An Obituary: John ‘Bob’ Howatt

December 29, 2022

John Robblee “Bob” Howatt, 78, passed away on Thursday, Dec. 22, 2022 at The Willows at Whitney Place in Medway. Before living in Medway, Bob had been a long-time resident of Bedford.

Bob was born in Manhattan, New York, the son of the late John P. and Alix (Brunet) Howatt.

He graduated from Ithaca High School in 1962. Bob received a degree from Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1966 with a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering. He later went on to earn his Master of Science in Aeronautics and Astronautics in 1976.

John “Bob” Howatt

He was very active in the engineering field. He helped design the Apollo guidance system. He had his own company, Mentor Engineering.

Since Bob had an interest in watches and clocks, he learned all he could about them. Bob donated his time and talents to the Charles River Museum of Industry and Innovation for many years.

When told he needed to address his high cholesterol, he took up biking. Due to his keen interest in learning, he threw himself into learning about bicycles. He could often be seen biking around Bedford and Waltham or to the T station to go to the Boston Public Library to do research.

One of his prize possessions was a Porsche he used for rally racing.

Funeral services will be private. Arrangements have been entrusted to the care of Philbin-Comeau Funeral Home, 176 Water St., Clinton.

Memorial contributions may be made in Bob’s name to either the Charles River Museum of Industry and Innovation, 154 Moody St., Waltham, MA, 02453 or the National Watch and Clock Museum, 514 Poplar St., Columbia, PA, 17512.

Online condolences may be placed at

Click here to read the complete announcement.

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