frye