Robert J. Balestieri

  • Born: March 9, 1952
  • Died: March 21, 2020
  • Location: Melrose, Massachusetts

Gately Funeral Home

79 West Foster Street
Melrose, MA 02176

Tel. (781) 665-1949

Tribute & Message From The Family

Message From The Family

Thank you for your support during this difficult time. Please enhance this tribute to Robert by adding your memories.

Robert J. Balestieri passed away at the Kaplan Family Hospice House in Danvers on March 21, 2020. He was 68 years old.

Robert grew up in Melrose, graduating from Melrose High School in 1970. Upon graduation, he joined the National Guard Reserves and served for six years. Following in his father and grandfather's footsteps, he made a career as a retailer in the produce business, first in the North End with his dad, then opening his own stores: Village Fruit, Inc., in Brookline Village, Washington Square in Brookline, and in Allston. He loved being able to introduce his loyal customers to the ever-growing exotic fruits and vegetables from around the world. A kind, generous soul, he was willing to help anyone in need. He was well-liked and respected by all who knew him. Growing up he enjoyed many summers on Long Beach in Rockport with his large extended family. It continued to be a place he loved throughout his life.

A man of many passions: he loved painting, reading, photography, cooking, and was a self-taught master wood craftsman, making all kinds of furniture and beautiful pieces. One-piece he was particularly proud of that combined his love for God and woodworking, was an intricate bible stand for the local church he attended for many years. In the past few years, some weekly highlights included spending Friday nights with his cousins and close friends, meeting his aunts and mom for coffee, and tinkering in his workshop. However, nothing gave him greater pleasure than spending time with his five children of whom he was very proud, quite often showing off their photos and videos and touting their many accomplishments to friends and relatives. He was, and his family continues to be, forever indebted to his family, cousins, friends, extended family, and the incredible team of doctors and nursing staff who cared for and supported him throughout his four-year heroic battle with cancer. Through their support, he was able to live life fully until the very end.

Robert was the loving father of Alexander Balestieri of Shrewsbury, Chelsea Balestieri of Holliston, Bethany Balestieri of Maryland, Christina Balestieri and Andrew Balestieri of Holliston. Beloved son of Rose (Limone) Balestieri and her late husband Alfonso of Woburn. Cherished brother of John Balestieri of Somerville, Catherine Bourgeois and her husband James, Diane Monteiro and her husband Kenneth, of Woburn. Former husband of Amy Balestieri. Also survived by many close nieces, nephews, great nieces, great nephews, cousins, family members and friends.

Due to the new directive from the state of Massachusetts, the Massachusetts Funeral Director Association and all the current health concerns, the funeral service will be private. A memorial Mass in Robert's name will be held at a later date and an announcement will be posted when the date becomes available. Please feel free to send a card to family members, drop a card at the funeral home for the family, or send a message of condolence online by visiting

In lieu of flowers, contributions in memory of Robert Balestieri may be made to the Cancer Center at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center by visiting or by check made payable to "Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center" with "Robert Balestier/Cancer Center" in the memo line. Contributions may be mailed to: Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Office of Development, 330 Brookline Ave (OV), Boston, MA 02215.