Robert A. Boulay, 93, Founder of Boulay’s Sandwich Shop

robert_boulayRobert A. Boulay, 93, a lifelong resident of Haverhill and owner of Boulay’s Sandwich Shop, died peacefully following a long illness, Dec. 28, at his home, surrounded by his family.

Born, raised and educated in Haverhill, son of the late George and May Rose (Girard) Boulay, he attended local schools and was a member of the Haverhill High School class of 1941. He served as a chief petty officer in the U.S. Navy during World War II, serving aboard the USS North Carolina, NTC Newport RI, USS Poseidon, and FTC San Diego California. He earned the World War II Victory Medal, American Defense Medal, American Theatre Medal, and Asiatic-Pacific Theatre Medal with six Stars. Following his honorable discharge from the Navy, Boulay attended Curry College and received his degree in communications. He was employed for eight years by the Haverhill fire Department and then for eight years at Western Electric Co.

In 1967, Boulay established Boulay’s Sandwich Shop at 290 Main Street in Haverhill. It quickly became a Monument Square landmark for not only great food but lively political conversation as well. He operated the business with his family until his retirement in 1990. A longtime member of Saint John the Baptist Parish, The Haverhill Lodge of Elks and the Lorraine Post of the VFW, he was an avid sports fan, and enjoyed following local, state, and national politics.

He is survived by his wife of 66 years, Mary (Richardson) Boulay; son Robert E. Boulay of Haverhill;two daughters, Debra MacDonald and her husband Lee of Haverhill and Hampton, N.H., and Paula Boulay of Haverhill; grandson Brad MacDonald of Ft. Mills, S.C.; three great grandchildren, Charlotte, Anne, and William; and several nieces and nephews.

There will be no calling hours. A graveside service takes place June 12, 11 a.m., in Linwood Cemetery, Haverhill, followed by a celebration of his life. Arrangements are under the direction of Berube-Comeau Funeral Home, 47 Broadway, Haverhill. In lieu of flowers the family requests that memorial donations be made to The Arc of Haverhill/Newburyport, 57 Wingate St., Haverhill, MA.