ForeverMissed
Robert  (Bob)  Fiorenza, passed away on Saturday, November 5, 2022. He had a full life and continued to live actively in the face of Parkinson's disease up until his final days.  When he died, he was surrounded by his wife, his four children, their spouses, and all nine of his grandchildren.

Memorial Video (thanks to Matthew Leach) Funeral Mass:  10 AM,   November 12th       St Anthony Church 

Funeral Mass recording
Zoom link
Passcode: 6$aPeB52

Memorial donations can be made in Bob's name to:

Christ the King School, Burlington 
 
https://cksvt.org/fiorenza


Stark Mountain Foundation
http://weblink.donorperfect.com/smfappeal2022fiore...
or
Stark Mountain Foundation
for benefit of Mad River Glen Volunteer Ski Patrol
PO Box 1221, Waitsfield, VT 05673  

For further information contact:
Elmwood-Meunier Funeral & Cremation Center
97 Elmwood Ave, Burlington, VT 05401 (802) 864-5682
https://www.elmwoodmeunier.net/
November 25, 2022
November 25, 2022
  When my son married Monica Fiorenza, I became a member of the family. No family could have been more welcoming. A tight knit family everyone joined together for birthdays, Christenings, Christmas and Easter. I became another cherished member of the family.
    Bob and Ann were there at every gathering. Bob would take pictures and pummel my son with questions. He was always curious. It was fascinating to hear that Ann had taken up becoming a pilot when she and Bob married, and they had flown many places together on their honeymoon.
    Parkinsons never controlled Bob. He lived as independently as he could with determination and no complaining. The accolade Paul gave to him at his eulogy expressed how all the family felt. He was a remarkable person and will be missed by many.
November 22, 2022
November 22, 2022
As a kid, i grew up on South Cove rode, where Bob and Ann were like additional parents to me. Only in the last year have i realized how valuable this was in my entire life. Bob’s never ending curiosity and drive, and amazing projects inspired us. I also had the pleasure to work at IBM and i learned to value and treasure Wild Ducks. i treasured Bob. I hope he is in a better place now and no longer suffering.. and hopefully planning a heavenly ski day with Rudy..
My condolences to Ann and the children. All the best.

  Sincerely.   - Stephen Strebel
November 18, 2022
November 18, 2022
I met Bob as I did aircraft maintenance and inspections spare time for over 40 years. I also worked and retired from IBM and we had many great conversations. He was articulate and professional. He asked me to oversee the maintenance on the plane he was in partnership with several other IBMers. It was a fun and easy task as Bob always was on top of any issues and proactive in the maintenance regimen. I was saddened to see of his passing. My sincere condolences to the family.
November 12, 2022
November 12, 2022
Although I have not been active with the MRG ski patrol for about the last 10 years I still keep in touch with many active patrollers. Like all of you I remember Bob and all the things he did for the patrol. When I think back on our years skiing together, I realize how good they were and I have many fond memories. Ann, I can still see Bob on the hill, I know you must too.
My wife, Irene, and I send our condolences to you, Paul & John. Bob will be remembered as a dedicated patroller, skier and friend he was. You are in our thoughts; safe passage. Carl 
November 12, 2022
November 12, 2022
I am so sorry to hear that Bob has passed. I first met Bob while working with Jim Schumachder and Bob in East Fishkill back in the early 1970's.  Jim and I had missed out flight back to Burlington and Bob offered to fly us up.  So we all piled into his Airplane and Bob called for clearance before checking out the plane.  The engine was all raved up and Bob checked out the Mags. Ops, one meg was dead and the control tower called out "are you guys going or not".  Needless to say Jim and I drove to Burlington.



Bob later moved to Burlington but our jobs took us in different directions. Last time I saw Bob was about 10 years ago at the Burlington Airport while I was waiting for our daughter flying in from Colorado.



Not long ago I said to Jim we should look Bob up for a reunion about our good times in the 70's. Lesson here is don't put off seeing old friends, next news from them might be in the obituary. So sorry to hear of Bob's passing.
November 12, 2022
November 12, 2022
We are so sorry to learn of Bob's passing, and appreciate so much John's call. Dick and I both have many wonderful memories of our flying days and times spent with Ann and Bob and the family.

