Robert Baumler of Sanibel and Spring Lake, N.J., passed away on Dec. 21, 2009 after a brief battle with lung cancer. Born in Glen Ridge, N.J., the son of the late Robert G. Baumler and Katherine Mehrtens Baumler, he was 82 at the time of his death.
Growing up in Glen Ridge, he had an outstanding high school athletics career, in three sports - football, basketball and excelling in baseball. Bob was recruited by many major league teams and signed with the Boston Red Sox during his junior year at Penn's Wharton School from which he graduated in 1951. While at Penn, he was a member of Beta Theta Pi.
He spent three years with the Red Sox, fitting in college between the seasons, until a rotator cuff injury cut short his career. Walter Annenberg, the publisher, then asked Bob to join the staff of his new magazine, TV Guide, at the time, in its infancy, and he spent 35 exhilarating years helping to build the magazine into its giant success - at one time, #1 in both advertising sales and circulation - and, at his retirement, was Director of Advertising Sales.
Bob, his wife Joan, and their family were long-time residents of Ridgewood, N.J. where Bob was an avid tennis player, golfer, paddle tennis player, and belonged to the Upper Ridgewood Tennis Club as well as The Ridgewood Club. He was also a member of St. Elizabeth's Episcopal Church.
After his retirement, he and Joan established a winter home on Sanibel and summered in Spring Lake. They lived on Sanibel for 21 years and belonged to The Dunes Golf & Tennis Club and, in Spring Lake, to the Fairway Mews Country Club.
Bob is survived by his adoring wife of 57 years, Joan Tobin Baumler, and his loving children and their families - Karen Baumler Hall and her husband, John, of Lawrenceville, N.J. and Robert Baumler and his wife, Margaret, of Powhaten, Va. He was "PopPop" to Stephanie and Brett Hall and Rob and Matthew Baumler, his grandchildren.
A man of integrity and honesty, Bob also had a great sense of humor, a love of life, a hearty laugh, a smile for everyone, and many, many friends. He will be sorely missed. He was a member of Sanibel Congregational Church, where a memorial service and celebration of his life will take place on Saturday, Feb. 13 at 11 a.m. The family requests that in lieu of flowers, memorial contributions be made to the Sanibel Congregational Church, 2050 Periwinkle Way, Sanibel, FL 33957.
"Peace be with you, Bob."