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Robert Benou

August 25, 1934 ~ December 10, 2017 (age 83)

Robert Benou

August 25, 1934 - December 10, 2017 

Robert Benou dared greatly, overcoming adversity to create a life of exuberant vitality.  Born in Alexandria, Egypt, Robert experienced a childhood without his mother who died when Robert was seven years old.  With his older brother Raymond, Robert was sent to Victoria College at the age of eight. Seeking refuge from the fraught nature of boarding school life Robert found solace in his studies and sailing the Mediterranean as part of the Sea Scouts. By the age of fourteen, he would be named the school's Head Prefect.  Later, while working for his father, Robert was cast into exile amidst the Suez Crisis.  Thus, at twenty two, Robert found himself a stateless person in Rome with no funds or connections. But thanks to his ingenuity and resourcefulness, Robert navigated these circumstances, learning Italian, and crafting various opportunities to survive and indeed thrive. Paramount among Robert's extraordinary achievements during this chapter of his life was courting and marrying the woman who would become his life partner, Gurli.

Indeed, Robert had met a soulmate who would cast her fortunes with a man of no nationality and no immediate prospects.  Robert and Gurli emigrated to the United States in 1958, first living in Newark where Robert pursued a degree in electrical engineering. He went on to start a business that for the next 40 years would produce advanced electronic communication and guidances components in defense of his adopted country. He traveled the world, formed profound friendships and gave generously of his time, immense talent, and boundless affection for those he loved.  Robert is survived by his wife Gurli, his brother Raymond, daughters Dina Stellwagen and Denise Benou Stires, his son Marc Benou, grandchildren Morgan, Campbelle, Hunter, Caroline, and Libby.  Robert was laid to rest in a private service on December 12th.  A celebration of Robert’s life will take place in January.

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