Roberta Zylich

Roberta Amanda Zylich (Merrill)

June 12, 1943 - March 27, 2020
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Roberta “Robbi” Amanda (Merrill) Zylich, 76, a longtime Chelmsford resident, passed away peacefully on Friday, March 27, 2020 at her Chelmsford home surrounded by her loving family after a courageous battle with pancreatic cancer. She was the beloved wife of Ronald “Ron” George Zylich with whom she shared 52 years of marriage. She was born on June 12, 1943, in Sayre, PA, and was a daughter of the late Howard A. and Hazel (Whytock) Merrill of Nichols, NY.

Robbi was raised in Nichols, NY and was a graduate of Tioga Central High School with the Class of 1961. After earning her Associates Degree, she worked for IBM until her marriage to Ron on March 16, 1968. After her marriage, she worked for the chairman of the Physics Department at the University of Missouri-Rolla, until she and Ron moved to Chelmsford in 1971 to raise their family. She enjoyed gardening, crafting, reading, mahjong, traveling, and spending time with her friends and family at her winter home on Anna Maria Island, Florida. Most of all, Robbi cherished the time she spent with her family, especially time with Ron and her grandchildren at her summer home on Bow Lake in Strafford, NH.

In addition to her loving husband, Roberta leaves her sons; Steven Zylich and his wife Lori of Woodbridge, VA, Michael Zylich and his wife Melissa of E. Sandwich, and Kristopher Zylich and his wife Ashley of Wayland, her grandchildren; Brian, Julie, Sean, Mikayla, Nathan, Meghan, Haley, Whitney, and Drew, her siblings; Howard "Bud" Merrill and his wife Constance "Connie" of Avondale, AZ, and Janette “Jan” Szelkowski and her husband Frank of High Point, NC. She also leaves many nieces and nephews. Sadly, she is predeceased by her sister Rosemary Pierce.

A Celebration of her Life will be held privately. In lieu of flowers memorial donations may be made in Roberta's name to PanCan (Pancreatic Cancer Action Network), 1500 Rosecrans Ave., Ste 200, Manhattan Beach, CA 90266 or
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Nancy Bernard

Posted at 08:11am
I played Bridge with Robbi for many, many years. She always had that wonderful smile and sweet laugh. My heart goes out to the whole family. Sadly, the pain of your sorrow today is itself a measure of the blessed gift that Robbi was to her family and to so many.

Steve Zylich

Posted at 05:59pm
From: Kathleen Harbison...Oh, Ron...Paul and I were so very shocked and saddened to hear that dear Robbi has passed away. We had no idea that she was ill. Robbi's beautiful smile and infectious laugh were her trademark, weren't they ? We have such wonderful memories of our times with you and are so profoundly sorry that we lost contact in the last year. Ron, you are in
our thoughts at such a difficult time. Your marriage to Robbi was a gift and our all too short friendship with her was a treasure.

With love and prayers for your entire family.

Kathy and Paul Harbison

From: Sherry...Thank you for sharing this beautiful video of the life you shared with Robbi. I will always remember Robbi fondly. She had the greatest love for her family. We were so blessed our paths crossed while living on Bow Lake. Surrounding your family with love, strength and prayers. May you find comfort in knowing Robbi now RIP. She has gained her angels wings.
Sherry and Allan Bedell

From: darlene ohara ....Ron and Family
Thank you for this lovely video.
I will really miss her.
You know how many great times we shared.
I loved her!!
I will treasure them all!❤❤
When the time is right for you...we hope you will come back to us all.
We miss you.

From: Len OHara..
The video is beautiful. Bittersweet but beautiful. It will be a treasure for many years.
Yesterday, Darlene and I got milkshakes from Tyler’s and sat by the bay to talk about Robbi and the good times. We miss you both.
God bless her and you. Today, the Angels are singing. A new addition to heaven's choir. You are in our thoughts. Much love ❤️ LEN and Darlene

Ron, We are here for you. Anything that we can do to lighten your load by solving problems or issues at this end we are ready to do. I wish that we could somehow ease the pain. We are remembering the good times - Subway, The Lion of Judah, Milkshakes, movies ...Call anytime. We are so glad that we are friends. Len and Darlene.

From: Art Mittler...Ron,it was with great sadness to hear the news about Robbi. Our sincerest
condolences go out to you and your entire family. It would be nearly impossible to know someone as wonderful as her.

You and her were blessed as a couple and your family is the evidence of that.

Marcia and I were brought to tears as we watched the video that Mike made.

Please take care of yourself and your family.

Art and Marcia

From: Tom...Ron...My biggest regret is that I am not there to help, to just listen, and to be available for anything you want or need. I am terribly sorry but there is nothing that I can do. Sorry.

I hope that we Some day soon can sit down and have a couple of beers together.

