Nahant — Mr. Robert J. Munnelly, 79, of Nahant, died Thursday in North Shore Medical Center Salem Hospital with his family at his side. He was the loving husband to Janet L. (Fairbrother) Munnelly, with whom he shared three years of marriage, and the late Carol M. (Casey) Munnelly, with whom he shared 47 years of marriage.
Bob was born in Greenwich, Conn., and was the son of the late Robert J. and Bridget (Leonard) Munnelly. He lived in Nahant for the past 38 years. Bob was a graduate of Fairfield Prep Class of 1951, and New Haven Teachers College, where he received his Bachelor of Scince in 1955. He went on to Fairfield University, where he received his master's degree in education. Bob also attended Harvard University, where he received his doctorate in education in 1973.
Bob was a lifelong educator, serving as classroom teacher and administrator, professor at Northeastern University, superintendent of public schools in Saugus, and both assistant superintendent and superintendent of the Reading Public Schools, until his retirement as superintendent in 1995. Bob was proud of his 27-year record of innovative leadership in Reading, his extensive involvement in curriculum issues through the Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development, including serving as its president, and his lifelong commitment to arts education for all students. Following his retirement in 1995, Bob stayed active in educational issues by consulting on accreditation and other matters as founding president for the Northeast Consortium for Staff Development, as a longstanding board member for the Richard Milburn Academy Charter Schools in Florida, Texas, and other states, and as a consultant with the Service Corps of Retired Executives (SCORE).
Bob was a U.S. Army veteran, and served from 1956 to 1959, where he specialized in Army Counter Intelligence, including seeking to identify Eastern Bloc spies hidden among Hungarians seeking refugee status in the New York metropolitan area following the 1956 Soviet military action in that country. He later became a member of the National Counter Intelligence Corps Association.