‘We Will Be Celebrating Him’: NCHS ’93 To Honor Classmate at Milestone Reunion

Members of the New Canaan High School class of 1993 are making special plans for their 25th reunion later this month—a milestone tinged with loss since one popular classmate died unexpectedly in March. 

In addition to meeting up at Dunning Stadium for the Homecoming football game Sept. 29 and gathering at the Waveny Park Conservancy’s tailgate party and Gates afterwards, members of the reunion planning committee say they’re raising funds to honor Robert M. Amen Jr., a devoted father, husband and U.S. Air Force veteran who died March 15 at age 42. The committee—its members include Jenn (Panaro) Anderson, Liz (Pflug) Donahue, Sue (Allocca) Fox, Shannon (Gerne) Goetz, Gina (Buzzeo) Gorman, Jeff Mellick and Josh Rucci—is raising money to contribute in memory of Amen to the Wounded Warrior Project (GoFundMe link here and here’s a donation page on Facebook), which had been named by his family as a beneficiary organization following his passing. The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society also was named. Panaro recalled that Amen and his wife, Kerith, attended the class’s 20th reunion in New Canaan five years ago, and said his absence will be felt.

“We will be celebrating him, so I think that in itself will make it special,” Panaro, a Fairfield resident and vice president of marketing and communications at Fairfield University, said of the reunion.

‘He Lived His Faith in All That He Did’: Hundreds Gather at St. Aloysius Church To Remember Robert M. Amen Jr.

During Robert M. Amen Jr.’s six years with the U.S. Air Force Special Operations Command, the nation was shaken by the events of Sept. 11, 2001, one of his brothers recalled on Tuesday. Soon, Amen’s four younger siblings—Marc, Chris, Peter and Caroline—found themselves huddled together over a phone at their parents’ house. “It was Rob, and he was letting us know he would soon be deployed,” Marc Amen told hundreds of friends and relatives who packed into St. Aloysius Church to honor and remember his older brother, who passed away last week.

‘He Took Care of People’: Classmates, Friends Remember 1993 New Canaan High School Graduate Robert M. Amen Jr.

As news of Robert M. Amen Jr.’s untimely passing last week spread through the town and wider community, friends and fellow 1993 New Canaan High School graduates remembered a widely liked and singularly kind, compassionate person who smiled easily and moved effortlessly among various social circles. A Boston College graduate and U.S. Air Force veteran who served for six years with distinction, including multiple tours in Iraq and Afghanistan, Amen died Thursday at age 42. He is survived by his wife, Kerith, and their daughter, Adair. His life will be celebrated at a funeral Mass at 1:30 p.m. Tuesday at St. Aloysius Church.

Robert M. Amen Jr., 42, Devoted Husband and Father, NCHS Graduate, U.S. Air Force Veteran

It is with profound sadness that we mourn Robert M. Amen, Jr., who at 42, passed on Thursday. Rob was the eldest of five, but those who knew him say he was a big brother to so many more. Whether it was the United States Air Force, where he served for six years with distinction, including multiple tours in Iraq and Afghanistan, or at FactSet, where he was proud to be a team member or on his beloved tennis and paddle courts at Woodway Country Club, Rob was dedicated to the team. Those mentored by him remember Rob for his caring, his devotion, and his humanity. Rob was devoted to his wife Kerith, and beloved and adored by his daughter, Adair.