NORWALK, Conn. — The late Dr. Robert Appleby always believed that medicine was a “perfect science” — except for one flaw.
He thought medicine sometimes fell short on its delivery, his son, Dr. Robin Appleby, told friends and family gathered in front of the Dr. Robert E. Appleby School-Based Health Center at Norwalk High School on Friday morning.
But Robert Appleby made sure its delivery never fell short in Norwalk.
He operated a free storefront clinic by the South Norwalk train station for many years. His legacy continues today at in-school clinics in many Norwalk schools, which recently received a donation from Appleby’s family.
A fixture in the Norwalk community, many Norwalk residents turned to Appleby to treat the medical needs of their children.
Norwalk Mayor Harry Rilling said his three kids went to Appleby for care.
Appleby was a “wonderful, comforting person,” Rilling said, adding that the Appleby family has a long legacy of giving back to the Norwalk community.
Appleby was also a dedicated worker. Over his 40-year career, he never missed a day of work, according to daughter Ellen.
A military veteran, Appleby lost many friends in war and believed that those who survived had an obligation to give back.
AfterAppleby passed away, his son, Robin, recalled that a woman attended his service and told an inspiring story.
She didn’t have a father to walk her down the aisle, so when it came time for her to get married, Robert Appleby did the honors.
“He was such a great guy,” Robin Appleby said, recalling fond memories of his father outside the health clinic he founded Friday.
Aside from the health center, Appleby's legacy lives on in the careers of his children and grandchildren.
His son, Robin Appleby, has delivered babies for 26 years at Danbury Hospital and Norwalk Hospital. Also, Robin Appleby’s three children are all nurses.
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