School 12

Robert David Mendelsohn

April 29, 1945 ~ May 12, 2021 (age 76) 76 Years Old

Robert Mendelsohn Obituary

Robert David Mendelsohn, 76, of Manchester, CT, passed away peacefully on May 12, 2021, surrounded by his loving family.  

Born April 29, 1945 in Chicago, IL, Bob was the only child of the late Melvin and Rosemary (delGeorge) Mendelsohn. His earliest childhood years were spent in Chicago, until his father took a job at Lockheed-Martin in Baltimore to work on missile development.  As a child, Bob and his family moved back and forth between Baltimore and Florida.  Bob often reminisced about the excitement of riding along with his dad on big half-tracks, combing through Florida swamps with the teams gathering fragments from failed missiles which had crashed.  

When Bob entered middle school, his family returned to IL, settling in Palatine, a Northwest suburb of Chicago.   As a child, Bob spent many hours learning to transmit and receive Morse Code with his father, who was a ham radio operator.  Ultimately, he received his ham radio license and call letters: WN9 OBW.

Bob attended Palatine High School from 1959-1963.  It was in high school where Bob met Susan Palmer, who would later become his wife of 54 years.   Bob attended Bradley University from 1963-1965, when he transferred to Illinois State University to join Susan.  Bob and Susan were married in 1967.  They graduated shortly thereafter, and both took teaching jobs in Michigan. 

In 1968, Bob and Susan moved to Kalamazoo, MI and Bob entered a graduate program in Sociology at Western Michigan University.   He received his PhD in 1974 and accepted a position as a Professor of Sociology at Cornell College in Mount Vernon, Iowa.   In 1976, Bob and Susan moved to Brookings, SD where Bob worked as a Professor at South Dakota State University teaching sociology, criminology, criminal justice, domestic violence, social deviance, and research methods.  He was a popular professor, well-liked by his students, and was the faculty advisor to many clubs and organizations.  Bob taught in the Rural Sociology Department at SDSU for 32 years until his retirement as Professor Emeritus in 2008.   Bob and Susan relocated to Manchester, CT in 2015 to be closer to their children and grandchildren.

Outside of teaching, Bob was an accomplished artist and avid painter.  He much enjoyed painting lighthouses, sunsets and the ocean.  Bob was also a very active father in the lives of his three children and their many activities throughout the years.  He loved to watch classic movies; in his retirement, Bob often could be found watching a movie with a dog snuggled in his lap.   

In addition to his wife Susan, Bob is survived by his children David and wife Gwen Radsch of Brooklyn, NY; Jessica and husband William Broneill of Manchester, CT; and Jonathan and wife Lora of Springfield, MO.  He also leaves a legacy of 9 grandchildren, Lily, Delilah, Charlie, Lavinia, Jack, Alexander, Olivia, Ethan and Astrid, who will all greatly miss their beloved Zeyde.   

A graveside service will be held at 12 noon on Sunday, May 16, 2021, at Beth Shalom Memorial Park in Manchester, CT.   Memorial donations in Bob's memory may be made to the Rabbi's Discretionary Fund at Temple Beth Shalom B'nai Israel, 400 Middle Turnpike East, Manchester, CT  06040.  All are invited to view the live stream and leave condolences at 

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Graveside Service
May 16, 2021

12:00 PM to 7:00 PM
Beth Sholom Memorial Park
222 Autumn Street
Manchester, CT 06040

Video is available for this event


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