Avid golfer and belly laugher Robert “Bob” Torene died at the age of 85 on Sunday, February 26, 2023, having achieved his hole-in-one and surrounded by family. Bob leaves behind four children, four grandchildren, and a loving wife, predeceased by his ex-wife Zina Kuhn and infant son, Bradley.
Bob loved life, had a smile for everyone, and never met a problem or crisis he didn't deftly, confidently, and calmly handle.
Bob was born in Brooklyn, NY, to Thomas and Shirley Torene. He attended Tilden HS and graduated from Brooklyn College. He then moved to Washington, DC to start a career in government. Bob married his first wife, Zina, and had two daughters, Lisa and Melanie, while working at the Census Bureau and completing overseas assignments in Sierra Leone and Malawi. He returned to the US to the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve. The family then joined the Peace Corps in Cameroon. After Peace Corps he stayed and invested in and started a vegetable farm. After the farm adventure he returned to the U.S. and resumed working at the Census Bureau, where he led a team in providing weekly graphic highlights of government statistics releases to the White House. He moved on to start a Commodity Flow Survey, measuring the flow of shipments around the US. Lust for adventure came again when Bob and his second wife, Laurie, and their infant son, Spencer, took off for Bangladesh as advisors to the government statistics office. While there he introduced desktop computing for processing surveys, and facilitated establishing a five year combined population and economic census. After another daughter, Jillian, and nearly nine years, they returned to the US, whereupon Bob retired. He continued to work as a contractor to the Census Bureau's international training program and with USAID in several countries.
Bob lived in four foreign countries and worked in or visited over 30. Bob's clubs accompanied him wherever he went through all his travels, but retirement allowed him to finally play as much golf as he wanted. He developed health issues that cut short his golf career, but not before finally getting a long desired hole-in-one on Saturday, November 5, 2011 on the 12th hole at the Country Club at Woodmore with a 7-iron. Bucket list complete.
A man of many talents, he was renowned among the family for his cooking (c.f. that spaghetti sauce), carpentry, Mr. Fixit skills, and Trivial Pursuit prowess. Also known as a man who marched to the beat of his own drum, he constantly searched for spiritual truth and belief.
Bob was a loving son, husband, father, grandfather, uncle, and friend, who spread joy and encouragement wherever he went. We are better for having known him and aspire to pay forward his wonderful nature and humor, but his absence will be felt forever.