Robert E. Follett

Robert C. Follette, Jr. died on February 12, 2019, at Wingate at South Hadley, MA, his residence for the last three years. He was born June 9, 1925 in Jamaica, VT, to Robert C. and Muriel (Grout) Follett of Townshend, VT. His father, a dairy farmer, was invited to the University of Connecticut to consult on farming practices. The family went to Watertown, CT, where Robert graduated from high school in 1943. Soon after, the family returned to Vermont and began farming in North Springfield, VT.

Music and drama were interests he pursued throughout his life. Robert enjoyed being part of productions at the Playhouse in Weston, VT. He chose to attend the New England Conservatory in Boston but determined that he would like to have a more lucrative career. He left the Conservatory and farming behind. On a visit to Chebeague Island, Maine he decided, on a whim, to invest in Island View, a seasonal inn. With his partner, Alexander “Mort” Morton, they entertained many summer guests over 15 years. In 1964, they sold the Inn and joined the staff at Amherst College where they worked for 25 years. Robert was a long-time resident of Belchertown, MA. During that time Robert enjoyed singing with the Hampshire Choral Society and the Pioneer Valley Chorus and Orchestra. 

Robert was an outgoing, delightful, very kind, and generous person with a fine sense of humor and a hearty laugh. His many visitors in recent years are an indication of the joy he brought to so many. He was predeceased by his parents, his sister, Jean Willard, of North Springfield, VT, and his partner, Alexander “Mort” Morton. He is survived by two nieces, Brenda (Willard) Wells of St. Johnsbury, VT, Cindy (Willard) Metcalf of Bethel, VT, two nephews Stephen Willard Sr. of North Springfield VT and Richard Willard of Greenfield, MA. and several great-nieces and nephews, many loyal and thoughtful friends. Robert appreciated the people who supported him throughout his life and in recent years. His family is grateful for the kindness of his closest friends and for the caring support provided by the Staff at Wingate at South Hadley in recent years.

Arrangements are in the care of Douglass Funeral Services in Amherst, MA. As Robert requested, a private memorial service will be held later at the family’s discretion. Memorial donations may be made to The Weston Playhouse, ℅ Director of Development, Weston Playhouse, 703 Main St., Weston, VT, 05161, or at

Polly Hunneman with Bob Follet