HOBART (HOBIE) WRIGHT SHACKFORD, Jr, 75, of Johnston, RI, died unexpectedly on October 16, 2021. He was the first mate and husband of 48 years to Ann (Powers) Shackford.
Born in Quincy, MA, to the late Hobart W. Shackford Sr and Eileen (McClintock) Shackford, he had also lived in California and Connecticut before moving to Rhode Island on April’s Fools Day in 1980.
In addition to his wife, he is survived by his daughters, Stacey Shackford, of Glasgow, Scotland, and Sandra Shackford Houle and her husband Charles Houle, of Cumberland, RI. He relished his role as Grampy to Oliver Pattison and Charlotte Bea and Madelyn Wright Houle. He is also survived by his two brothers, Carl Shackford of Kirkwood, MO, and Kenneth Shackford of Beacon Falls, CT and his wife Susan.
Hobie studied Engineering at Lowell State College and got his Masters in Biomedical Engineering at the University of Southern California. He spent his working days as a medical physicist with much of his career at Roger Williams Medical Center in the Department of Radiation Oncology where he was awarded Employee of the Year in 1991. Most recently he worked at North Main Radiation Oncology in Providence.
He passed on his love of science to his two daughters, who became fierce science fair competitors under his tutelage. The former Eagle Scout was a true Renaissance man and skilled jack-of-all trades who refurbished much of his house and led his family on memorable camping trips. Later in life, he embraced travel, and crossed many top destinations off his bucket list, including an African safari and the Galapagos Islands.
Hobie’s passion for sailing started in Boothbay Harbor, Maine, where his family vacationed every summer. Ann and Hobie spent their summers at Greenwich Bay, where his 45ft sailboat, Shack-a-tack 2 , was docked. While they were in their happy place you could hear Ann ask him every day, “What’s better than this?”
He was not a man of many words, but of many actions, an uncomplaining chauffeur, handyman, trip planner, and the one you wanted on your Trivial Pursuit team. He was a Rhode Island Historical Society researcher, as well as an active parishioner and former choir member and Eucharistic minister at St. Augustine’s Church.
His family will be adrift without their anchor. Safe seas at your back, Hobie. We hope you are sailing with the wind.
“Good night my love, pleasant dreams...Sleep tight my love.”
In lieu of flowers, please do your own unexpected and unsolicited act of service in his name, or donate to St. Augustine’s School, 639 Mount Pleasant Avenue, Providence, RI 02908.
Visitation will be held on Wednesday, October 20 from 4-7 PM at Russell J. Boyle & Son Funeral Home, 331 Smith St., Providence. The family requests that you please wear a mask. A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated on Thursday, October 21 at 10:00 AM at St. Augustine’s Church, 20 Old Rd, Providence. Burial will follow at Highland Memorial Park Cemetery, 1 Rhode Island Ave, Johnston.
Saint Augustine School
635 Mount Pleasant Avenue, Providence RI 02908