Skip to content
For WHOI personnel, vendors, and visitors: COVID-19 Guidelines

Robert (Bob) Bastarache

The Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution announces with great sorrow the death of former employee Robert (Bob) Bastarache on December 25 after a long illness. He was 63.

Born in Acushnet, Mass., Bob was the son of the late Willis E. and Edna M. (Gifford) Bastarache. He was a graduate of the New Bedford public schools.

Bob worked for many years as a scalloper out of New Bedford harbor, and for a period worked out of Kodiak, Alaska. Bob built on his innate, strong engineering skills and reinvented his career path. He served as a merchant mariner on the SS Courier during Desert Shield/Desert Storm. Bob began his career at WHOI in 1991 as a relief deck engineer on the R/V Atlantis II.  During his time at WHOI, he worked on both the R/V Oceanus and R/V Knorr holding positions such as oiler and assistant engineer.  He left in 1995 but returned in 1996 as relief security watch on the R/V Knorr.  He left in 1998.  He then worked for a number of years at State Street Corporation as a network engineer after changing careers to spend more time with his family and be closer to home.

Bob was an active member of the North Congregational Church in Middleboro, Mass; a 21-year member of the Freemasons with the King David Lodge in Taunton; and a volunteer with the Annawon Council Pack 20 Cub Scouts and Boy Scouts. He strongly supported the Berwick Boys Foundation and Girl Scouts of Southeastern Mass. He enjoyed photography and spending time on his sailboat the “Edna May,” and was a gun enthusiast and a member of the NRA. Bob was especially happy spending time with his family and on the many adventures that family life took him.

Bob was predeceased by his sister Brenda (Bastarache) Raposa of Acushnet, Mass.  He is survived by his wife Holly A. (Melnik), and his children Cyrus, Abel, and Magdalene (Maggie) Bastarache, all of Middleboro, Mass. He is also survived by his sister, Lois (Bastarache) Longshaw and her husband Robert of Taunton, Mass. He leaves several sisters-in-law, brothers-in-law, nieces, nephews, and other extended family along with his companion pugs and puggle, Marco, Juliette, and Luna.

Bob’s family would like to thank the many extended family, friends, and acquaintances who have provided support. Thanks to all medical staff who were involved with his care, especially Dana Farber Cancer Institute, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, and South Coast VNA. An extra thanks also to the North Congregational Church of Middleborough, Mass.

A memorial visitation was held on December 31 at the North Congregational Church of Middleboro, Mass., and was followed by a funeral service.

Memorial gifts may be sent to either North Congregational Church of Middleboro, 38 Plymouth Street, Middleboro, Mass., 02346; or Berwick Boys Foundation, 335 West Street, West Bridgewater, Mass., 02379.

Information for this obituary is from the Dahlborg-MacNevin Funeral Home.

Robert (Bob) Bastarache