Robert F. Obser (Bob), 88, of Clifton, NJ died on March 1, 2021. He was born on July 18, 1932, and grew up in Maspeth, Queens, NY, the son of John and Madeline Obser.
Bob was a US Navy Veteran of the Korean War where he proudly served as a Hospitalman. He graduated from CUNY as a chemical engineer, and worked the majority of his career at Givaudan Corporation before retiring in 1987 as a Process Development Manager.
When Bob moved from NY to Clifton in 1964, he became an active volunteer in many of the community groups ranging from youth, sports, and school groups to civic, senior, cultural, and professional organizations.
Bob's personal resume overflows with a lifetime of achievements and awards. He was president of the Mens’ Club of the Clifton Boys’ Club, coach in Little League, pioneer of the “flea market concept” in the local area, member of “C” Club, host of the Clifton Library Film Program, museum guide at Lambert Castle, sign language instructor (and Santa for deaf children), certified Master Gardener of Passaic County, and author of “A History of Clifton Government” and the annual “Concerts of NJ” brochure.
He received many awards for his volunteerism such as 10-year Volunteer Service Award at Passaic General Hospital (also volunteered at St Mary’s Hospital), 1997 Volunteer Award from Clifton Recreation Department, and 1998 Volunteer Award from NJ Recreation Parks Association. In 2003, Bob was recognized by the Clifton Optimist Club by receiving the Stanley Zwier Award for “Outstanding Community Service” as co-recipient with his wife.
Bob was a member of AARP #878, Clifton Seniors Association, Givaudan Retirees Club, AIChE, CUNY Alumni Association, and Tau Beta Pi (Nat’l Honor Eng. Soc.).
Bob had a passion for music his entire life. He played a variety of musical instruments and sang as a tenor with a barbershop quartet, the Wyckoff Male Chorus, Clifton Songsters, and St Paul RC Church Choir. He was best known as “The Music Matador” when he started the Clifton Concert Series with the Recreation Department in 1997, plus a string of indoor concerts that has the Annual “Salute to Veterans” Concert as its legacy. He also published an annual schedule of over 500 free summer concerts throughout north Jersey with over 1200 subscribers. Bob was a partner with his wife in her line dancing classes where he provided the audio for the dancers.
In March 2020, Bob’s two greatest passions – music and his community – were recognized as he received a Proclamation from the City of Clifton renaming their summer concert series to “The Obser Concert Series” in honor of him and his wife.
Bob was predeceased by his wife of 59 years, Josephine (Jo) in 2015, and his son, Bruce. He is survived by his son Steven Obser of Grand Junction, Colorado, his daughter Linda Hart and husband Tim of Clifton, NJ, his daughter Diane Reid and husband James of Pittstown, NJ, his grandson Michael Hart and wife Jennifer, his granddaughter Lori Coates and husband Tom, and his great-grandsons Alexander Hart and Benjamin Coates.
A Memorial Mass will be held on Friday March 5th at 10:00am at St. Philip the Apostle RC Church, 797 Valley Road Clifton. Masks are required to be worn and social distancing guidelines must be adhered to. A procession will follow for a Committal Service and inurnment of ashes at Calvary Cemetery Mausoleum, Paterson at 11:30am. Arrangements through Bizub-Quinlan Funeral Home, 1313 Van Houten Avenue, Clifton.
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