MIDDLEBURY -- Robert C. Kingsley died April 20, 2015, at his home in Middlebury.
Born in Kenosha, Wis., July 18, 1922, the son of Ralph S. and Eva Wells Kingsley, he attended public school in Kenosha. He entered Northwestern University in Evanston, Ill., in September 1940, and received his degree in December 1943, wearing the uniform of a midshipman in the U.S. Navy. He trained in the Navy as a Russian linguist. After three years of active duty during World War II, he continued to work as a civilian for the Defense Department, until being recalled to active duty for two years during the Korean War. He then spent two years at George Washington University law school before moving to East Middlebury in November 1955, where he became the owner of the Waybury Inn. Upon the sale of the inn in 1966, he became associated with Fisher Travel Service during which time he traveled extensively around the world. He retired when the agency was sold in 1980.
Bob was an early member of the Middlebury Community Players. There, he was both an actor and a director. His favorite role was that of Nathan Detroit in "Guys and Dolls," the first musical the Players staged. He repeated the role a second time in the early 1980s. Other roles were Luther Billis in "South Pacific," the devil in "Damn Yankees," and Harrison Floyd in "High Button Shoes," which he also directed. Other directorial work include "The Caine Mutiny Court Martial," "The Thurber Carnival," and "Wonderful Town." As benefits for the Porter Hospital, Bob produced eight edition of the Porter Follies, most them at Keewaydin Camp. The Follies were musical revues featuring local talent.
Bob was a founding member and past chair of the Friends of the Art Museum of Middlebury College. He also served as treasurer of the Sheldon Historical Museum for several years. The community service for which he had the greatest enthusiasm was as a volunteer of Porter Hospital, where he piled up more than 5,000 hours. During the winters, he vacationed in California, where he amassed over 1,500 hours as a volunteer at Scripps Memorial Hospital in La Jolla. Bob was an avid reader, puzzle solver, but most of all enjoyed spending time at his cabin in Ripton working on various projects.
He was predeceased by a brother and sister, and is survived by two nephews and two nieces.
There will be no service. Friends will be invited to celebrate Bob's life and their friendship with him at date to be announced. Arrangements are under the care of Stephen Gregory Cremation Services of South Burlington. Donations may be made in Bob's name to The Town Hall Theater of Middlebury or Porter Hospital.