G. Robert (Bob) Leopold, 93, of Livingston died Jan. 12, 2019. He grew up in Weehawken and Union City and later lived in Elizabeth before settling in Livingston in 1959.
Mr. Leopold joined Bell Laboratories and developed technologies for sub-sea communications cables, retiring after more than 40 years of service.
He attended University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, where he obtained both his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in electrical engineering.
He enlisted in the U.S. Navy during World War II, with the Nazis surrendering on his first day of combat duty.
He spent decades researching family genealogy and collecting stories, writing an annual family newsletter, “The Procrastinator’s Times.”
He was a staunch opponent of the Vietnam War and a strong supporter of the civil rights movement. He was an early activist for fair housing initiatives. In the late 1960s, he was one of the founders of a group called “PYMWYMI” (Put Your Money Where Your Mouth Is), which called upon local residents to donate funds to support the community of Newark after the 1967 riots.
He served on the Livingston Town Council and as mayor during the 1980s. He continued serving on the planning and zoning boards until his health prevented him from participating in meetings in his final years. He was also involved with organizations such as American Jewish Congress, the ARC, the local environmental commission, and the Democratic Party. In an Oct. 5, 2017, editorial, the West Essex Tribune honored his years of service to the local community, urging others to “Be a ‘Bob.’”
He is survived by his wife, Iris; two daughters, Rebecca (partner Kol) and Debby; his son, Simon (Sari); and two grandchildren.
Services were held Jan. 15 with arrangements by Bernheim-Apter-Kreitzman Suburban Funeral Chapel, Livingston. Memorial contributions may be made to Doctors Without Borders, Planned Parenthood, or Southern Poverty Law Center.