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1931 Robert 2024

Robert W. Tarbell

August 23, 1931 — May 8, 2024


Robert Walter Tarbell of Bedford passed away peacefully on May 8th at the age of 92.

Mr. Tarbell was born on August 23, 1931 in Manchester, the only child of Walter Arthur Tarbell and Mildred (Friborg) Tarbell. He attended Central High School, class of 1949, where he met the love of his life, Laurel (Taite) Tarbell. They were married on Thanksgiving Day, 1949, and were together for nearly 44 years before Laurel passed away in 1993. 

Mr. Tarbell was a regional manager for Johnson O’Hare Food Broker and later served as a store manager for the State of New Hampshire Liquor Commission. Along with Mrs. Tarbell, he owned and operated Tarbell Real Estate, Queen City Antiques, and Antiques at Laurel Hill. 

 Mr. Tarbell, or “Boots” as his children affectionately called him, was devoted to his wife, children, grandchildren, and their families. He was an incredible man who was equally beloved by his family and everyone who knew him. He was a great cook, and his family can still picture him standing at the grill or coming over for dinner with one of his famous rum cakes. He loved to work outside in the yard and was an avid gardener who took pride in planting his vegetable garden every summer. He was also a life-long animal lover and always had dogs or cats in his home. Every fall, he would attend the Deerfield Fair where his favorite things to do were to watch the horse pulling and walk around the barns to see the animals.

 Mr. Tarbell was an ardent antiques dealer with friends all over New England who he would see at various antique shows and flea markets. One of his favorites was Brimfield. He was constantly refinishing furniture and at any given time had a basement full of pieces he was working on. He loved to drive and he loved to travel; one of the greatest trips he took with Laurel was sailing on the Queen Elizabeth 2 to Europe. He was also a great lover of history and enjoyed touring Revolutionary and Civil War forts, monuments, and battlefields. In the later years of his life, Mr. Tarbell embarked on a passion project to trace the Tarbell lineage back to the early 1600s. After learning about his ancestors’ roles in American history, he became a dedicated member and frequent reenactor with the New Hampshire Society Sons of the American Revolution. It was through his work with the NHSSAR that he sponsored several Eagle Scouts and participated in many veteran memorial services. He was also an active officer with the Sons of the Union Veterans and was a 65-year member of the Masonic Fraternity, belonging to Lafayette Bible #41 in Goffstown, New Hampshire.

 After his wife Laurel passed away from cancer, he spent years volunteering with the American Cancer Society transporting patients to and from their treatments. Mr. Tarbell was a lifelong member of the First Congregational Church in Manchester. 

 Members of his family include three children: Nelson Tarbell and his wife, Harriet, of Salem, NH, Nancy Tarbell Hagan of Bedford, NH, and Jeffrey Tarbell and his wife, Lisa, of Hooksett, NH; his eight grandchildren: Stacie (Tarbell) Pergamo of Raymond, NH, Laura Tarbell of Gilmanton, NH, Caitlin Hagan Fox of Atlanta, GA, Ryan Hagan of Lincoln, MA, Matthew Hagan of Bennington, NH, James Hagan of Orlando, FL, Kyle Tarbell of Tiverton, RI, and Kristen Tarbell of Merrimack, NH; and six great-grandchildren. 

 His family wishes to thank the staff and caregivers of Hillsborough County Nursing Home for the loving care he received there. 

 In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made in Mr. Tarbell’s memory to the Alzheimer’s Association or an organization of one’s choosing. 

 SERVICES: Calling hours will be held on Monday (5/13) from 5-8pm at Lambert Funeral Home, 1799 Elm St., Manchester, NH. A funeral service will be held at 10:30am Tuesday (5/14) at the First Congregational Church, 508 Union Street, Manchester. Burial will be in the family lot at Pine Grove Cemetery, Manchester, NH. Reception to follow.  

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Robert W. Tarbell, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services

Calling Hours

Monday, May 13, 2024

5:00 - 8:00 pm (Eastern time)

Lambert Funeral Home & Crematory

1799 Elm Street, Manchester, NH 03104

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Funeral Service

Tuesday, May 14, 2024

Starts at 10:30 am (Eastern time)

First Congregational Church

508 Union St, Manchester, NH 03104

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Tuesday, May 14, 2024

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