Robert Whitford is being posthumously inducted in to the Hall of Fame for his dedication to the youth of the city through his volunteering in athletics and for his memberships in several civic organizations.
Robert is known as “Bobby” or “Wimpy”. He went to elementary school at St. Joseph’s in Rensselaer and graduated from Rensselaer Jr-Sr High School in 1982. Bobby excelled in sports while in high school, especially football and baseball but he also played basketball, being named team captain many times. After high school, Bobby attended Hudson Valley Community College for a year.
Bobby had a career as a Correction Officer for 22 years at Coxsackie Correctional Facility. Bobby’s community service coaching Rensselaer’s youth began in 1985 and continued to his death in 2010. For 22 years he was head coach or assistant coach for Rensselaer Pop Warner from 1985-2007. During this time, he also managed or coached Little League, and was President for 4 years. He was involved in the City Youth Bureau for 11 years and was Board Chairperson from 1992-1994. He also coached CYO basketball for 3 years and Castleton Youth Soccer for 2 years.
Bobby didn’t only volunteer for athletics. He was a 25-year member of the E.F. Hart Hose Fire Company, and a 16-year member and officer of the Leonardo DaVinci Lodge. Bobby also belonged to the Eagles Club from 2007-2010 and the Van Rensselaer Elementary PTA for 6 years.
Bobby was well known thorough Rensselaer and loved by many. He passed away in 2010 at the young age of 46. He left behind his wife Suzanne and 2 sons, Anthony and Nickolas, who nominated him. A Memorial Scholarship in his name has been established and has assisted 11 students so far. His family still lives in Rensselaer.