Robert "Bob" Van
Wyck Jahrling Jr.
JAHRLING - Robert "Bob" Van Wyck Jahrling Jr., 89, of Ridgefield, CT and Chautauqua, NY, passed away at home on November 2, 2020, after a long battle with Alzheimer's disease. His love of life and family was evident to all who knew him.
Born April 9, 1931 in Brooklyn, NY, Bob always remembered his New York roots. His youth was centered in Jamaica, NY, and Ridgewood, NJ, while his summers were spent at Lake Chautauqua in western New York state where, in 1946, he met his wife of 67 years, Gretchen Linder Jahrling. Bob and Gretchen raised five children in Ridgewood, NJ, and returned to Chautauqua every summer.
A sense of place was always important to Bob, and another place important to him was Hanover, NH, home of Dartmouth College. Bob received his bachelor's degree from Dartmouth in 1952 and then stayed on in Hanover to receive his MBA from the Amos Tuck School of Business in 1953. From the Dartmouth weathervane on top of his house to his Dartmouth green cars, Bob was the epitome of a loyal alumnus.
Following college, Bob served as a Lieutenant in the United State Navy, stationed in Charleston, SC, and Norfolk, VA.
Bob worked his entire professional career with one firm: PricewaterhouseCoopers. He rose to the level of partner in the firm's New York office and served as lead partner for several major multinational accounts with the firm including Exxon, Kodak and Anaconda which allowed him to travel the globe. His family loved hearing his stories of exotic travel. He was also selected as a member of PricewaterhouseCooper's Policy Board.
At Chautauqua, Bob loved to sail. In fact sailing was a true passion of his. Chautauqua Lake was where he learned to sail as a boy in his first Comet. And if he wasn't tinkering with his boats, he was racing them. He looked forward to every summer weekend in which he and his crew raced one of his C-Scows, and did so quite successfully. There is a wall in the family's lake house covered with his racing ribbons and trophies. When the race was over he would sit on his dock, drink in hand, and review the highs and lows of the afternoon.
Most of all, though, Bob is remembered for his big heart and devotion to family. A nurse who cared for him in recent years remarked, "I believe that these diseases drop all of our defenses, and our walls go away. I could see the true Bob even in his illness. His decency, integrity, and his kindness really shone through."
In addition to his wife, Gretchen, Bob is survived by his five children Heidi (Mark) DeWaele of New Canaan, CT; Bob (Cathy) Jahrling of Lincoln, MA; Gretchen (David) Crandall of New London, NH; Tim (Maureen) Jahrling of Farmington, CT; and Jennifer (Jamie) Forese of New Canaan, CT, as well as 14 grandchildren.
A celebration of his life will be held at Chautauqua Institution, Chautauqua, NY, in the summer of 2021. Memorial contributions can be made to Chautauqua Institution or Dartmouth College. To leave a remembrance or to post condolences to the family, please visit freayfuneralhome.com