Stetson's Funeral Home - We're Always Here for You
How do you want us to honor your loved one?
Contact Us
Use when requested by Stetson's

Robert Rio

April 1, 1939 - March 29, 2018
Print above picture
Robert (Bob) Rio age 78 of Orr’s Island, ME passed away peacefully at home on March 29 after a short illness surrounded by his loving family.

Bob was born in Bayonne, NJ April 1, 1939 the son of John Rio and Margaret Iungerman Rio. His parents were supportive of their children getting a "Catholic” education. And so Bob attended St. Nicholas Grammar School and Pope Pius XII High School in Passaic, N.J. He attended St. Peter’s College in Jersey City and went on to secure his engineering degree from the University of Detroit in Michigan. There are many stories to tell of Bob’s early years whether it was about being an altar boy, playing football for the Pope Pius blue and gold, working for Poppy’s ice cream shop, making and selling Christmas wreaths, his stint in the National Guard as a medic or renting a beach house in Belmar or at a lake in upstate NY or being on the ski patrol or playing the guitar and trying to sing his favorite tunes.

In 1976 after many years of bachelorhood he met Sue Vachon his "sweetie pie”.  In 1983 they were married in Williamsburg, VA. For over 40 years they shared a loving life, whether on sailboats or in homes on the east and west coasts. For the past 13 years Sue and Bob found contentment, friends and a lifestyle that suited them well on Orr’s Island.

During his career Bob worked as a manufacturing and quality assurance engineer at numerous companies on the East and West Coast.  He retired early to work on his passion woodworking, a talent handed down from his Dad. His interest in woodworking was surely sparked by Bob’s "adopted” family, the Hofmeister’s in Apalachin, NY where Lou spent hours in a basement woodshop.

You can’t think about Bob without remembering his love of the sea and mucking about in boats. He was the proud captain of a cat boat he sailed in Cape Cod waters. He and Sue lived aboard Maya, a 35-foot sailing sloop, in Boston Harbor and down on the York River in Virginia. And in San Diego, they moved up to a 40 foot sailing home, the Tuckaroo, before re-joining shore life there. Bob was also game to go under the water with family and friends, diving in warm tropical locations as well as in the cold months in New England.

Over the years Bob stayed in shape and liked a little bit of competition. He enjoyed running, bicycling, hiking and karate. Just a few years ago he and his two nephews, Tom Dunn and Nick Rio, were determined to hike Katahdin Knife Edge Trail. In addition to his physical pastimes he had a yearning to learn Spanish and took all the Spanish courses at the local community college in California and continued studying Spanish in Maine and in Ecuador.

But of all these, Bob most enjoyed good eating, good wine and good friends wherever he lived or travelled. We all have stories to tell, and we invite you to tell us your "Bob story” at

In all of his activities throughout his lifetime, Bob loved his wife, his family and friends. It was impossible not to return his love and goodness.

He is survived by his wife, Sue Vachon of Orr’s Island, his sister Claire Tiberti and her husband Rino of Clifton, NJ, sister Jeanne Dunn and husband Robert of Marlboro, MA, brother John Rio Jr. and wife Kate of Houston TX and sister-in-law Jeannine Vachon of Sherbrooke, Canada, along with many nieces and nephews.

There will be a private gathering of family and friends to celebrate Bob’s life in the summer.

In lieu of flowers, please consider giving to the CHANS Home Health and Hospice ( who provided Bob loving care at the end of his life.