In Our Care
Robert McKenzie Gourley
09/28/1942 - 10/14/2021
Obituary For Robert McKenzie Gourley
Robert M. Gourley, 79, of Barrington, passed away unexpectedly at Miriam Hospital in Providence on Wednesday, October 13, 2021. The husband of the late Susan L. (Mazo) Gourley, he was a long-time resident of Barrington and was well known and respected by many people throughout the area.
Born in Pawtucket, Robert spent his early years in Providence, having attended and graduated from Hope High School which is where he met his wife, Susan. After graduation, Robert enlisted in the US Air Force, beginning his long military career. He did seven tours of action during his enlistment to Turkey, Japan, Germany, Turkey, Japan, Thailand and, finally, England between 1960 and 1980. He was the recipient of several awards, including, the Distinguished Flying Cross, 3 Air Medals, 2 Meritorious Service Medals and 1 Air Force Commendation Medal. After retirement from the military, Robert went on to work for Industrial National Bank and later, Bank Boston and Bank of America for 20+ years. An Eagle Scout, himself, Robert worked with scouts earning Eagle rank and was also a leader within a local Cub Scout pack. During the 80's and after his retirement to present, Robert went on to coach the boy's and girl's Hammer Throwing team at Barrington high School where he was anointed the "Hammer Coach Guru of the World". He was also a well-respected High School track and Field Official and a USATF Master Level Official. He loved coaching, even having several articles written in his honor. After retirement, it was "Hammer, Hammer, Hammer!".
Robert is survived by his daughter, Lisa Gourley of Barrington; his son, Bob Gourley and his wife Janet Jeun-Gourley of Jersey City, NJ; his sister, Marsha Dalton of FL and his grandson, Ben Gourley. He was the brother of the late Hugh Gourley III of ME.
Arrangements are with Smith Funeral and Memorial Services, 8 Schoolhouse Rd. Warren, where the family will receive relatives and friends, Thursday, November 4, 2021, 5-8pm. A graveside service will be held Friday, November 5, 2021 at South Burial Ground, 39 Sowamsett Ave. Warren at 10am. Robert was dedicated to Track & Field and regularly purchased equipment or shoes, or paid entry fees, to help kids stay involved with the sport. A fund has been established to keep that effort alive. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to: Bob Gourley Throwers Equipment Fund, make checks out to: Furey Athletics, 204 Waseca Ave. Barrington, RI 02806. For tributes, please visit www.wjsmithfh.com .
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I just found out that about zBob's passing today. He touched me often with phone calls about a deaf hammer thrower I coached who held the World Age Group record, 14 and under, in the hammer. Throw. Bob kept me up to date on this record. He certainly was a nice, knowledgeable gentleman. My condolences.
We were very sad to hear Coach Gourley had passed away. His knowledge and dedication for the throwers at BHS was exceptional. He was a great man and we will always be grateful for everything he did for our daughter. We are very sorry for your loss. Tony and Sue Iasiello
I had the pleasure of being "Gourley's girl" in the late 90s early 2000s as a hammer thrower at Barrington. He was a great man and I feel privileged to have been coached by him for four amazing years. My sincere condolences to his family. He will be greatly missed.
Bob meant so much to so many people. I have known him for nearly 40 years through track and field. He was a mentor and friend. He helped hundreds of kids go on to compete in college. He will be greatly missed. Rest In Peace.❤️ Tom Kenwood.
Coach Gourley was one of a kind. It was an hour to throw for him and learn from him. My deepest condolences to his family. Adam Gray
Coach Gourley was an amazing giver and passionate about every student athlete. I always thought he treated my daughter special, but then I saw every athlete treated just as special. What a heartbreaking loss. Coach will be truly missed.
I coached with Bob at Barrington High in the late 90's. Bob was our 'throws' coach and what a wonderful human being he was. Coach brought enthusiasm, knowledge, passion and respect to our 'field and track' teams. He went beyond the norm to train every student athlete and had an impressive record for getting the best out of each thrower. My heart is heavy today knowing that my friend has passed. I will always cherish my coaching days with Bob and his sincerity and kindness will be remembered. Rest in Peace Coach, Liz Balasco
Words can not describe the impact that Coach made in our lives. He was truly a humble man dedicated to the youth that he could support. May the sport live on in your spirit of selflessness and caring. Rest In Peace Coach.
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