Bob taught taught me to fly in 1973 at Dutchess Country Airport when he, Dick and Bill Druschel were partners in Piper Comanche N8190Pop.
Happy times they were! Bob was a good friend as well as instructor. His encouragement, skill and enthusiasm enabled many to "get their wings", free of charge, and I will always be grateful for having been one of them! He was a good guy who has left a wonderful legacy, and he will always be remembered! 


November 12, 2022
November 12, 2022
It was the beginning of August in 1967 that Bob got his instructor rating and took me on as his first student. Clearly he was as dedicated in teaching as I was in learning. My logbook shows between 1.5 and 2.7 hours of flying each night and in two weeks time I was signed off for solo cross country flight. What a teacher. Four Months later I was fully licensed as a Private Pilot.

Only a year after that he had me as a partner in his Comanche N8190P. Since we were flying so much, it became obvious that as two single guys it would be more efficient if we found an apartment closer to the airport and big enough that we would not get in each others way. And so we did. Less than 1/2 mile from the end of Runway 24.

Bob not only pushed me for more ratings (Instruments, Commercial) but he went on to collect just about every possible license endorsement that would fit on the license. (By now he had a bevy of students at all levels and was teaching almost every night...except for the times we had to do some sort of maintenance under Bill Druschel's watchful eye as the A&P licensed mechanic)

Best story of all: Bob was an Usher when Melissa and I got married that 2nd of April 1971. the wedding was not until the afternoon so that morning he and I did a bunch of practice instrument approaches at Binghamton Airport including missed approaches and holding patterns. Back at work folks said 'On your wedding day?' Yep. What else were you going to do on a beautiful clear day.

Bob tried many times to get me interested in skiing but that bug never bit me, He was every bit as involved, enthused and dedicated to skiing as he was to flying.  Mad River Glen? and on the ski patrol? This is not for everyone, but he always had the passion to be the best he could be at everything he tried.

Bob moved out when he and Ann got married and, I still being single, was a guest for dinner many times. Perhaps an unwelcome guest the one time we used Ann's oven to bake some aircraft cylinders that had been just repainted. Not sure I was ever forgiven for being a part of that.

And now I mention his greatest passion and that was the love and pride he had with his family. Each time we talked a major part of the conversation was about Paul, Jim, Monica and John. What they were doing and what they accomplished. And accomplished you are! Obviously inheriting the spirit and enthusiasm their Father had and clearly a passion for their respective careers. 

I was saddened when learning his flying and skiing came to an end. In the past few years we lost touch as too frequently happens as age creeps up on us. Why? Was Burlington so far away that I could not get there? Did I forget how to use the telephone? Now the stark reality is that it is too late.

Ann, my thoughts and wishes are with you; you and Bob were a big part of those early years of my life and I treasure all of those memories. Happy for a life well lived, happy for how you both influenced my life and saddened by the loss of a very close friend.

Paul, Jim, Monica and John; you can know that your father had touched so many people positively and his spirit helped them have fuller lives. I know how you are experiencing the loss, but trust that memories of your father will be with you all of your lives and always a guiding influence.

In all sincerity and sadness that I could not be with you this morning.

Dick Kraycir
November 11, 2022
November 11, 2022
Bob and I met in the late 60s-Early 70s as IBM managers during the days of the Automated Air Track semiconductor Alpha Line design and install. His intelligence and willingness to cooperate/modify the strategy for equipment/airtrack installation made for a good working relationship. he shifted willingly from the use of hard wired control logic and data collection to software and computers using Burlington software courtesy of George Leonovich and Morris Grove. A true professional and a true gentleman who is truly missed. Jim Schumacher
November 11, 2022
November 11, 2022
My deepest condolences to Ann and family.
Bob was passionate about MIT and brought many of students to IBM as part of the coop program. Not only did he ensure we had great opportunities to learn engineering, he also shared your his family as part of dinner at your house. He also introduced most of us to water skiing.
He will be missed by all those he touched.
November 11, 2022
November 11, 2022
I was one of the many that Bob taught to fly. I was but 16, a CAP cadet, and he would meet me at 6am most mornings to fly N5121F, the CAP aircraft in Burlington.  