Take care of yourself my friend,
Tom Keegan

From: Janice & Bob...Ron,

If there were awards for Best Tribute to a much loved matriarch, you and your family would win them all hands down.

I have been crying for over a week, knowing that Whitney and Drew, all of your grandchildren and children have lost the Nana and Mom they adored. How fortunate they are to have such beautiful memories.

I lost both my Grandmothers before the age of four and have no memory of them. These family photos are a beautiful legacy to carry with them for the rest of their lives.

Thank you so much for sharing this Tribute to Robbi. As I wrote before, I miss my texting partner. She was always positive in her notes and impressed me with her inner strength, always looking on the bright side. She sent me a photo of a sunset over Bow Lake and that image has stayed with me since receiving it. I think I replied something like "there really is a Higher
Being." It is a beautiful image.

Bob and I have constantly had you and Robbi and your family in our thoughts since learning of Robbi's devastating illness.

You are all in our thoughts and we both thank you again for including us today.

Prayers & Hugs,
Janice & Bob

From: Eric and Amy Kriete...Ron,

All of us are so sad to hear the news about Robbi. She was always so welcoming and nice to us every time we saw her. I will always remember her with a smile on her face. We’ve so enjoyed sitting at your lake house, going for boat rides and tubing with the kids. And she was the first to introduce us to those addictive peanut butter filled pretzels! I know Madison always enjoyed hanging out with you both especially when she was young. She called you her NH grandparents. 😊

Please know that we are thinking of you and all of your family. We know how difficult this time must be for you all. I hope your memories provide you comfort.

Please let us know if there is anything at all that we can do to help you.

Sending much love,
Amy, Eric and Madison

From: IV's Marie Kraft sends hugs
This message came to me from the wonderful 87 year old, Marie Kraft —in a weird sorta format. Cut and pasted her message and…. Passing on yet another tribute to Robbi and all of you, her adored husband and sons—all the family.

Gratitude, my prayers for family & all our IV memories of a caring lovely lady who provided laughter, enthusiasm,care & help whenever need. Blessing,

From: Thomas Baxter...Dear Ron,

Just a short note to say we have been thinking of you all a lot, especially these past few months which I heard were quite difficult. Robin and I were saddened to hear of Robbi's passing last Friday. Obviously we were all hoping for a different outcome of her battle.

She will always be remembered fondly for her love and constant smile.

I was glad to hear that you, Steve, Mike, and Kris were able to be there for her in her final moments with us.

Stay strong...I know you are in difficult time. Thinking of you all.

Love, Tom

From: Steve Petullo...Hi Ron,

That was a beautiful write up for a beautiful lady! Both Tristaan and I are at a loss for words, other than to express our deepest sympathy to you and your entire family! I was telling your son Steve, I will forever have this lasting image in my mind of Robbi smiling with those beautiful dimples pronounced! We consider ourselves lucky to have had the opportunity to know
her for so many years, she was truly a beautiful person. Ron, we cannot imagine what you must have went through and are going through, but we know that the upcoming days, weeks and months will be challenging for you, so we
sincerely want you to know that we are here for you, no matter what it is. We will be praying for you and your whole family and there’s no doubt in our minds that those dimples are in full bloom looking down upon you all!


Steve & Tristaan

From: Denise Virkler ...Ron, Bob and I want you to know how very sorry we are to hear of Robbi's passing. Although we didn't know her for very long we felt like she was our friend and made us feel welcome at Island Village.
We are thinking of you and your family and want you to know our heart hurts along with yours.

Keep those wonderful memories you shared close to you forever.

In friendship - Bob and Denise Virkler

From: Patricia Herr...Ron, We share your grief in the loss of our wonderful Robbi, who has been such a dear friend to me. Please know that we have you and your family in our thoughts and prayers.

Pat and Ken

From: James Browne...Ron...So sorry to hear about Robbi. Just know you are in our thoughts and prayers.
Jim and Nan

From: Gillian Holt...Dear Ron,
I’m writing to express my sympathy to you and your family on Robbis passing. She was a wonderful person, so kind and thoughtful. She will be so missed by many.
Please know that my thoughts are with all of you at this very sad time.
Gillian Holt
From: Michele Marusak... Island Villagers, sharing with you the message
(below) from Ron Zylich on the beaming up to heaven of his beloved wife and “OUR” own wondrous Robbi Zylich…. Our hearts and prayers are with Ron and their loveliest family.

Begin forwarded message:

From: "Ron"
Subject: The end of our journey
Date: March 28, 2020 at 1:27:12 PM EDT

It's with a broken heart that I send out to family and friends notice of the end of our journey that started in September 2018. Robbi fought valiantly against this insidious disease but on Friday morning, March 27 she lost the battle as our 3 sons and 3 of our 9 grandchildren stood vigil. Thanks to all for the support you have given to both of us thru out this journey.

