Robert (Bob) Falkenburg died peacefully on July 1 at his Camp Ground cottage, surrounded by family. He was 96.

He was predeceased by the love of his life, his wife Jodie, who died in December 2022.

He was born on May 12, 1927 to George H. Falkenburg and Margaret (Peg) Amrhine Falkenburg in Englewood, N.J. He grew up primarily in Westwood, N.J.

He attended Illinois College on the G.I. Bill. As a junior, he noticed a pretty freshman and asked her out on a date. She said yes to the date, yes to the fraternity pin two months later, and yes when he asked her to marry him only five months after that, when he was recalled to active duty. Bob and Jodie married in October 1950 and lasted an amazing 72 years.

He was in the inactive reserves during World War II and was called to active duty when the Korean War broke out. He served honorably discharged because of an injury. He returned to school and finished his degree.

After graduation, he worked with delinquents and ex-convicts through a sociology department grant. A natural for the job, he befriended troubled youth and gently counseled them. He later found work miles from home, staying away all week. A chance encounter with a college friend led to a welcome job offer from New York Telephone Company in New York City.

During that time he and Jodie started their family. Their son Michael was born in Illinois, daughter Debbie was born in New York and Pam in New Jersey. They settled in Waldwick, N.J., where they lived for more than 30 years. Bob commuted to work and Jodie tailored her secretarial schedule to greet the children arriving home from school. Their time was filled with family, church activities and community. They performed in local theater and Bob became school board president. When the children grew up, Bob took an early retirement offer from AT&T.

They spent every August in the Camp Ground in Oak Bluffs where Bob’s father had bought a cottage in 1962. The Vineyard quickly became very dear to their hearts. After retirement and moving to New Hampshire, Bob and Jodie spent May to October in their little cottage. They moved there year-round in 2000.

He worked as the shop manager for the Martha’s Vineyard Camp Meeting Association for about 15 years and then started running the information booth in downtown Oak Bluffs for about 15 years, riding his bike to work until he was 93. Bob and Jodie were happy to be grand marshals of the annual Fourth of July children’s parade for many years. Quite often, they could be seen either sitting on their porch or walking somewhere hand in hand.

One of Bob’s hobbies was counted-cross stitch, which he would do on the airplane when traveling for work. He continued to sew until about the age of 90 and made countless beautiful pieces for many family members and friends.

Bob was predeceased by his daughter Debbie. He is survived by his son Michael and his wife Cathy, daughter Pam and her husband Charlie, and Debbie’s husband Alan. He was the very proud grandparent of six grandchildren: Colin, Nathanael, Aimee, Jonathan, John (Jack) and Scott. He was also great-grandfather of three great-grandchildren: Benjamin, Mason and Cameron. He was the most positive cheerleader to anything his family members were involved in.

Bob was a very kind, faithful, happy and social man known for his hearty laugh. His family was of utmost importance to him and they think of him as the sweetest Poppi/Grampie/Poppa ever. If you were a friend of Bob’s, you never get just a handshake from him; there would usually be a hug and kiss as well.

A celebration of life will be held on Martha’s Vineyard in September.

Memorial contributions may be made to the MVCMA Tabernacle Restoration Fund at or sent to MVCMA with “Tabernacle restoration” on the memo line: MVCMA, P.O. Box 1685, Oak Bluffs, MA 02557.

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