Robert J. McVay


MCVAY, ROBERT J. (Bob) was born at Porter’s Hospital in Denver, CO June 23, 1948 and passed away April 14, 2022 of a heart attack at the VA hospital in Aurora, CO. He was proud of his 34 years being sober. Bob was raised in Englewood, CO where he attended St. Louis Grade School grades 1 thru 8, freshman year at St. Francis de Sales High School in Denver, and finally a transfer to Englewood High School for years 9 thru 12 where he received his High School diploma. He attended Arapahoe Jr. College in Littleton, CO from 1967 to 68 and then enlisted in the U.S. Navy. During his 8 years in the Navy, he studied basic electronics, interior communications, 16mm projectors, MK27 Gyro Compass, NC 2 Blotter, P.O. Leadership. He again enlisted in the Submarine Division and served on fast attack submarines including the USS Billfish (SSN 676) and the USS Lapon.
Upon leaving the Navy, he took up roots in Maine where he attended the University of Maine to study psychology and fine arts. He first lived on Bailey Island where he painted some of his most beautiful works of art then moved on to Orrs Island and finally settled in Bath, Maine. He worked at Bath Iron Works for a few years and then found his true passion for cooking and baking as he ran, managed and owned several establishments in Maine; his last being the restaurant and catering at Bath Country Club.
After finding his sobriety, his next move was to Key West, FL where he met and married James Eli (“Eli”). In addition to continuing to be head chef and manage some of the finest establishments, he was very active in AA, gay rights and MCC where he served as a deacon. He was always first in line to volunteer for fundraiser and assist with projects of any kind. His next move took him and Eli to Fort Lauderdale, where he started a handyman service as his back and feet were giving out after years in the restaurant business. He did, however, continue to do catering whenever he got the chance.
After Bob and Eli had gone their separate ways, he returned from his life in Ft. Lauderdale to help with his ailing father in Englewood. He lived with his younger sister, Debby, where he met and fell in love with his dog, Scooby, which she presented to him as a birthday present the day he moved to Hot Sulphur Springs. Once in Hot Sulphur Springs, he immediately got active in the community and Mayor Hershel Deputy asked him if he would be interested in being the next Mayor. He jumped right in and got to work getting one project done after the other. He was very proud of the new playground in Town Park, the work done on the water plant, and saving the libraries. He loved reading to the children at the libraries, being Santa at Christmas and the Annual Easter Egg Hunt. As Mayor, he was often found at Town Hall as an unofficial greeter and answered questions from tourists and Town residents alike. He was not afraid jump in and help Public Works with any water plant issues, assist in snowplowing on busy days and answer phones if office staff needed an extra hand. He enjoyed being an active member of Colorado Municipal League and encouraged Town Board of Trustees to continue with education. He was active with East Troublesome Fire victim’s assistance, COVID testing sites and information, drought management and prevention meetings, Colorado River user’s co-op meetings and Town of Hot Sulphur Springs Planning Commission Chairman. He was usually found in the Grand County Building working each election cycle for the Grand County Clerk. Bob was an active member of Grand County Democrats and enjoyed attending the State rallies as a delegate. Through these meetings he met and sustained friendships that extended all the way up to the Governor’s Office. He was a frequent pie contributor to the Friends of the Library Pie Sale each fall and loved the competition of the Hot Sulphur Days Pie Contest. His project for this year was putting in a crosswalk and building batting cages for the kids (little & big).
All of his life Bob was involved in youth activities, sports, etc. As he got older, he was very involved in teen counseling, outreach programs, buddy programs, drug awareness programs; the list goes on and on. He believed that children and our youth were our most valuable assets; so much so, that he took in his nephew, Dan, at age 13 and made sure he graduated from high school with medals in swimming and golf, helping him become the man he is today.
One of Bob’s biggest passions was people getting educated about and involved in government and the political process. He would not only participate in rallies, debates, handing out pamphlets, etc. It was very important to him that regardless who you voted for, that you voted and would drive people to the polls, count ballots, drive from county to county to collect ballot boxes, whatever it took to get out the votes.
Bob will probably be missed most for his award-winning cranberry pecan pie, coconut macaroons and peanut butter cookies. Although his competitors may be happy to not have his fair entries this year, he always enjoyed good laughs and conversations at the Middle Park Fair & Rodeo. He was a supporter of the exhibit hall & 4-H, and never missed a chance to watch the youth classes to cheer on the kids. He also performed numerous weddings and funerals for family and friends in numerous states.
He was proceeded in death by his Father Robert E. McVay, Mother Alice M. McVay and nephew, Chris Mains: survived by sisters: Alice aka Kathy (Stephen) Mains and Debby McVay, nieces: Laura (Curtis), Rachel and nephew Danial aka Dan (Kari) Ore. Two great nieces and one and three quarter great-great grandnephews.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be sent to Alcoholics Anonymous, LQBTQ or Abused and Exploited Children. A celebration of life will be held at the Town Park in Hot Sulphur Springs, CO on Saturday, June 18th at 11:00 AM, followed by a reception in the park.