Robert “Opa” Vayo, 94

AUBURN — Robert H. “Opa” Vayo, 94, of Auburn, died peacefully at the Lutheran Home on October 18, surrounded by family.

He is survived by six children; sons, Richard of Cincinnati, OH, Stephen and his wife Patricia of North Grafton, Robert of Grafton, Gerald and his wife Karen of Leicester, daughters Linda Rodger and her husband Richard of Auburn, and Janice Goodwin and her husband Jeffrey of Sutton, a sister Norma Candela and sister-in law Jean Vayo. He also leaves behind 20 grandchildren, 27 great grandchildren and many nieces and nephews. Opa was predeceased by his wife Dorothy, daughter Karen Young, brothers Charles and David, a sister Alice Turner, a daughter-in-law Barbara Vayo, and a granddaughter Marie Young.

He was born in Worcester, son of the late Leon and Helen (Ploch) Vayo. He owned and operated Quik Deliveries for 28 years, retiring in 1984. He and Dorothy enjoyed spending the winter months in Florida, Myrtle Beach and other warmer locations. He was a life member of the Auburn Elks Lodge, American Legion, Veterans of Foreign Wars, as well as an honorary member of the Worcester Polish American Veterans Club.

He especially enjoyed spending time with family and friends; often providing his unique opinions on current events. Although his physical health was declining the last several years, he always maintained a sharp wit, of which his family and friends were so grateful.

He proudly served his country in the U.S. Navy during two tours of duty. He enlisted days prior to his 18th birthday during World War II, and was aboard the USS John Penn which participated in the invasion of North Africa and then 2 years in the Pacific. After this ship was sunk during the battle of Guadalcanal he served aboard the USS Titania. Luckily when the John Penn was sunk, he was stationed on the Russell Islands assisting the Seabees building a forward supply base. He reenlisted during the Korean Conflict and was assigned to the USS Stormes.

The family wishes to thank the many caregivers over the years that were instrumental in allowing him the ability to remain in his own home; and the caring staff at Lutheran Home where he spent his final days. He truly appreciated all of the love and assistance he received. Calling hours will be Wednesday, October 24 from 3 – 5 p.m. at Britton Funeral Home in Auburn, followed by a brief service at 5:30 p.m. Burial will be private in Hillside Cemetery, Auburn. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to First Congregational Church Memorial Fund, 128 Central St Auburn, MA 01501, or the Elder Services of Worcester Area Inc, 67 Millbrook St. Suite 100, Worcester, MA 01606.

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