From: Dan Zylich
So sorry about Robbi. I hope you’re holding up as well as possible. Robbi was the most kind, gentle and loving soul I’ve ever met. I know you know all this and hope your pain will go away in time. But you’ll always have the memories. Let me know if I can do anything for you. I know the boys are your support as well!! Robbi was a great lady and will be missed by so many. Praying that your broken heart can be comforted by your families surrounding love. Take care of yourself brother!!! ❤️💔

From: Janet Gaynor...Dear Ron,

Friday brought the news that none of us wanted to hear. We hope that Robbi’ s passing brought you and your family some solace that her suffering has ended.

To say that she will be missed is to so understate the obvious. You have both been missed down here for the duration of her illness notwithstanding those welcome times when you were able to visit last year, or we were able to message and send emails back and forth in order to stay in touch. I loved receiving texts from Robbi – they were always so upbeat and positive.

Robbi occupied a special pedestal here at Island Village and there really is no one to take her place. We are so sad for you, Ron.

Words are always difficult to find at times of loss but some things have proven that they work and are true. One, is the healing impact of time. A second, is the comfort of happy memories which live on forever. A third is the support of family and friends and Ron please know that we are embracing you in a very tight hug right now and we will do so in person when we see

It is almost impossible to single out Robbi's qualities and achievements--they are so abundant. However, her decency, caring, humor, humanity, love, respect, friendship and joy of life summarize everything there is to know about her.

Ron, please know that we are here for you and you only have to reach out if there is anything we can do for you until we see you in person.

With sincerest sympathy and condolences.


Donard and Janet

From: Melissa Zylich...What a most amazing, most beautiful, most loving tribute to sweet Robbi. I love you and Robbi so very much 💗. I am so grateful for all the amazing memories, fun and laughter we have had together and will continue in the years to come. Hopefully I can give you a hug soon.

All of the love and joy of the times had with Robbi really shined thru!! Your example of 52 plus years of love and marriage is truly remarkable. We humans are not perfect but truly love does prevail. Your genuine care and true friendship for each other is a celebration and I am grateful to be a witness to that example ❤️

From: Robert D Cain...Ron

I am saddened to hear of your loss, Robbi was a wife, mother and a friend to many. We all grieve with you and your family.

The only thing that can give comfort, is knowing her family was with her and that her suffering is finally over.

We will truly miss how she always greeted all with a smile and kind words. In her we all found a true friend.

Robbi is now in the arms of Our Lord and will be with us always in our happy memories.

God bless you Ron and your family and find peace in His words of eternal life.

Bob and Jadwiga

From: Judith Littell ...Dear Ron,

I am so sorry to learn about Robbie’s passing. I know all of you and friends at Island Village will miss her very much. My heartfelt condolences go out to your and your family.

Best regards, Judie

From: Andrew Aylward ...Ron...we just saw your email. She fought a good battle. We loved her and our hearts are with you. Hugs Joann & Andy

From: Joan Cushing... Dear Ron and Family...

So sorry to hear about Robbi's passing...see the attached photo of you both, plus one of Pat with Aunt Ginger,
and one of the cousins at Dad's 90th. Birthday Party. We have so many great memories to cherish! Keeping you all in our daily prayers...
God Bless, Gil + Joan

From: Marie Branco...Dear Ron and family,
We are so very sorry for your loss. Robbie was such a good friend. Even when we didn’t see other often, it always seemed like it was just yesterday that we had. One doesn’t have many friends like that. She was always positive, had the sweetest smile and I will miss her so much! Please be assured of our thoughts and prayers at this difficult time. Love to all, Marie and Wally

From: Deborah and Mark Manuelian...Ron, We are so sorry to hear of Robbi’s passing. We are keeping you and your family in our thoughts during this difficult time.
Mark, Debbie and family

From: Linnea...Hugs to you uncle ron. Important that you know that we are all with you... Aunt Robbi left a huge impact on all of us. We have great memories! As niko has said at least 5x today... “why does someone as great as aunt Robbi get cancer??!” He’s had a rough day. Lots of tears but we will stay strong for YOU!! Love you 😍 😘

From: Kathy Travers

“Gone from our sight..... Robbi is just as large as she was when she left your side. Robbi’s diminished size is in us, not her... There are other eyes watching her coming, and other voices ready to shout “HERE SHE COMES!!!” Robbi is our guide in determination and I still hear her saying “But what choice do I have”? She was determined to live —— no matter the pain... But none of us are prepared for her to end her journey... Ron, she lived for you and her family... I am so proud of your gentleness and
perseverance in Robbi’s ever looming challenges.
We share your tears 😥😥😥

From: Rita Baxter...Our Robbi will be in our hearts forever and ever... Bless each of you for being beside her these last days of her journey. Her strength, and yours, will never be forgotten. Peace to each of you. You are so loved. Rita and Kip

From: Bob and Mickey

RON Dear Friend.
Did you sleep? Kids there? Should we call... everyone asks.... Always hard for most to share mutual grief— especially far away.
Take comfort in knowing you are so loved and cherished, RON.
Robbi is in glory.

