David “Bob” James Hurley, 78 of Erickson Drive, Canton, beloved husband of Barbara Pelczar Hurley, died peacefully Thursday, October 19th, 2023, at UCONN John Dempsey Hospital. Born February 7th, 1945, in Hartford, he was the son of the late James Joseph and Margaret (Lilley) Hurley. The oldest of seven children, Dave lived in Avon prior to moving to a quiet part of Canton after his marriage to Barb where the neighborhood friendships built continue to this day.
A skilled machinist and tool and die maker, Dave learned his craft at a young age and was a graduate of A.I. Prince Technical High School. He served in the U.S. Army National Guard as an Armorer, a role he greatly enjoyed.
Dave worked at Hurley Manufacturing alongside his father, uncles, brothers, cousins, nephew and his son Rob for decades, until his passing. His dedication to the business, customers, and to the many wonderful, dedicated Hurley Manufacturing employees was without question and was core to his strong work ethic. Dave spent his entire life performing constant maintenance of the old mill building that housed Hurley Manufacturing, including many overnights caring for the boiler and snow plowing. Dave cherished the friendships he built with all the people that supported the maintenance of the mill, and the wonderful people that have chosen to make Hurley Business Park their business home.
Anyone that knew Dave, will know how greatly he enjoyed spending time amongst nature. Dave loved fishing, hunting, hiking, motor biking and even ice racing. Dave spent much of his youth hunting and fishing with Uncle Hub on the Rooney farm in Vermont. In his early adulthood, he enjoyed a successful bear hunt in Twin Mountains, New Hampshire with his brother Tom. After Dave became a father, he delighted sharing his love of nature with his son Rob through many a hunting and fishing trip. Dave’s greatest hunting adventure culminated in South Africa. We were all captivated by the photos and stories he told about his memorable adventure, and so thankful for his longtime family friend Steve, who organized and chartered the safari. In his later years, Dave started new adventures with his grandson Lucas, as they explored Dave’s longtime friend’s property in New Hampshire. Dave found both relaxation and healing in the great outdoors. The intensity with which Dave fished was something you had to experience! He would navigate New England rivers, lakes as well as the Connecticut Sound and Rhode Island coast. Some of his most memorable trips were to fish the salmon run at Lake Ontario with the “yellow banana” fishing boat. Later in life, Dave gained a new fishing partner in his granddaughter Lilly. Dave had only begun to experience the wonder of his newest grandson Ares. Occasionally Dave’s adventures did not involve hunting and fishing. He opened his mind and found overwhelming happiness and pride when he and Barb traveled to England to see their daughter Rebecca off to college. Through Rebecca’s experience, she was able to encourage Dave to see what could be, and that the world beyond what he knew also held many adventures. There was always something to learn from Dave; how to cast a line, where best to hunt and the history behind the land you were traveling. He had a way of leading us through experiences that would resonate forever. As his grandson Lucas said: “Spending time with “Bob” up north were some of my most favorite times in the woods; I will always hold them close and dear. I love you Bob and will see you in my next life.”
In addition to his loving wife Barbara of 57 years, he is survived by his son, Robert Hurley of Barkhamsted; his daughter Rebecca and husband Mark Adajian of Farmington; his grandchildren Lucas Hurley, Lilly Hurley and Ares Adajian; his sister Kathleen Hurley of Toronto, Ontario, Canada, and her two sons Orun and Ojo Irunmale; his brother, Thomas Hurley and his wife Patricia of Naples, FL, and their two sons Brian and Joshua Hurley; his sister Eileen Shea of Boston, MA and her husband Les, and their three children Emily, David and Elizabeth Shea; his sister Rosemary Toth and her husband Bill of Milford, CT and their two sons Daniel and Aaron Toth; his sister Patricia Furst of Glastonbury, CT and her two sons Matthew and Gregory Furst. He was predeceased by his youngest brother Michael Hurley, who is survived by his wife Stephanie Hurley of Canton, CT and Michael’s children Olivia Rose Mattis, Jackson Hurley and Taya Hurley and his step children Christine and Jamie.
All are welcome to join us for a celebration of David’s life in the common room on the 2nd floor at the Hurley Business Park on December 2nd, 2023, from 12-3pm.
Memorial donations may be made to the Farmington River Watershed Association (FRWA) .
Please visit David’s Book of Memories at www.vincentfuneralhome.com for online tributes.