Robert Daniel Walley

Robert Daniel Walley

BARNET, VT — Robert Daniel Walley, age 71, of Barnet, Vermont, found eternal peace on Sunday, June 23, 2024, at Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center. Born in Bridgeport on February 24, 1953, Robert was raised in Stratford, and graduated from Bunnell High School in 1970. Robert trained at the Culinary Institute of America, and worked in several restaurants and country clubs in Connecticut and New York as well as Park City Hospital in Bridgeport. After finishing his career in the kitchens of large meditation centers in Nova Scotia and Vermont, he thought he had retired, but found that he still had the desire to share his culinary gift with others. In addition to volunteering his time to care and cook for those with physical challenges, in Oct. 2019, he joined the Danville Senior Action Center Meal Site in Danville, Vermont as head chef, where he dedicated his time and energy to make extraordinary meals for his community’s seniors.

“Pops,” as he was known to his grandchildren, had a special talent of catching popcorn – tossed up to maximum height – in his mouth without skipping a beat. A kind, caring and generous soul, he had a smile and laugh with his bow tie and suspenders that lit up every room he entered, an unparalleled zest for antiques/junk, art and music, birds and gardens, all things outdoors, stacking wood and fishing, a cartoon alter ego, Carl from UP (who dearly loved his Ellie), and unique artistic ability that shined in many ways, including in his lovingly made omelets, ice cream, breads and gingerbread houses. A jack of all trades, skilled at carpentry, electrical and plumbing, Pops enjoyed managing too many special projects, tinkering around his many creations, and sprinkling joy and laughter wherever he went.

Chef Robert is survived by his loving partner of six years, Catherine (“Ellie”) Baker; his three children; Sarah Colbert (Richard), Corinne Tarullo (Keith), and Patrick Walley; Cathy’s two children, Meghan Dewald and Dubhgan Hinchey (Misato); grandchildren Conor, Caedan, Ailean, Orhean, and Eilean; granddoggies; several cousins, nieces and nephews, including Cynthia Harrington, Jon Walley, Michael Walley and Jeff Walley, who loved him as “Bert” and dear friends, including Bob Abbott, Chris Kirk, Jen Stonecipher, Bill Brauer and Ella Reznikova, among the many others by his side until his final song.

Robert was predeceased by his loving parents, Daniel Walley, Sr. and Eleanor (Lesak) Walley (Sharon); brothers, Daniel Walley (Sharon), James Walley (Tucson, Arizona), and Michael Walley (Bridgeport); and aunts and uncles, including especially close uncle George Petrovich (Stratford).

Calling hours will be held on Sunday, June 30, from 2-4 p.m. at Knight Funeral Home, 903 Hartford Avenue, White River Junction, Vermont. A memorial celebration of Robert’s life in Barnet, Vermont will follow in the fall. Memorial contributions may be made in Robert’s honor to: Northeast Kingdom Council on Aging, 481 Summer St., Ste. 101, St. Johnsbury, VT 05819 or the Sharon Audubon Center, 325 Cornwall Bridge Road, Sharon, CT 06069.

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