OBITUARY: Robert G. ‘Bob’ Delaney

Robert G. “Bob” Delaney, most recently of Charlestown, died Oct. 23, 2022, at the Lafayette Nursing Home in Marblehead at the age of 74. The cause of death was leukemia.

Bob was born on June 17, 1948, in Jamaica Plain, to William E. Delaney and Phyllis Neal Delaney. He was their third child, after Kathy and Bill Jr.; and before Burt. Bill Delaney worked hard and raised all four kids himself when Phyllis left, and he was deeply beloved by Bob and his siblings.

Robert G. ‘Bob’ Delaney

In 1967, at age 19, Bob joined the Army Reserve and his unit was called up and sent to Vietnam. The VA acknowledges that Bob’s leukemia, like that of many veterans and many more Vietnamese citizens, was “more likely than not” caused by exposure to Agent Orange.

After returning from Vietnam, Bob attended Boston College and UMass Boston and worked for the U.S. Postal Service. He met Nancy Archer in 1973. They fell in love, married and had two children: Rob in 1977 and Alexis in 1981.

Most of their marriage was spent in Marblehead, where Bob and Nancy owned and operated Willard D. Martin Insurance Agency. In his free time, Bob liked to sail often and read voraciously. He was also an accomplished photographer.

Bob and Nancy were divorced in 1991, and Bob settled in Rockport. He then attended and graduated from North Bennet Street School in the North End and enjoyed their preservation carpentry program so much he wound up becoming the school’s director of admissions for some years. Following that, Bob drove a launch for the city of Gloucester and taught sailing at Courageous Sailing in Boston.

In 2016, Bob’s 1-year-old grandson Henry was diagnosed with brain cancer, and Bob spent much of the following two years assisting his son, Rob, and his family in caring for Henry. Henry died in 2018.

Bob was diagnosed with myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS) in August of 2020. The MDS turned into leukemia a year later and killed him on Sunday, Oct. 23. He was with his son, Rob; daughter, Alexis; and ex-wife, Nancy, when he died peacefully.

Bob is survived by his two children and four grandchildren. Also, Bob is survived by two of his siblings, Kathleen A. Botteri and her husband, Joseph, of East Bridgewater; and William E. Delaney and his wife, Darby, of Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Bob’s youngest sibling, Burton J. Delaney, died in 2001. Bob is also survived by many nieces and nephews.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Reading is Fundamental (RIF) at They give books to kids, and that would make Bob happy.

Marblehead News staff
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