Col. Robert Rheault, obituary

Sat, 10/19/2013 - 6:45pm

OWLS HEAD — Col. Robert Bradley "Bob" Rheault, 87, died peacefully at home in Owls Head Oct. 16, 2013. He was born in Boston Oct. 31, 1925, the second of three sons of Charles Auguste and Rosamond (Bradley) Rheault of Westwood, Mass. His father had been a member of the Royal Northwest Mounted Police, while his mother worked in Labrador, for Dr. Wilfred Grenfell, of the Grenfell Mission.

During the summer, for three years, from age 14, Bob worked as a cowboy on ranches in Wyoming: moving cattle, mending fences and stacking hay. After graduating from Phillips Exeter Academy and the United States Military Academy at West Point, Bob served for 26 years in the U.S. Army, retiring in 1969 as commander of Special Forces in Vietnam. He worked for Hurricane Island Outward Bound School for 32 years, from assistant watch officer to president of the school. During the last 19 of those years, he started and ran the Outward Bound Program for Vietnam Vets suffering from posttraumatic stress disorder.

Once retired, Bob was actively involved in his community, giving generously of his time and skills while serving on the boards of The Apprenticeshop, Sterling College, Kents Hill School and Georges River Land Trust, where he was a founding member. He, with his wife Susan St. John, was an active member of the First Universalist Church in Rockland.

Ever mindful of a leader's need to be prepared, when back from the field Bob made sure that his inbox was empty, and so it was when he died. Bob's bills were paid and he had communicated with his loved ones. Bob was predeceased by his brother, Andre Eugene Rheault; and by his first wife, Nan (Young) Rheault. He is survived by his brother, Charles Auguste Rheault Jr.; his wife of 36 years, Susan St. John; his five children, Susanne Rheault, Meesh Rheault Miller, Robert Rheault Jr., Nicholas St. John-Rheault and Alexis St. John-Rheault; as well as a beloved passel of in-laws, nieces and nephews, grandchildren and his one goddaughter.

A memorial service will be held Nov. 2, at ­­2 p.m. at the Camden Opera House, 29 Elm St. in Camden.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to The Hurricane Island Outward Bound School, 39 Mechanic St., Suite 310, Camden, ME 04843 or to the Georges River Land Trust, 8 North Main St,, Suite 200, Rockland, ME 04841.