I fondly remember during final approach hearing “geeeze! …watch your airspeed” many times. 

He was a true aviator and his willingness to teach anyone — for no charge — is a testament to his commitment to aviation and to those, like me, whom he taught.

My relationship with Bob continued beyond that as I was often tapped as unskilled labor to help perform maintenance and inspections of CAP aircraft.  I remember being taught by Bob how to grease wheel bearings — in cold hangars with Bob and Jeff Gear, the latter complaining bitterly about the cold. I learned a great deal including about how cold a concrete floor can be in the dead of winter. Again, endless dedication exhibited by Bob.

I did get to know Bob’s family, especially during my college years. I am not sure if he knew it but decades later after I had kids that he and his skiing family were my inspiration to become a ski patroller — first at Labrador Mountain and then, for 23 years to date, at Smugglers Notch.

What he taught me most was humanity and dedication, and I will be forever in his debt. 

I am so fortunate to have had him in my life.

Jeff Spencer

November 11, 2022
November 11, 2022
I remember working with Bob at IBM, such a nice man. So sorry for your loss.

Mary Ellen
November 11, 2022
November 11, 2022
My condolences to the family.

At the first meeting I attended in Civil Air Patrol, I was fascinated with the indepth report the Colonel gave. In the meetings that followed he explained things so well, had great patience when members had questions, delivered and received constructive criticism in a way that I'd never seen. He made sure he understood others and that they understood him. It was an art. I soon realized it was not just CAP training but a reall love for what he did. I will miss him.
November 10, 2022
November 10, 2022
I met Col. Fiorenza / Bob through the Civil Air Patrol. I truly enjoyed his mentorship and guidance in all things CAP and aviation. I also enjoyed his stories of past missions, Oshkosh, and his time flying to Gander, Newfoundland (CYQX) where I grew up. Bob was a gentle and detailed gentleman who kept us safe and professional aviators. I will miss seeing him at CAP, and extend my condolences to your family. Sincerely, Capt. Bryan Holland, Vermont Wing - CAP.
November 10, 2022
November 10, 2022
Bob was larger than life. He was an amazing mentor who found a balance between work and fun. We worked together fixing airplanes, balanced with time flying and water skiing. I learned a lot from him. My deepest condolences to his family.
November 10, 2022
November 10, 2022
I have such wonderful memories of skiing at Mad River with Bob through my medical years and beyond as well as time being on the boat and learning to get up on a single water ski while listening to John Denver. He was so happy to share his knowledge of his hobbies and skills and to learn from those around him. He cared so much for his wonderful family and everyone around them. I feel so fortunate to have gotten to know him over the years. I hope to be able to attend the services this weekend, but am supposed to be on call and in the office in NH. Know that my prayers are with you all if I can't be there in person.
November 10, 2022
November 10, 2022
Dear Ann,
Peter and I were so sorry to hear of Bob's passing. What a beautiful life you shared. We regret that we are not in Burlington to attend his funeral mass, but our prayers are with you and your family at this time.
Peace and blessings,
Linda

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Recent Tributes
November 25, 2022
November 25, 2022
  When my son married Monica Fiorenza, I became a member of the family. No family could have been more welcoming. A tight knit family everyone joined together for birthdays, Christenings, Christmas and Easter. I became another cherished member of the family.
    Bob and Ann were there at every gathering. Bob would take pictures and pummel my son with questions. He was always curious. It was fascinating to hear that Ann had taken up becoming a pilot when she and Bob married, and they had flown many places together on their honeymoon.
    Parkinsons never controlled Bob. He lived as independently as he could with determination and no complaining. The accolade Paul gave to him at his eulogy expressed how all the family felt. He was a remarkable person and will be missed by many.
November 22, 2022
November 22, 2022
As a kid, i grew up on South Cove rode, where Bob and Ann were like additional parents to me. Only in the last year have i realized how valuable this was in my entire life. Bob’s never ending curiosity and drive, and amazing projects inspired us. I also had the pleasure to work at IBM and i learned to value and treasure Wild Ducks. i treasured Bob. I hope he is in a better place now and no longer suffering.. and hopefully planning a heavenly ski day with Rudy..
My condolences to Ann and the children. All the best.

