Robert David Unice, 82, passed away peacefully on August 5, 2023, at Baptist Community Hospice in Jacksonville, Florida. Born on May 28, 1941, in Elizabeth, New Jersey, he resided there until 1967 before moving to Scotch Plains, where he lived until 1979. Since then, he made his home in Warren, New Jersey.
Robert graduated from Thomas Jefferson High School in Elizabeth. Following his education, he made the patriotic decision to serve his country, joining the United States Air Force in 1962. During his four years of service, Robert took on the critical role of an air traffic control radar equipment repairman. His technical acumen and dedication to duty were instrumental in ensuring the safety and efficiency of military air operations. He received an honorable discharge in 1966, leaving behind a legacy of commitment and excellence.
After his military service, Robert managed his family's store, Ray's Sport Shop, in North Plainfield, New Jersey, from 1966 to 2010.
A man of many passions, Robert's hobbies reflected a life lived fully and joyfully. A lover of the sea, he took to windsurfing and multi-hull sailing, reveling in the thrill of the open water. He was a member for many years at the Atlantic Highland Yacht Club in New Jersey and the St. Augustine Yacht Club in Florida. His intellectual curiosity was fed through his love of reading, and he found solace and creativity in playing the piano. A technologically savvy individual, Robert enjoyed connecting with others around the world through operating his ham radio.
A former member of the Scotch Plains Baptist Church, Robert was predeceased by his parents, John Robert Unice and Margaret Mestan Unice; his sister, Margot Unice Amatelli; and his son-in-law, John D. Malin.
He is survived by his loving wife, Gail Loraine Lueddeke Unice; his two children, Bridget Raye Malin and Justin David Unice, and his wife, Jamie Lee Unice; six grandchildren, Jakob David Malin, Luke Robert Malin, Dylan Cash Malin, Izabella Noelle Unice, Grayson David Unice, and Stellyn Willow Unice; one great-granddaughter, Aurelie Noelle Margaret Dournaux; his brother, Richard Unice; and his sister, Susan Unice Wingate.
A visitation will be held on Friday, August 18, 2023, from 4:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m., at Higgins Home for Funerals, 752 Mountain Blvd., Watchung, NJ. A funeral service will be held on the following morning commencing at 9:00 a.m. at the funeral home on Saturday, August 19, 2023. Robert will be laid to rest at Fairview Cemetery, 1100 East Broad Street, Westfield, NJ.
A repast will be held in celebration of Robert's life after the burial, and all are welcome to attend. It will be held at 12 Noon at the Somerset Hills Hotel, 200 Liberty Corner Road, Warren, NJ.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Robert's memory to the Alzheimer's Association at www.alz.org.