To the editor:

We were sad to learn last month of the passing of an iconic figure in Andover history, Don Robb.

His passing followed that of his wife, Vicky, by less than a year. They were so close, and they raised such a wonderful, large and loving family that their passing was a blow to many.

We first met Robb 25 years ago. He was not Don Robb, however, he was Zack’s father, and we were Belle’s parents.

We met when we moved to High Street and discovered them and many other dog-walkers on our daily, before-work walks at the lower Shawsheen field track. That was where he slowly but surely changed our lives forever.

As we grew to know the Robbs better, we discovered they were truly people who gave more than they received. Their involvement in town politics, culture and organizations was seemingly limitless, and one could not help but be drawn into their spirit of service.

Now, we have learned that they will be honored with the naming of the newly renovated Senior Center (the Center at Punchard) as The Robb Center. What a fitting tribute to two people who enriched the town of Andover with everything they did (and the list is way too long to fit in a letter).

Their community family has found a great way to pay tribute to these two irreplaceable figures in town history.

Their lasting influence on Andover is more, however, than the direct contributions in service in their 30-plus years as residents. Their legacy lives in the countless people they mentored and inspired to service.

We were two of those people, but there are undoubtedly hundreds of others they influenced over the years.

Marjorie Moore said, “Volunteering is the ultimate exercise in democracy. You vote in elections once a year, but when you volunteer, you vote every day about the kind of community you want to live in.”

Don and Vicky Robb voted every day.

While the telling of the history of Andover will now include the many contributions of Don and Vicky Robb, there will also be a permanent reminder for future generations.

We can’t wait to visit The Robb Center on one of our future trips home.

Tom and Jo-Ann Deso

North Charleston, South Carolina

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