Mr. Robert A. Davis, 85, died on August 10, 2020 at the Tallwoods Care Center in Bayville, N.J.
Visiting will be in the Prout Funeral Home, 370 Bloomfield Ave., Verona, on Saturday, August 15 from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m., with a service at noon. Burial will follow in Hanover Cemetery, East Hanover, at 1 p.m. Condolences may be left at www.proutfuneralhome.com.
Born in East Orange in 1935, Mr. Davis graduated from West Orange High School in 1954 and joined the New Jersey National Guard, earning an honorable discharge in 1959. In 1955 he married his high school sweetheart, Joan Hoffman, settling soon after in Verona to raise their family. Bob and Joan lived in Verona for 48 years before moving to Lanoka Harbor. Bob worked for NJ Bell and AT&T for over 25 years. In 1984, Bob and his son, Allen, formed their own telecommunications firm, Access Communications, located in Orange.
Bob was a positive and possibility thinker, a problem solver, who was devoted to helping and inspiring others. He used to say, “anything your mind can conceive, and believe, you can achieve!” That attitude was one that guided the way he raised his children, his personal and business relationships and the way he tackled problems in his community and beyond. His mission in life, one he was determined to pass on to his children, was to leave the world and everyone he encountered a little bit happier, a little bit more self-confident than he found them.
As a young father, Bob discovered Dale Carnegie courses and became a Dale Carnegie instructor, teaching others the life skills and attitudes that lead to success. That desire to help others and spread positive attitudes, led to an interest in politics and public policy as well as in charities and organizations that serviced the community.
He became active in politics on the local, state and national levels and led several charity and service organizations. At various times, he served as president of the Rotary (earning a Paul Harris Fellowship) and Lions Clubs of Orange. He also led the HG McCully Chapter of the Telephone Pioneers of America. Through these groups, he organized projects that benefitted the New Jersey Foundation for the Blind, receiving their “Man of the Year” Award for his work at Diamond Spring Lodge for the Blind in Denville. His efforts also benefitted ARC, the public schools of Orange and countless charities for handicapped children. Bob organized trips to the Shriner’s circus and a day of sailing for handicapped children at the Atlantic Yacht Club. He took the Rotary Club dictionary program and added his own flair to his presentations to 3rd graders in Orange schools, teaching them that they were the most powerful people in their own lives. His efforts were credited by the School Superintendent for improving test scores that followed the children he influenced through their High School years. When his boys were young, he was active in Cub Scouts in Verona, serving as Cub Master for several years.
Bob was elected to the Essex County Republican Committee in Verona and served for most of the 48 years he lived there. He was Chairman of the Essex County Young Republicans, until he reached the age limit for membership. In the 1976, he formed the Republication Coalition to get Ronald Reagan elected, and in the 1980’s he ran for Congress three times. Along the way, he crafted and got passed legislation that protected worker’s pensions and protected consumers from fraud, met with presidents and exerted an influence far beyond his humble beginnings. Bob Davis set out to make the world around him better than he found it and to inspire others to do the same, and he did.
Bob was predeceased by his son, Robert A. Davis, Jr. and grandson, Steven D. Bennett, USMCR.
Bob is survived by his wife, Joan (nee Hoffman) Davis; children, Bobbi Joan Bennett, Allen Davis (Linda) and Steven Davis (Ester); nine grandchildren and 12 great-grandchildren.
In lieu of flowers, donations to Backpacks for Life, 28 Bright Street Unit 401, Jersey City, NJ 07302 or St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, 501 St. Jude Place, Memphis, TN 38105-9959 would be appreciated.