Ipswich — Robert L. Hanwell, 61, of Ipswich, beloved husband of Sandra J. (Blunda) Hanwell, died Thursday, November 22, 2012, in the Kaplan Family Hospice House, Danvers, surrounded by his family following his long illness.
Born in Malden, November 30, 1950, son of the late Robert and Elsie (Cliff) Hanwell, he attended Malden and Somerville public schools and was a graduate of the Shaw Preparatory School in Boston. Married in 1979, the Hanwells made their home in Melrose, Essex, and for the last sixteen years, Ipswich. For thirty of these years, Bob worked both freight and passenger trains of the former Boston and Maine Railroad, former AMTRAK and most recently, retiring as a commuter rail train conductor from the MBCR (Mass. Bay Commuter Railroad).
After buying their first timeshare in 1980, he and his family traveled throughout New England, Mexico, Puerto Rico, the Bahamian Islands, and to Disney, and over the years took numerous trips to the midlands Stoke-on-Trent, England to visit family. He also enjoyed singing and playing his guitar, fishing with his friends, and practicing amateur landscape photography. He was a devoted husband, father and friend to all who knew him.
He was a longtime member and former union officer of the United Transportation Union Local #898 and was also one of the original captains of the AMTRAK organization 'Operation RedBlock' for many years. He was a committed member of the friends of Bill W. for 19 years.
In addition to his wife Sandy of thirty-three years, he is survived by three daughters, Kimberly and her husband Taylor Desrochers of Salisbury, Alyssa Hanwell of Beverly and Brianna Hanwell of Ipswich; a sister, Linda Hanwell of Lynn; a grandson Gabriel Desrochers of Salisbury; as well as his cousins in England.
ARRANGEMENTS: His funeral service will be held 11 am Tuesday, November 27, in the United Methodist Church, Meetinghouse Green, Ipswich, followed by interment in the Highland Cemetery, Ipswich. Family and friends are respectfully welcomed. Visiting hours are Monday 4 to 7 pm in the Whittier-Porter Funeral Home, 6 High Street, Ipswich. Memorial contributions in his name may be made to United Methodist Church of Ipswich, 31 North Main St, Ipswich, MA 01938, and, or the Williams Syndrome Association, 570 Kirts Boulevard Suite 223, Troy, Michigan 48084. For directions or to leave a condolence, please visit www.whittier-porter.com.