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Robert Lee Ney

October 18, 1929 January 21, 2023
Robert  Lee  Ney
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Obituary for Robert Lee Ney

Robert Lee Ney, age 93, passed peacefully on January 21, 2023. He transformed his life from uncertain beginnings in a small Massachusetts town to enjoy success as a Manhattan executive, enduring sportsman, and international traveler. Bob was known for his gregarious effect, making quick connections with others, and achieving career and lifestyle heights through determination and a charisma rooted in his Irish charm.



A Korean war veteran born October 18, 1929, to Thomas Francis and Mary “Baby Lee” (Hafey) Ney, Bob, a.k.a. “Bibber,” was the middle of three boys, raised in Attleboro, Massachusetts. His and his brothers’ distinguished careers in business and military service belied their depression era first-generation American beginnings. Honored as Attleboro High’s “Boy with the Best Line,” his geniality provided a natural path to an accomplished apparel sales career. His tenure in the garment business began with retail sales in Boston and concluded with a chairmanship at Outlander Sportswear in the heart of the New York garment district. In this role and others, he traveled extensively and originated profitable relationships with international partners.



Bob earned a bachelor’s degree from Boston University while working summers on Cape Cod, from which lifelong friendships were established. Sailing on the Cape later led to navigating the Connecticut coast in beloved “Phase I,” “Phase II” and “Phase II 1/2” sailboats. Skiing in Vermont was his winter recreation and he sailed and skied well into his later years. His athleticism and active constitution blessed him with many years of health and vitality.


From his marriage to Carol Wymelenberg of Milwaukee, in 1956, came his three children: Michael, Mary, and William “Billy.” In 1988, he married Sharon Watt, and, from a home base in California, he continued to enjoy athletic pursuits and passions for travel, riding his Harley, and raising golden retrievers.


Bob is predeceased by his parents, both wives, brother Edward “Eddie” Ney, and son Michael. He is survived by his daughter Mary (Eliot) Payson, son William (Linda) Ney, beloved grandchildren Caroline & Alexander Ney and Mariehelena & Liliana Payson, as well as brother Thomas (Ruth) Ney, stepsons Gregory and Christopher (Milda) Wilken, and great-grandchildren Teresa and Jonas.


Memorial services in Connecticut are to take place later this year. In consideration of Bob’s legacy, please contribute to your local pet rescue and adoption center in his memory.


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