Bob Freese Sr. passed away peacefully on June 11th 2023. He was next to his beloved son-in-law, Steve Pugh, some of his favorite paintings and shadow boxes he created, many pieces of artwork made by family and loved ones, pictures of everyone he loved most in this world, a number of chachkas depicting bulls, alligators, and other animals, and books ranging from Western Castle Architecture to Calvin and Hobbes to Astrology. As his father would say, “He was a bit of a character.”
He is survived by his children Bob Freese Jr, Bill Freese, Meg Pugh, his son-in-law Steve Pugh, as well as his two grandchildren Adelaide Pugh and Jack Pugh. He lives on in their hearts and many others. Bob was a skilled painter, poet, and collage artist specializing in shadow boxes and sculpture. He graduated from Pratt Institute in 1964 with a BFA in Graphic Arts and worked as a book designer and illustrator for several New York publishers such as W.W. Norton, Franklin Library, and Macmillan. Bob also worked as an Art Teacher in Montclair, NJ for many years before retiring in 2007. He was an active member of First Presbyterian Church in Caldwell, NJ for almost 30 years before moving to Lexington Park, MD in 2019 to be closer to his daughter Meg and her family. He became a member of the Lexington Park United Methodist Church and frequented productions at the Newtowne Players. His love of live theater could be seen throughout his life as a founder of the Incandescant Theater and a frequent patron of Theater Under the Stars in West Orange, NJ. Bob saw countless plays and musicals over his life on Broadway, off-broadway, off-off-broadway, and wherever you can find people coming together for performance art. He enjoyed frequenting museums of art and of history and was well travelled. His favorite place in the world was the Canary Islands found off the coast of Morocco. Known for their black sand beaches and Mount Teide, a still active volcano.
Bob’s life was a canvas with many brushstrokes from art in all its forms culminating in a collage of beautiful memories and friendships that transcend his time with us.
Bob’s visitation will be on Friday June 16, 2023 from 2:00-5:00PM at Gray Memorial Funeral Home, 12 Springfield Ave., Cranford. Please go to: www.grayfuneralhomes.com to offer condolences.