Obituary for Robert (Bob) “Chiefy” Cahill, Veteran and 64-year Pine Plains firefighter

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on email
Share on print
Chiefy Cahill

PINE PLAINS – Robert “Bob” Cahill, 89, passed away at the Northern Dutchess Hospital after a brief illness. Born June 18, 1931, he was the son of the late Fred Cahill and Alice Clum Cahill, and one of 15 children.  He was raised in Sharon, CT, and made his adult life in Pine Plains, NY.

He was married for 51 years to his wife Katherine (Remsburger) who pre-deceased him by 17 years. He served in the U.S. Army for four years from 1948 until 1952 and saw active duty on the Korean peninsula where he rose to the rank of Sgt First Class.

After his honorable military service, he worked at the IBM plant in Poughkeepsie as a methods-analyst and eventually was promoted to a manager of Advanced Assembly and Process Development.  He retired from IBM in 1987.  He had a knack for always trying to find better and more efficient ways of doing things.

He is survived by 4 of his 5 children: Linda Carson (Red Hook), Robert (Boston, MA), Amy Cooney (Germantown), Sarah Funk (Pine Plains), and his ‘adopted’ daughter Cindy Cobble (Pine Plains).  He was pre-deceased by his daughter Vicki Blake.

Chiefy dancing with his daughter, Sarah.

He has 7 grandchildren and 6 great-grandchildren.

He was a member of the Pine Plains Hose Company for almost 64 years and served as Chief for many years.  He was tirelessly dedicated to that Volunteer Fire Company and was fondly referred to as “Chiefy” by all of its members.  He was also a member of the American Legion.

He was a member of the Cahill Brothers Band which he formed with his brothers Pat, Fritz, Bill, and Pete.  They played country-western and other popular music and also played square dance music where Bob was the caller.  Their dances and the band, in general, were very popular.  One of their favorite show closers was “Dream (When You’re Feeling Blue)” (the 1944  Johnny Mercer standard made popular by Frank Sinatra). Bob would always dedicate this one to the brothers’ mother: Alice.  It was her favorite.  Another popular one that he would always get requests to sing was “I’m My Own Grandpa” (by Dwight Latham and Moe Jaffe).  This one would always get any of his audiences singing along.

He enjoyed bowling and for many years was secretary of the Pine Plains bowling league in Red Hook.  He also bowled for many years with his brothers and nephews in Mabbettsville.

In his retirement years, he took up golfing and started a small lawn-mowing business to pay for it. He was for many years secretary of the Pine Plains League at Undermountain Golf Course in Boston Corners Copake until a bad back forced him to retire from the game.

He was loved by his children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren.  In part because while there was a generational difference between him and them, he always supported their spirits and their choices to be what they wanted to be.  He was always so happy to see them and to hear from them.  He was fond of saying “We old people have had our time.  Now it’s time for you young folks to takeover”

One of his greatest joys was the sunporch he and friends added on to the home he bought in 1963 when his family was just starting to grow.  It was the place he ‘lived’ and he loved having all the kids over on Sundays for dinner and at other times for parties of singing and dancing.

He was a very good dancer and enjoyed going out to do it (or staying home to do it!)  His wife enjoyed their dances and he spoke about how graceful she was and how she was his best partner.  His daughters always enjoyed their dances with him too.

Funeral services will be announced in the future when the weather is nicer, and COVID restrictions are lifted to allow gatherings. Donations in Bob’s memory may be made to the Pine Plains Hose Company, 7 Lake Road, Pine Plains, NY 12567.