Good ROBBI story... Yesterday about 2:30 pm . I went to a site for glass jewelry repair. Many sites for this artist. Somehow I landed on Facebook site. There in the corner was Bob’s blank Timeline silhouette and —- this
beautiful pic of ROBBI and YOU— all smiley and happy (in Europe—I think). I’ve seen that pic before. A little reminder miracle for me that our ROBBI Girl is in GOD glory waiting for you and all who love her. HUGS and constant prayers—for just you now, RON. ROBBI not need. Forgive me. These words must sound trite and stupid— but he worst seems —
to do nothing. Feel treasured.

From: Dale Raymond ...Ron we are so sorry for yr loss. She was such a bright ray of sunshine. We will miss her dearly and hold you and your family in our prayers. Many Blessing and strength from our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ

From: Paul Zylich
Soooo Sad. She is one of many people who was loved by everyone. She will be missed. Hang in there. If you need anything, all you have to do is ask.

From: "Karen Keefer...Rest in Peace, Robbi. You have been such a blessing to our world. Thank you for being part of our family and for bringing joy to Ronnie and all who knew you. We know you are free from pain and in a much better place. See you in time to come.
Love, Karen Keefer

From: Louise Haskell...Ron, Thank you for letting me know about Robbi and I want you and the rest of your family to know how sorry I am and you are in my thoughts and prayers.

Robbi sure put up a good fight and I am sure none of us know all that she went through, as well as the rest of you and the family.

I have forwarded your email to my family as well as Gail Arnold. I don't know who else you might have notified but if I can be of help there please let me know.

Thinking of all your family, Louise

From: Joyce & Eoghan...Ron, my heart goes out to you and your family. Her smile was so warm and genuine, such a wonderful person. Please let us know if there is anything we can do for you.
Joyce Legaspi O Sullivan

I am so sorry to hear this. My heart felt condolences to you and your family. Robbie was a beautiful lady, always so happy and welcoming every time we met her. I hope she is a better place now.

From: Jean Powers

I am deeply sorry for your loss. She was such a sweet and kind person and always so happy. We will certainly miss her smile at the lake. Our thoughts and prayers are with you and your family. 🙏

From: Otis Rothenberger...Ron,

This photo was taken Friday, October 4, 2013 1:21 PM. It was taken directly across the street from 2-Scoops. The bird seemed sad, and in my crazy way, I bonded with him. I also realized I'd be with all of my friends the next day at 2-Scoops. All those friends are with you now. After Carol died, I came to recognize that there are three steps to solace. Trust me; you will take all of these steps, and Robbi will be with you at every step:


The secret of being sad is
To allow yourself to be sad;
The secret of overcoming grief is
To allow yourself to be joyfully sad;
The secret of facing tomorrow is
To allow yourself to be joyful.

Otis and Amy

From: Dan Dwyer... Dear Ron,
I share the ache, I know the hurt, and Robbi's fight - and yours - have been in my prayers and my hopes for you both.
There was a Board meeting yesterday at 3PM, and Robbi's passing was announced, moments of silence and reflection followed, and there were tears.
Sincerely, Dan

From: Eoghan OSullivan...Ron

I am so sorry to hear this. My heart felt condolences to you and your family. Robbi was a beautiful lady, always so happy and welcoming every time we met her. I hope she is a better place now.

Tom and Marie Keegan

Posted at 11:22am
We have know Robbi for 40+ years. She was the kindest and best neighbor and friend. Her smile was contagious. She had a sweet and gentle soul. We never realized that she was such a brave and strong fighter. Her family was her greatest joy and love. We will miss her.
May she rest in God's peace and love.
-Tom and Marie Keegan

Nathan Zylich

Posted at 08:59am
This past Friday, the world lost the kindest and most heartwarming soul you would ever meet. She was a wife, a mother, and a grandma to many and left the lives of those who knew her with so many amazing memories that will never be forgotten. I will always remember falling on the sidewalk in Florida and you feeding me ice cream to make me feel better. Or the many tea parties we had downstairs at the Chelmsford house. And especially the endless letterboxing trips we made with Mikayla and papa at the lake. You will be forever missed nana, but never forgotten. I love you❤️

Art Mittler

Posted at 06:58am
I realize how honored and blessed I am to have shared precious time with such a wonderful person as Robbi. She, Ron, and the entire family they raised together have continually enriched the lives of so many.

Art Mittler

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