Celebration of the Life of Bob Lord
Celebration of a Life
Bob Lord (in his own words)
Bob Lord was born on September 9, 1935 at the Hunts Point Hospital in the Bronx, New York. He went to St. Athanasius School in the Bronx, and Cardinal Hayes High School, also in the Bronx. After high school, Bob was drafted into the Army during the Korean War. He served for two years, after which he was honorably discharged with the rank of Corporal in 1956.
He attended the American Academy of Dramatic Arts in New York in the fall of 1956. On September 23, 1957, his life changed when he met Pauline Macaluso (who became Penny Lord) at a birthday party given her by friends from the Academy at Bob’s apartment. When their eyes met, they were both doomed (joke). They never took their eyes off each other from that time on.
Bob and Penny married in December, 1958. They gave up their dreams to be actors to build a home and a family. Penny had two children from a previous marriage whom Bob adopted. They created a paper party goods company, which, while very stylish and popular, couldn’t make it financially.
During this time, their son Richard developed a serious case of Asthma. The area they were living in, Merrick, Long Island, was not good for his condition. Once, while Bob and Penny were both in Chicago for a trade show, Richard had such a bad attack, he had to be hospitalized and put in an oxygen tank. Penny rushed back to New York and asked the doctor where would be a place to live where they could control his asthma. The doctor mentioned two places in the world that would be good for Richard’s asthma. One was in Africa; the other was in Santa Monica, California. Guess where they went?
On August 26, 1967, their daughter Clare’s birthday, they packed up their meager belongings, left family and friends behind, and moved to Santa Monica, California to start a new life. Clare pouted that she didn’t have a birthday party that year. But the truth be known, by this time she was married and had a gorgeous baby. So they didn’t take her too seriously.
They closed their manufacturing company, and began working as Manufacturer’s Reps in Southern California. Their reputation as great sales people, (especially Penny and Clare) preceded them. They were able to build a good following and their business thrived.
Penny received an annulment on her first marriage and Bob and Penny were married in Our Lady of Malibu church by Monsignor John Sheridan on November 29, 1969. It was the beginning of their lives as full members of the Church.
Things were not going as good on the home front. On October 23, 1971, their son Richard died of a drug overdose. Bob and Penny grieved a great deal, separately. They had always done everything in their lives together. Now, they were separated. They left the Church, and just went through the motions of life. Four years later, on New Year’s Eve, 1975, Bob received a word from the Lord. It was time to go back to church. This little couple, who had always done everything together except grieve for their son, reunited as a couple and went back to Church.
On May 23, 1975, they experienced a Marriage Encounter Weekend, which changed their lives. They came out of it not only a strong and committed couple, but determined to turn their lives over to Jesus. They brought Jesus everywhere with them. At first, their accounts, which had not been used to this part of them, were taken back, but very shortly, they realized that this couple was committed to God.
That year, 1975, the Marriage Encounter community got together, and 2000 couples traveled to Lourdes, France, and to Rome Italy in pilgrimage. It only cost $500 per person, but Bob and Penny could not afford to go. When they came back and shared their experiences to those who stayed behind, Bob and Penny vowed that the next year, 1976, they would go on a pilgrimage, no matter what. Financially, 1976 was not great. But the age of credit cards was coming into existence, so they financed their first pilgrimage to Europe and the Holy Land on credit.
They were like children in a fairy land. They visited Lourdes, St. Anthony in Padua, and Padre Pio in San Giovanni Rotondo, Rome, the Holy Land, Fatima and Paris. As they were traveling, they found that there were so many more shrines they didn’t get to see. They were so excited by all they had experienced; they decided they would go on pilgrimage every year.
For the next four years, this was their plan. They would work hard all year long. They would pay up last year’s pilgrimage so they could go on next year’s pilgrimage. They would study about the shrines they didn’t get to see yet, and map out an itinerary which would bring them to these shrines. They rented a car, and brought their daughter Clare and their grandson Rob with them. Not knowing it, this was the beginning of Journeys of Faith, their pilgrimage ministry, and the beginning of their book and television ministry. They just wanted to marvel at the glory of our Church.
In 1986, the Lord called Penny to have Bob write a book on the Miracles of the Eucharist. Most Americans had never heard of these Miracles. After it was published, it was an immediate success. In the fall of 1986, Mother Angelica of the Eternal Word Television Network in Birmingham, Alabama, invited them on her program to talk about their book. She was so excited by them, she asked them to make a television series on it. This was very successful. They produced many other television series which continue to be aired on EWTN.
They continued to write books. In 1988, a foundation in the Netherlands, asked them to make a TV program on some of the Miracles in Italy. This was a tremendous hit immediately. They wanted to make their own programs, but could not afford the equipment. Brother Joseph, one of our community, was given a grant of $40,000 to buy a good Sony camera. But when he researched all things, it became prudent to buy a less expensive Sony camera, and use the rest of the money to create an editing suite where they could make their own programs. In 1992 they adopted Luz Elena Sandoval and Raymond Freyaldenhoven (Brother Joseph).
The Lord put it on Penny’s heart to build a mission, where they could make programs, write their books, have conferences, Days of Recollection, St. Joseph’s Table and on and on. And when the Lord gave Penny a word, she gave Bob a word, and so for the next 11 years, they searched like Jews wandering in the desert, until the Lord blessed them with 83 acres of prime pasture land in Morrilton, Arkansas, where in 2000, they opened Holy Family Mission.
Penny was struck down with an extremely painful cancer in February, 2013. They fought it all year long, thinking that this would help, or that would cure it, and this big hospital was the place to go. In the end, the Lord had made His decision, and Penny was taken from Bob on January 21, 2014. And when Penny goes, Bob goes. He spent the rest of his life putting things in order, so that the Ministry would continue after they were both gone, and that the family would survive. As you read this, you become aware that Bob’s biography is really Bob and Penny’s biography as they did everything together for 56 years.
He joined Penny and all the Angels and Saints they had known, on February 13, 2016.
Bob is survived by his Grandson Rob Ziminsky and his wife Andrea, and their two children Matthew and Mark of Illinois, her daughter Clare Parker, her husband Bobby, and daughter Christiana of South Carolina and his adopted son and daughter, Luz Elena Sandoval-Lord, Raymond Joseph (Brother Joseph) Freyaldenhoven & Blanca Estela Perez of Holy Family Mission in Morrilton, Arkansas.
His final words, as were those of Penny’s was, “We love you.”