Robert Stuart Forsyth, age 90, of Bridgewater, NJ passed away at home on March 21, 2021.
Born in Brooklyn, NY on October 11, 1930, first born son of the late Joseph Milton and Mabel Lillian Redfern Forsyth. He attended PS 134, Andrew Jackson High School and Lafayette College. At Lafayette, he earned a BS in Chemical Engineering and was a member of Kappa Sigma Fraternity and elected to Tau Beta Pi for maintaining a rank in the first fifth of his class. After graduation in 1952, he was employed by National Starch and Chemical Company originally based in NYC, then Plainfield and finally Manville. Beginning as a chemical engineer, he ascended the corporate ladder so that after 48 years he retired as VP of International Operations. He continued as Adhesives Consultant after retirement. During his time with NSC, he served in the US Army (293rd Engineering Construction Battalion in Baumholden, Germany) from 1953-1955. His battalion was responsible for the integration of Caucasian and African-American troops. The army also provided him the opportunity to learn to drive. From that time on, he only drove stick shift vehicles! His role in the international division of NSC was to set-up new companies and train employees, hence he visited 31 countries, of which he was very proud. Additionally, he earned his MS in Industrial Engineering from Stevens Institute of Technology during this time. He was a member of and active in The Institute of Packaging Professionals earning Member of the Year, Lifetime Certified Packaging Professional, Most Valuable Member and Chairman of the Board.
While still living in NY, Bob met the love of his life Norma. Married October 3, 1959, they celebrated 59 years together before her passing on March 6, 2019. In 1961, Bob and Norma built and lived in their forever Bridgewater home. They also enjoyed time in their later years at their villa on Hilton Head Island, SC.
Always remaining busy, Bob joined the Martinsville Volunteer Fire Department on October 1, 1962. He took his time with MVFD as important as his profession, spending countless hours attending fires and meetings as well as holding the positions of President, Chief Engineer, Secretary, Chief and Lifetime Member. He was awarded Schaefer Fireman of the Year 1975, Schlitz Fireman of the Year 1977, Bridgewater Volunteer of the Year 2003, and Bridgewater Township Education Foundation Award 2006. On January 18, 2013, and again in September 2018, the mayor of Bridgewater officially extended congratulations, appreciation, and gratitude to Bob for his countless contributions to the community.
In addition to MVFD, Bob earned his Qualifying Certificate in 1970 from the NJ State Firemen’s Association. He spent the next 43 years as Secretary, retiring in December 2020. He was recognized for his years of service by being awarded the lifetime position of Secretary Emeritus, a position created especially for him.
In his spare time Bob enjoyed running, where he participated in many community runs including the Turkey Trot and Jingle Bell Run on Hilton Head Island, SC with his daughter.
He was a member of Liberty Corner Presbyterian Church.
He was assisted these final 6 months at home by his devoted caregiver, Zurab -- a man of great patience whom Dad truly appreciated.
He is predeceased by his wife, Norma, and his beloved (16 month younger) brother, Roger Prescott Forsyth.
He is survived by his only child and daughter, Hilary Karin, and her loving husband, Steve. Also surviving is his niece, Susan F. Zirkelbach, her husband Jim, and their family.
A Visitation will be held on Wednesday, April 14th, 2021 from 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. at Higgins Home for Funerals, Watchung, NJ. A Funeral Service will commence at 12:00 p.m. at the same location. Entombment will follow at Somerset Hills Memorial Park in Basking Ridge, NJ.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in his memory to MVFD. All questions regarding this and the service can be directed to Chief Chris Snook at 908-625-4802.