  Sincerely.   - Stephen Strebel
November 18, 2022
November 18, 2022
I met Bob as I did aircraft maintenance and inspections spare time for over 40 years. I also worked and retired from IBM and we had many great conversations. He was articulate and professional. He asked me to oversee the maintenance on the plane he was in partnership with several other IBMers. It was a fun and easy task as Bob always was on top of any issues and proactive in the maintenance regimen. I was saddened to see of his passing. My sincere condolences to the family.
His Life

Biography

Robert  (Bob)  Fiorenza passed away on Saturday, November 5, 2022. He had a full life and continued to live actively in the face of Parkinson's disease up until his final days.  When he died, he was surrounded by his wife, his four children, their spouses and all nine of his grandchildren.

Our husband, father, father-in-law and grandfather lead a fascinating and blessed life.

Bob was born and raised in the Bronx, New York, the single son of George N. and T. Katherine (Armeny) Fiorenza. Both of his parents had professional careers, so he spent his summers at his maternal grandmother’s house on Candlewood Lake, Connecticut under the care of his grandmother and Aunt Marie. He spent long summers swimming, waterskiing, fixing boat engines and taking care of his pet ducks, Jennifer and Gertrude.  When he was five years old, he met his future wife, Ann Belanger, who lived nearby. He attended All Hallows School, Bronx, NY, and Xavier High School, Manhattan, NY. He excelled academically in things he thought were important, like math, and did not excel in “unimportant things”, like Latin.  

From an early age, Bob displayed a core characteristic that guided his life. He decided for himself what was important and focused on those topics without getting too distracted by topics that the world thought were important.  

At his mother’s urging, Bob applied to many top universities, but the school he really cared about was MIT. He enrolled there in 1958, studied Course VI (Electrical Engineering) and graduated in 1962. His time at MIT was focused on his studies, but he left plenty of room for other things that were important. He spent vast amounts of time at the MIT Sailing Pavilion on the Charles River, where he became a Bosun, the highest level of sailing proficiency, authority and responsibility. He was also active in the model railroad club. He lived in the East Campus dorm, where he met students who were making an early computer program to play chess (Alex Kotok and others). At the end of the semester, the chess programming team had extra computer time and they decided to blow it on a single game (as opposed to individual chess moves). We believe he was the first person in history to play a full game of chess against the first credible computer chess program (the Kotok-McCarthy Program). 

Bob joined IBM in 1962 and worked there for 40 years, first in East Fishkill NY and later in Burlington VT. He started his career as a test engineer and made one of the first systems to test computer chips for the System 360/91 mainframe, a model that was later installed at the NASA Goddard Space Flight center. He later built a team to develop an electron-beam lithography system to replace the conventional optical lithography systems. The e-beam system was ahead of its time in the 1970s and still is ahead of its time today. He was involved in the development of the original IBM PC. A good part of his career was also focused on managing a group that designed DIMMs for IBM DRAM. He played an active and enthusiastic role in recruiting new engineers for IBM. Many of the engineers he recruited went on to have long careers as engineers or managers in the semiconductor industry, even advancing to the CEO level. For more than 20 years he made an annual trip to MIT to recruit students for the VI-A internship program, many of whom came to Vermont for the summer.

Bob was dedicated to his job, but he didn’t let this interfere with what he knew was also important: flying airplanes, fixing airplanes, snow skiing and waterskiing. He pursued these activities with a zeal that is only seen in true believers in a cause. In 1975, he moved to Burlington, VT as the perfect place to focus on these important activities of life.  

He was an avid pilot, instructor pilot and airplane owner.  He owned a single engine Piper Comanche with several partners who became his close friends.  The plane number was N1VT and he would sometimes be mistaken for the Governor. Governor Snelling tried to buy the number from him and his partners, but they declined. Much of his work with airplanes was done as a volunteer for the Vermont Civil Air Patrol. He became an FAA-certified Airframe and PowerPlant Mechanic to avoid the hassle of needing to get an inspector to inspect the CAP planes. The FAA mechanic certification is an accomplishment rarely achieved by a non-professional mechanic and he scored 100% on the written exam. As part of the CAP, he occasionally woke up in the middle of the night to join other members of the CAP to search for an airplane that had crashed in the mountains of Vermont. He saved one person’s life when a seaplane flipped over on a cold day in Malletts Bay. Seeing this from the shore, he commandeered a boat, located a drowning woman and revived her with CPR. 

