Life Story: Robert Spitzer, 78; Vietnam Veteran, ‘Ed Sullivan’ Producer

Robert Spitzer, 78, passed away on September 1 at Morristown Medical Center in Morristown.

Mr. Spitzer was born September 16, 1942, in Ft. Riley, Kansas to the late Albert and Freida (Schwartz) Spitzer. He grew up in Lakewood and then moved to Manhattan, NY, where he met and married his life-long partner, Ann Spitzer, and started his family before settling in Somerset. He later moved to his dream home in Warren and finally back to Somerset in the community of Somerset Run.

Robert earned his bachelor’s degree in business from Pace University and is a veteran of the Vietnam War where he honorably served as a member of a tank unit and armored personnel carrier troop in the 17th Armored Cavalry. Just prior to being drafted, Robert began his professional career working for the Ed Sullivan Show where one of his first assignments was to arrange visas and transportation for the band members of The Beatles to play in their tour appearance at Shea Stadium in 1965.

Upon returning from active duty, he re-joined the Ed Sullivan Show working his way up to producer and then moved on to work on various projects for PBS and The Children’s Television Workshop. Robert worked and met with a multitude of celebrities including Carol Burnett, Henry Winkler, John Travolta, and David Frost.

After declining an offer to follow his production career to California, he and his wife, Ann, decided to open a printing franchise, Minuteman Press of Somerville, which they owned and successfully operated for 25 years. During his tenure as a business owner, he was recognized as “Businessman of the Year”.

Bob loved to get involved in his community. While raising his family in Somerset, he was President of Franklin Township Little League, where both his children played. As an avid golfer and born leader, he became the president of the Somerset Run Golf Club and a member of the Board of Directors at Somerset Run. Robert also volunteered his time at Make-a-Wish Foundation, a cause very near to his heart.

He was well-loved, well-respected, and thrived on life’s adventures – traveling all over the world with his wife, Ann. Above all, Robert adored his family, especially his grandchildren. If you needed him, he would be there.

Robert is survived by his loving wife of 56 years, Ann Spitzer; his son, Michael Spitzer of Hillsborough; his daughter, Debra Karrat, and her husband Nicholas of Summit; his brother, Richard Spitzer, and his wife Roz in Custer, WA. He is also survived by his four grandchildren, Jack, Sofia, Ben, Preston and a plethora of nieces, nephews, extended family, and friends.

Private services will be held at the request of the family and under the direction of the Gleason Funeral Home.

In lieu of flowers, please consider donating in honor of Mr. Robert Spitzer to the MAKE A WISH FOUNDATION OF NEW JERSEY at Wish/NJ.org

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