August 20, 1935 - October 8, 2018
Robert Maxwell, 83, died unexpectedly on October 8, 2018. He lived in Norwalk, Conn., for 55 years.
Rob was born August 20, 1935, in Uddingston, Scotland, near Glasgow, to Archibald and Agnes Maxwell. He joined the First Uddingston Boys’ Brigade when he was 8 and played bagpipes in the Boys’ Brigade pipe band, the first in his family to learn. He and his younger brother played in the Thornwood Pipe Band and later in the celebrated Shotts and Dykehead Caledonia Pipe Band, an institution in the pipe band world for more than a century. Before Rob and Helen Tait married in March 1958, he told his bride-to-be that music would always come first, but she married him anyway.
Rob, Helen, and toddler Calum immigrated to the United States in 1963, joining Helen’s parents and most of her siblings in Norwalk. The young family soon knew most of the Scots in the area, and when friends and family visited, which happened often, the kettle was soon bubbling, the cookies came out, and everyone gathered around the kitchen table for a cup of tea and a good gab. If the talk turned to music, Rob almost always pulled a chanter out from under a cushion and sheets of music from under the couch. He worked as a carpenter for the T. J. Riordan Company, a Norwalk builder, for 20 years and later for Morford Downes and Deluca Construction. He was a member of the United Brotherhood of Carpenters Local 210 for 55 years.
Rob’s love of piping crossed the Atlantic with him, and he played with many Connecticut bands, including the Stamford Kiltie Pipe Band, Bridgeport Pipe Band, and Trumbull Pipe Band. He served as pipe major for each, taught students at Shelton High School to pipe, and taught any aspiring piper who asked to learn. Family vacations and travels often centered around pipe band competitions. Helen did her best to make it fun for the kids and often had other kids in tow, not just her own. For many years, Rob volunteered on the Piping/Drumming Committee for the Round Hill Highland Games, formerly held at Cranbury Park in Norwalk.
Rob was also an ardent women’s basketball fan. He followed the University of Connecticut women’s team and found great pleasure watching players as they developed in college and then progressed to the WNBA. He also enjoyed watching the NHL, and was a New York Rangers fan for many years.
Rob is survived by his sons Calum and Craig, their wives Jeanne and Peggy, and four grandchildren: Damien, Heather, Kyle, and Morgan. Rob’s parents; two half-sisters, Nettie and Flora; a brother, John; and Helen preceded him in death. Rob and Helen celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary just a couple of months before she died in late May.
A graveside service will be held on Wed. October 24th at 11:00am at the Riverside Cemetery in Norwalk, followed by a reception for family and friends at The Eagles Club, 6 Mott Ave. Norwalk.