Robert Monk

Obituary of Robert Melvin Monk

Robert Melvin Monk, a retired engineer, passed on Thursday, August 17, 2023.  He was 93 years old.  Robert was born and raised in Chelsea.  He was one of three sons born to Edward and Gertrude Monk.  He was a graduate of Chelsea High School and Northeastern University with degrees in Electrical Engineering.  In between high school and college, he served for two years in the Army during the Korean War.  He was assigned to the Hq Co 226th Ordinance Depot and his company, “The Old Reliabels” saw extensive combat during the early years of the war.  He held the rank of Corporal.  He was the recipient of the Korean Service Medal with 3 Bronze Stars, the Presidential Unit Citation, United Nations Service Medal, and 2 overseas bars.  He was very proud to have served his country.

Robert met his wife; Elizabeth at the Horace Memorial Babtist Church Youth Group in Chelsea and they married in 1952.  They settled in Burlington in 1959 where Robert worked for High Voltage Engineering Corp for his entire career.  It was in Burlington that they raised their four children and enjoyed their retirement years.  He and his family were members of the United Church of Christ Congregational in Burlington.  Robert served as Sunday School Director there for several years in the 1960’s.  He was also a Boy Scout leader for Troop 550.  Robert and Elizabeth were avid ballroom dancers and spent much time dancing with good friends.  His greatest leisure time passion was that of working on his wooden Friendship Sloop and sailing.  He loved wooden sailboats.  With his family, he spent many years sailing his Friendship Sloop named “Secret”. “Secret” was built in Maine of traditional materials and methods.  A traditional Friendship Sloop was like sailing a piece of history with its Gaff rigged sails, and artful lines.  Sailing was a family activity, and he loved the bond and connection that he had with his family in their many adventures together sailing the seas of Massachusetts Bay and Falmouth, Maine.  He was a member of the Friendship Sloop Society in Friendship Maine for many years. 

When it wasn’t sailing season, Robert enjoyed working around his home, doing projects, and working on his sailboat.  With his engineering background, he easily understood how things worked and would take on repairs of almost anything in or around his home. When working on and sailing a big wooden boat got to be too much, he took up model building. He especially loved building model aircraft of the early and mid-1900’s vintage. He built hundreds of models, and special ones for each of his grand and great grandchildren. Model building was a very appropriate activity for Robert as he above all will serve forever as a role model for his children, grandchildren and great grandchildren. He loved being a part of his children’s lives as they grew from children to young adults to parents themselves. He wholeheartedly supported them in whatever of life’s paths they chose, always providing steady, calm and sage guidance. He especially enjoyed the time spent with his grandchildren who affectionately called him “Grampy Bob”, and great-grandchildren who called him Papa. Robert had a wonderful life that was focused on providing for and protecting his family, faith, and the love of the sea. He will be lovingly remembered by all those he touched during his lifetime.

Robert was the beloved husband of Elizabeth Anne (Walker) Monk. They enjoyed a remarkable and happy 71 year marriage.  Loving father of Robert M. Monk, Jr. & his wife Christine of Bristol, NH, David Monk & his wife Debbie of Kingston, NH, Scott Monk & his wife Roxanne of Bridgewater, NH, and Lori Monk of Billerica.  Brother of the late George and William Monk.  Also survived by 11 grandchildren and 6 great grandchildren.  Funeral services will be private. 

Memorials in Robert’s name may be made to The Alzheimer’s Assoc., 

Arrangements by the Edward V. Sullivan Funeral Home, Burlington. 

For online guestbook and video tribute see


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