Robert L. Horlacher, 86, of Middletown, passed away Wednesday, July 5, at home with his loving wife, Joan, by his side. He was born in Kingston, Pennsylvania. He proudly served his country in the US Navy and earned a BSEE degree from Penn State University and an MSEE degree from New York University.
He worked as an electrical engineer at Bell Laboratories for 33 years, retiring in 1990. In recognition of his significant contributions in the telecommunications industry, including contributing work for several patents, work on missile guidance systems, data encryption during the Vietnam War and the 911 emergency response system, he earned the title of Distinguished Member of Technical Staff.
Throughout his life, in addition to keeping up with the latest computer technology, one of his passions was woodworking. He owned every tool imaginable and spent many hours creating beautiful cabinets, tables and toys for his grandchildren. Using his electronics expertise, he built the family’s first color TV from a Heath kit and also built a transistorized electronic Schober recital organ.
Robert was the first charter member at Good Shepherd Lutheran Church in Holmdel where he was involved in many activities, including serving as church council president. During retirement, he was also an active member of Christ Evangelical Lutheran Church in Conyngham, Pennsylvania.
He met the love of his life, Joan Arbogast, in the seventh grade. After his honorable discharge from the Navy, they were married in 1954 and raised three daughters in Colts Neck. After his retirement, Robert and Joan spent their golden years in Sugarloaf, Pennsylvania, enjoying numerous trips, a wonderful circle of friends, the awesome view from the deck and spending time with a growing family. They returned to New Jersey two years ago to be near their daughters.
Robert was predeceased by his parents, George and Edith (Walp) Horlacher; and his three brothers, George, Eddie and Norman. In addition to his devoted wife, Joan, he is survived by three daughters, Deborah (John) Blackburn of Middletown, Diane (Ken) Stetz of Neptune and Jane (Glenn) Schmoyer of Wall; seven grandchildren, Sarah, Ryan, Julia, Rebecca, Kyle, Jennifer and Robert; and four great-grandchildren, Maggie, Violet, Ava and Remy.
Holmdel Funeral Home was in charge of arrangements. Memorial donations may be made in his name to Community Outreach Group, Inc (COG), PO Box 4041, Middletown, NJ 07748. To submit online condolences to the family visit www.holmdelfuneralhome.com.
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