GLEN ROCK — Robert James "Jim" Aber, 87, died on Dec. 25.
He was born in Matamoras, Pa. to Phoebe and Dallas Aber. He grew up in Matamoras and later lived in the Bronx, N.Y. for several years before moving to Glen Rock in 1958. He was a veteran and served in the Navy. He attended St. Mary's College in Winona, Minn. and Marquette University in Milwaukee, Wis. After his navy service he attended the University of Wisconsin to begin his art studies. He completed his art training at Rhode Island School of Design where he earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree. He began his career as an art director with the New York advertising agency Lennen & Newell. He also worked for New Jersey agencies Josephson and Cuffari and Douglas Samuels Association. He did free-lance artwork throughout the years and won awards and citations for advertising campaigns and creative artwork. He was a charter member of CRAFTS of New Jersey and created its name. He spent many years researching and studying the early tools and crafts of America and donated all his research and photos to the Early Trades and Crafts Museum in Madison, where the Robert James Aber research center was established. He was active in the Glen Rock Historical Society and devised the "Growing Up in Glen Rock" series of lectures which continued for many years. He was the artist and contributor of posters and artwork for the Glen Rock Independence Day Association (IDA) for many years. He made pen and ink drawings of Glen Rock which were collected and printed in a book called "Jim Aber's GLEN ROCK SKETCHBOOK," which was produced to fund the Glen Rock Business District. He was a longtime member of the Glen Rock Activities Club for retired men. When he was no longer able to continue his detailed drawings, he began writing poetry about everyday life as he saw it. Many poems were printed weekly in The Glen Rock Gazette, and he was named Poet Laureate of Glen Rock by the mayor and the Men's Activities Club. He spent the last five months of his life in the care of the Christian Health Care Center.
He is survived by his wife, Regina; his children, Brian Aber and Robyn Aber and husband Robert Klessig; his sister, Elizabeth Babb; and many nephews and nieces.
Visitation will be held from 2 to 4 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 4 in the Parlor of the Community Church of Glen Rock. A service of interment will follow at 4 p.m. in the Church's Memorial Garden. A memorial service will take place later in March at the convenience of the family.
Memorial donations may be made to the Community Church of Glen Rock, 354 Rock Road, Glen Rock, NJ 07452; or The Christian Health Care Center, 301 Sicomac Road, Wyckoff, NJ 07480.
Published in Glen Rock Gazette on Dec. 30, 2013