For 50 years he was a volunteer member of the Mad River Glen Ski Patrol. He skied virtually every weekend of every winter between about 1970 and about 2018.  He was a National Ski Patrol Senior Patroller, Senior Ski & Toboggan Instructor, Senior Outdoor Emergency Care Instructor as well as serving as the Southern Section Chief of the NSP Northern Vermont region. Eventually, he was awarded a national NSP appointment to recognize his contributions to patrolling. He also specialized in fixing the patrol’s radios.

Bob built a strong family that became central to his life. He courted his neighbor at Candlewood Lake, Ann Belanger, from the time he was five years old until they were married 24 years later on July 19, 1969. They were married at St Joseph’s Church in Brookfield, Connecticut, and set off on their honeymoon the next day. Of course, they headed straight to the airport and climbed into Bob’s plane to fly to the Virgin Islands, and then to British Columbia on a three-week trip. During the initial take-off, they could hear the radio communication between the Apollo 11 astronauts and the ground station as part of the first moon landing in history. Naturally, that mission was enabled by the IBM mainframes that Bob had helped to build.  

Over the following years, Bob and Ann built their family together. They moved to Vermont and had a house built in Burlington, one block from Lake Champlain. They were blessed with five children, Paul, Jim, Monica, John and Mary. Sadly, Mary died at birth and her parents always kept her memory in their hearts. Paul, Jim, Monica and John enjoyed an incredible childhood trying to keep up with their father and his hobbies.  The home did not have a television, leaving plenty of time for other things. They skied as a family every weekend in the winter at Mad River Glen; no other activities were permitted during the winter. They enjoyed many summer days waterskiing on Lake Champlain, the Waterbury Reservoir, Lake Iroquois and Candlewood Lake, always searching for smooth water and an open slalom course. They took many trips in N1VT, all packed into the small cockpit for a week trip to Cape Hatteras, North Carolina or day trips to Nantucket, or epic flights to Disneyworld in Florida (where Bob admired the Disney engineering). The fun even had a soundtrack: ABBA, John Denver, Ann Murray and the National Weather Service were the only things worth listening to.  

Bob retired in 2002 and spent his retirement doing the same hobbies: flying, fixing airplanes, skiing, and waterskiing. The children eventually grew up and moved away, some near and some far. However, a yearly vacation continued, to Cape Hatteras or to Candlewood, and the kids often met him to ski or to water ski. Soon the grandchildren started showing up, eventually nine in all including two boys and seven girls. He enthusiastically shared his passions with his grandchildren and they are well on their way to becoming excellent skiers and waterskiers (or wake surfers), and engineers. One of the highlights of his retirement was the month-long trip that Ann and Bob took in their own airplane from Burlington to Alaska and back. Bob’s Parkinson’s slowed him down somewhat, but he focused on managing the disease with the same zeal as if it was another hobby, and he enjoyed his life until the end.    

Bob was a man of strong faith throughout his life. He was a committed member of the Catholic Church. He was a parishioner at Christ the King Parish, in Burlington, VT for 50 years. He sat in the front row. He was not preachy, but he made up for this with an absolute certainty of faith. He took several trips to visit the pilgrimage site in Medjugorje, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and to the Holy Land. He got to know a number of the priests at Christ the King and in the Burlington area, including Fr. Daniel Rupp, Fr. Justin Baker and Monsignor John Mcdermott. For a year, he and Ann hosted Giang Vu, a seminarian from Vietnam. Bob taught Giang to drive and included him in the family as a son. With Giang’s encouragement, Bob joined the Saint John Vianney Council of the Knights of Columbus.

