Robert M. Sontheimer
Sunapee, N.H. — Robert M. Sontheimer of Sunapee, formerly of Belmont, Mass. passed away peacefully at his home on Saturday, May 11, 2013. He was 72 years old.
Born in New York City, Bob was the son of Frederick and Lucille Sontheimer and was the oldest of four children. He attended James Monroe High School in the Bronx, where he was fast-tracked to graduate at age 16. A skilled athlete, Bob played baseball and was invited by the Brooklyn Dodgers to tryout as a pitcher in 1957. After high school, he completed postgraduate studies at The Dwight School before attending the Naval Academy from 1958-1962.
While at the Academy, Bob continued to pitch for Navy. He was an accomplished musician and member of the Drum and Bugle Corps, as well as percussionist for the Navy Dance Band. In his senior year he was named one of 24 outstanding midshipmen commended for leadership. Post graduation, Bob entered Admiral Rickover’s nuclear submarine program and remained in the Navy from 1962-1968. During his naval career, Bob served on the USS Stonewall Jackson and the USS von Steuben as both a nuclear power officer and a nuclear weapons officer based out of Charleston, S.C. and Honolulu, Hawaii.
Bob received his M.B.A. in 1971 and was named a Baker Scholar by the Harvard Business School. He was invited to Washington, D.C. to work for the Wage and Price Commission for one year. In 1972, he founded Resource Planning Associates, an environmental and natural resource management consulting firm. For the next 13 years, Bob grew the business from a small consultancy in Cambridge, Mass. to an international presence. For the remainder of his career, he continued to consult independently in business redesign and health care management and sat on the boards of several companies.
Bob lived in Belmont, Mass. for 33 years where he was an active member of the First Church in Belmont, Unitarian Universalist. Throughout his life, Bob continued his love of jazz and classical music, playing percussion and timpani for 25 years for the church. Bob was also an avid runner. He completed the Boston Marathon twice, including the Bicentennial, and the Marine Corps Marathon in 1980. He continued to run daily throughout most of his life.
Bob was most proud of his family and he will be greatly missed by all. He is survived by his wife of 32 years, Frances Harris; his children, Anne King, Jane Sullivan, and David Sontheimer; his grandchildren, Clara and Caitlin King; his three sisters, Nancy Pence, Laura Feldman and Joanne Merrill; and 13 nieces and nephews.
Burial will be private. All are welcome to a Memorial Service celebrating Bob’s life, on Saturday, May 18 at 11 a.m., to be held at the First Church in Belmont, Unitarian Universalist, 404 Concord Avenue.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in Bob’s name to the U.S. Naval Academy Drum and Bugle Corps, Alumni Hall, 675 Decatur Road, Annapolis, MD 21402-5086; The U.S. Naval Academy Friends of the Jewish Chapel, 326 First Street, Suite 22, Annapolis, MD 21403; The First Church in Belmont, Unitarian Universalist, P.O. Box 113, Belmont, MA 02478.
Chadwick Funeral Service of New London, N.H. is assisting the family with arrangements.