Robert Bertrum Dornfried Sr., 86, of Kensington, loving husband of Margaret Ann (Creamer) Dornfried, passed away peacefully early Saturday morning. Born in New Britain, son of the late Joseph and the late Pauline (Meyer) Dornfried, he lived his whole life in Kensington where he graduated from Berlin High School in 1949. He served in the U.S. Army in Korea in combat with the 3rd Infantry Division as a machine gunner and Machine Gun Squad Leader seeing action at Chorwon Valley and Outpost Harry. He received the Good Conduct Medal, United Nations Service Medal, National Defense, Korean Service with two stars, Combat Infantry Badge, and a Bronze Star. After his return from Korea, Bob began his career as a carpenter and started his business, Dornfried Builders, and his reputation for hard work was well known. He served on the Berlin Veterans’ Commission and the Selective Service Board. A regular blood donor, he donated 17 gallons of blood, and volunteered for the Red Cross as a driver, and for 18 years at The Hospital of Central Connecticut as an escort where he was recognized as Volunteer of the Year. A proud member of the Berlin Lions Club for 44 years, he served as Club President, Fair Chairman, and Memorial Pool President. One of his greatest joys was as superintendent of the cattle building at the fair. He was named a Knight of the Blind, and received the highest recognition awarded to Lions members, The Melvin Jones Award. A true patriot, Bob was a charter member of VFW Post No. 10732 serving as Quartermaster and nine years as Commander, and was a member of the Outpost Harry Survivors Association, attending many reunions with his former brothers in arms. Although not Italian, he was an active member of the Berlin Italian Political Independent Club where he could often be found enjoying a game of cards, served on the Board of Directors, worked on the bocce courts, and the club addition, and in 1996 was named Man of the Year. He was also a very proud sponsor and supporter of the Berlin Little League and Babe Ruth Baseball League. In September 2017 Bob was recognized by the Town of Berlin with the creation of the Robert B. Dornfried Lifetime Volunteerism Award that will recognize other individuals who demonstrate the same commitment to giving back that Bob did throughout his life.
A loving husband, father, and grandfather, in addition to his wife Peggy, he is survived by his adoring children, Diane Dornfried, Robert B. Dornfried Jr. and his wife, Louise, and Joseph E. Dornfried and his wife, Donna, all of Berlin, and James P. Dornfried and his wife, Caroline, of Durham, N.C.; his grandchildren who were the light of his life, Robert J. Dornfried, James A Russo Jr., Patrick Dornfried, Andrew Dornfried, and Kelsey Dornfried, his sister-in-law, Frances Dornfried, and many thoughtful caring nieces, nephews, and friends. He was predeceased by six brothers, Joseph, Frank, Carl, John, Alfred, and Bill, and his sister, Mary Dornfeld.
Funeral services will be held Friday at 9 a.m. from Porter’s Funeral Home, 111 Chamberlain Hwy., Berlin, followed by a funeral liturgy at 10 a.m. at St. Paul’s Church, Kensington. A reception will follow the service at the Casa Mia at The Hawthorne on the Berlin Turnpike. Burial in South Burying Ground, Kensington, will be at the convenience of the family. Friends and relatives are invited to call at the funeral home Thursday from 5 to 8 p.m. The Berlin Lions Club will meet for a service at 7 p.m. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Berlin Lions Charities, P.O. Box 23, Berlin, CT 06037. Bob was passionate about helping others. Please honor him by doing something for others. Directions to the funeral home can be found at www.portersfuneral.com