Thursday, May 27, 2010

Remembering Middle Village Community Activist Robert Doocey

Middle Village resident Robert Doocey, who was active in many local causes around his neighborhood, died on Sunday morning surrounded by his family at Calvary Hospital.

Doocey, who was a longtime member of the Juniper Park Civic Association, was honored on the organization’s Website by neighbor Lorraine Sciulli. “His passing is a great loss for his family, friends and our community… Bob Doocey was a neighborhood activist in the true sense of the description,” wrote Sciulli. “There wasn’t a topic you could mention where Bob Doocey didn’t have an opinion.”

Robert was bon on Jan. 20, 1940 in New York City, the third of eight children of the late Frank and Margaret Doocey of Jamaica Estates. In 1955 the family moved to Allentown, Pa. Robert graduated from Central Catholic High School and attended Georgetown University for one year. In 1961 he joined the Army and was honorably discharged after four years of service.

Robert married Zenaida Rellosa on Dec. 30, 1967. Their children are Terence Edward Doocey of Alaska and Timothy Edward Doocey of New York. After an annulment, Robert married Linda Koh on Aug. 8, 1980 at Our Lady of Hope Church in Middle Village. Their children are Thomas Edward Doocey and Theresa Elizabeth Doocey, both of Middle Village.

In the 1960s, Robert launched a career in the then new field of computer programming. He spent over four decades in that industry, and was a gifted problem solver and a dedicated and valued member of his technology teams. As a pioneer in a constantly-changing industry, Robert was interested in both continually learning and teaching his trade. He taught computer programming classes at several universities and colleges.

After retiring in September 2001, Robert found a new passion with his deep involvement with the JPCA. He was a member of the group’s executive board and assistant editor and columnist of the Juniper Berry magazine. He often spoke proudly of his work with the Juniper Juniors, a neighborhood youth organization focused on graffiti removal, planting flowers in local parks, community cleanups and other projects including It’s My Park Day.

Unwavering in his principals of honesty, friendship, loyalty and forgiveness, Robert earned a reputation as a man able to stand his ground, especially in the face of controversy. He patented his own brand of loyalty and bestowed upon his children the gift of cultivating lifelong friendships. He always meant what he said, and while he set an example to those in his public life as both a professional and gentleman, he taught his family the simple and priceless lesson of saying “I love you” every chance he had.

Robert donated his remains to the Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons for the advancement of medical science.

“Rest in peace, Bob Doocey, you made your mark on our world and while you left us far too soon, we will always remember you for your kind, giving, generous personality, and let’s not forget your very funny dry sense of humor, understanding you always had the best interests of the other guy at the top of your priority list,” wrote Sciulli.

Robert’s family will be holding a memorial mass at Resurrection Ascension Roman Catholic Church, 85-25 61st Road, Rego Park, on Saturday at 9:45 a.m.

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