Robert Minter, leader of candy companies, dies at 80

Minter
Minter
Posted: December 03, 2010

Robert Wilson Minter, one-time president of Minter's Candies, who moved to Rhode Island to take over another candy factory and then to Vermont for skiing and community service, died Tuesday after a yearlong battle with lung cancer. He was 80 and lived in Waterbury, Vt.

Bob was a man of many interests, including skiing, traveling, sailing and golf. He also had a passion for big-band music.

He was born in Philadelphia to Ira Wilson Minter and Ethel Minter. He attended the Haverford School, Amherst College and the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.

His father was the founder of Minter's Candies, a major candy producer in Philadelphia, which Bob took over in the mid-'50s. In 1977, he moved to Providence, R.I., to take over School House Candies, a major producer of jelly beans.

His family often wondered if Bob's jelly beans might have found their way to the White House during the presidency of Ronald Reagan, for whom jelly beans were a favorite confection.

In 1994, Bob and his wife, Evelyn, moved to Vermont, where he not only enjoyed winter sports but also became active in civic affairs. He served on the Waterbury-Duxbury School Board and helped oversee construction of Crossett Brook Middle School.

In recent years, he could be found cheering on his grandchildren at various school performances and sports games.

Besides his wife of 59 years, he is survived by a daughter, Sue, a Vermont state representative; two sons, William and George, and nine grandchildren. He was predeceased by another son, Bobby Minter.

Services: Memorial service 2 p.m. tomorrow at the Congregational Church in Waterbury. Contributions may be made to the Central Vermont Home Health & Hospice Inc., 6009 Granger Road, Barre, VT 05641.

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