Looking back, we believe that Bob led a very successful life. What was his secret? He intuitively knew some things that maybe we can all learn from in our attempts to live well. 1) As things came into his life, he decide for himself what was important; 2) He focused on the important things without worrying too much about what other people believed he should focus on; 3) He got deeply involved with and made contributions to organizations that he believed in; 4) He had faith, he didn’t  worry about the future, he didn’t worry about the past, and he focused on the present because there were so many interesting things to do. And that made for a great life.

As we said, our husband, father, father-in-law and grandfather lead a fascinating and blessed life. He had a truly unique view of the world, he made an impact on so many people and he will be greatly, greatly missed.

Bob was predeceased by his Parents and his daughter Mary. He is survived by his wife Ann, their children Paul (Jennifer Galster) of Oakton, VA, James (Kimberly Tresch) of Carlisle, MA, Monica (Gregory McCormick) of Hinesburg, VT and John (Juliana Kaminome) of Carlisle, MA, and by their grandchildren, Nicholas Fiorenza, Matthew Fiorenza, Katherine Fiorenza, Sophia Fiorenza, Fiona McCormick, Charlotte Fiorenza, Mattea McCormick, Celia McCormick and Mariana Fiorenza.




Speech at Funeral

My name is Paul, Bob and Ann's eldest child, and its my honor to take a few minutes to discuss my father’s legacy on behalf of our family.  
I wear this uniform to honor my father who was foundational to my career, We were blessed to have my dad present for my retirement ceremony last month, so I wear this uniform one last time in his honor. 
Each of us has had a different experience and has viewed and interacted and existed with my father from a slightly different vantage point.  So I don’t believe it’s possible to address all of this complexity standing here today. 
The only thing I can do is talk about his legacy based on my experience with my Father as Dad, flight instructor, ski instructor, and life instructor. 
And so I think his legacy comes down to this.  He was a Teacher, and a man of deep faith. He married a teacher, and they supported each other for 53 years marriage. 
He developed deep interests in many topics, but the thing that gave him the most joy was the opportunity to share his love of these activities with other people.  He was a man of faith; faith in a religious sense, but also faith in the choices he made in his life, and faith in the people that he surrounded himself with.
My dad was a man on a mission.  Whether it be his time at MIT, or at  IBM.  Or his time working with the Civil Air Patrol, Mad River  Ski Patrol and first aid,  or his activity with the Catholic Church, and the Vietnamese community in Vermont, he spent his life doing things, and learning, and teaching.  He impacted so many people with diverse backgrounds and interests. 
He loved each of these activities and he loved the people he interacted with.  He loved engineering, and flying, and fixing airplanes and cars and boats, and skiing, and water skiing, and the institution and people that make up the Catholic Church.  
But most of all, he loved teaching about these things.   Teaching was a way for him to experience the richness of life that came from God.  It was through his sharing of knowledge with others that he was able to reconcile his spiritual-intellectual curiosity with his deep understanding of math and physics and the physical world.
Teaching English and local culture to Giang,a new Catholic Seminarian from Vietnam,  teaching kids and grandkids skiing, teaching mom how to fly, me how to fly, teaching 100s of others how to fly, always for free, teaching mechanic skills and first aid skills, teaching waterskiing to anyone who dared step onto his boat
Growing up in the rich environment that my Dad created had an incredible impact on me and my siblings and taught us an appreciation for a job well done, and lifelong hobbies, and a unique perspective of endless possibilities, if you just got up every morning and took action. 
This was a man who would get up every weekend morning before everyone else so that we could race out the door to go skiing by precisely 6:45. And if it snowed we'd get up 30 minutes earlier to shovel the driveway and race through the darkness in our old red suburban to make it to the ski area before first light. 
In the summer we'd all be up at first light to make it onto the lake before anyone else, because that's when the water is calmest for waterskiing. 
And we'd take our annual camping pilgrimage to Cape Hatteras North Carolina, to the same beach year after year because that's where he calculated there was the warmest water and best surfing waves on the East Coast.  
When I was older and I started flying more with my dad, again, we'd race out of the house at first light to go to the airport, and I'd check the weather and file the flight plan, and then he would say "you know, we really should change the oil" or "let's just fix a few of those old rivets first". Eventually, we'd go flying and it was perfect.  He knew every bolt and screw and cable was just right.  And he was flying with his son. And I was flying with my dad, my teacher. 
The thread through all of this was his deep spirituality and his Catholic faith.  He believed in and practiced the teaching of the Church.  He went to church weekly, sat in the front row, and made friends with many priests including Fr. Daniel Rupp, Fr. Justin Baker and Monsignor John Mcdermott, Monsignor Roland Revard, Monsignor John Fradet.
My Dad was always interested, sometimes without filter, of engaging in conversation about politics and religion.  He was not judgmental in any way, it’s just that he was curious to understand how others could reconcile the miracles and mysteries of life.  Therefore my dad had an extremely diverse group of friends that he respected.  And he loved spending time with all of the characters from the Ski Patrol and Civil Air Patrol, and the Catholic community, and of course, his family. 
It is only recently that I have come to better understand how his teaching has impacted and inspired others.  My dad had a special way to not just teach skills, but also how and why things worked in a certain way.  Again, there was a measure of spirituality in his interactions with people because I believe he saw teaching and sharing his skills and knowledge as a testament to the greatness and wonder of the physical world that came as a gift from God. 
I will close with one short example of this approach where he was teaching on multiple levels at the same time.  Over twenty years ago he had a new flight student that he knew fairly well, and of course, they had engaged in discussions about politics and religion.  It's fair to say his student had a different view of religion, which my dad certainly accepted, but was always a bit curious about. 
So during a training flight early in the program they set up a practice stall where the aircraft would be slowed to the point where it would no longer have lift. Now, when executed correctly the maneuver is fairly mild with a minimum loss of altitude.  This particular stall did not work out so well and the aircraft rolled and entered a dive towards the ground.  The student didn't know how to react and became concerned when Dad simply sat there and watched with his hands in his lap.  As the aircraft continued to spiral to the ground my dad calmly said "if God wants us to fly, we will fly
Now, this did nothing to reassure his new student. As the ground grew closer and the student became more concerned, with just a slight smile my dad said "push the stick forward". God smiled, and the aircraft flew again. 
So, dad, may you rest in peace knowing that your legacy echoes through the generations, through your four children and nine grand children, and family, and all those who you have instructed about the incredible beauty of our world. 
As you've been promoted from this earth to a heavenly place may you always have fair winds and blue skies, smooth water and knee deep powder. With God as your waterski boat safety spotter and your aircraft copilot, may you soar with the angels and know that you have influenced  us all deeply and that we all love you. 
Recent stories

Thanks Bob!

November 13, 2022
Thanks for taking me in, welcoming me to your wonderful family, on my first summer, away from home, away from my twin, as I was an intern at IBM. I have precious memories of those summers in Burlington, of Bob as a Mentor, Teacher and his infectious curiosity. In one case, he watched me eat corn on the cob, like a typewriter, and was amazed that my twin did the same thing. Bob, you were a wonderful person, touching everyone who knew you. May the memories ease the loss. My deepest condolences to the Fiorenza family. Virtual Hugs to you all. Alice

You turkey!!

November 10, 2022
To say Bob was influential to me wouldn't be close to correct. As I got to know him at the CAP I realized that he was a rare man. A man of intellect and true values but with a dry wit which I loved to poke at. He enlisted my help with the airplanes, seemingly always in the winter in the freezing unheated hangers, which seemed to delight him as I complained bitterly. I got know his crew and came to realize nothing was more important to him. Ann and the kids were always so open and supportive if maybe not completely understanding me since I am pretty much the polar (pun intended) opposite of Bob. 
But we did good work together and I learned countless new things with him, not the least of which was what it meant to be a good person.
I will always miss him and remember fondly (mostly) his buzzing rejoinder at my endless whining about the cold, YOU TURKEY!!

Thank you for your mentorship sir.

November 9, 2022
I met Col. Fiorenza / Bob through the Civil Air Patrol. I truly enjoyed his mentorship and guidance in all things CAP and aviation. I also enjoyed his stories of past missions, Oshkosh, and his time flying to Gander, Newfoundland (CYQX) where I grew up. Bob was a gentle and detailed gentleman who kept us safe and professional aviators. I will miss seeing him at CAP, and extend my condolences to your family. Sincerely, Capt. Bryan Holland, Vermont Wing - CAP.

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