His Dutch ancestors were among Montgomery's early settlers
February 24, 1928 – July 30, 2018
Robert A. Staats, Sr., 90, died on July 30, 2018. Born in Princeton on February 24, 1928, Robert (Bob) lived in Belle Mead throughout his life. His Dutch ancestors were among the first settlers in the Montgomery area.
He was the son of the late Harry and Irene (Amerman) Staats. He graduated from Princeton High School in 1946, getting his diploma early so he could join the U.S. Navy in February of that year.
He served on an oil tanker delivering fuel from Greenland to troops stationed off the coast of Japan. During his time in the Navy, he received training as an electrician. He served until the end of 1947 and returned home to Belle Mead. The next year Bob married the love of his life, Marie Richey of Princeton.
Bob and Marie were married for 69 years and together raised a family of seven children. Bob was a devoted husband and father. He was always available to his children as a steady, kind influence, with an infectious sense of humor and ready laugh. He enjoyed boating, fishing, playing golf and cards, going to the race track, and being with his many friends. Most of all, he loved spending time with his family.
Bob and Marie owned a house in Surf City on Long Beach Island for many years. He enjoyed going out on his boat, the Sparky-Re, in Barnegat Bay, and his family enjoyed many feasts after a day of crabbing and fishing on the bay.
Everyone who knew Bob would describe him as hard working. He built his two homes himself, working on them at night and on weekends while his family was growing. While his children were young, he coached Little League and was a member of Fire Company No. 1 in Belle Mead. For many years Bob owned and operated an electrical contracting business, Staats Electric.
After 20 years, he decided to make a change and operated a gas station and auto repair business in Rocky Hill for several years. He then worked at Princeton University as the superintendent of Systems Control, retiring in 1993. After retirement Bob and Marie had time to travel, going on many trips within the United States and Europe. He kept himself as busy as ever in his later years, working in his yard and around the house and fixing anything that broke down.
Bob was a member of the Griggstown Reformed Church, and was a kind, good-natured man who was loved by his large family. Bob and Marie always made family a priority, and held frequent backyard barbecues and get-togethers with their children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren to remain close. Their children and grandchildren look to their grandparents as the role model to follow as they raise their own families.
In addition to his wife Marie, he is survived by his sister, Peggy Varga of Belle Mead; his son Robert A. Staats, Jr. (Dorothy) of Skillman; daughter-in-law Marilyn Staats of Belle Mead; daughter Deborah Strauss (Robert) of Somerset; son Charles Staats (Julie) of Belle Mead; daughter Sherry Baldwin (David) of Yardville; son Theodore Staats (Donna) of Shelby, NC; and daughter Cynthia Daly (Michael) of Edison. Bob was predeceased by his son, William Staats, Sr. He also is survived by 17 grandchildren: Stephanie Eodice; William Staats, Jr. (Tina); Amy Staats; Brian Staats (Kelley); Jason Strauss (Katie); Michael Strauss (Angelina); Laura Strauss; Melissa Fischer (Brian); Evan Staats (Masami); Scott Staats (Mallory); Kahler Staats; Heather Guagliardo (Matthew); Daniel Baldwin (Rachel); Kelly Baldwin; Megan Daly; Tim Daly; and Ryan Daly. He is also survived by 15 great-grandchildren.
Visiting hours will be at the Hillsborough Funeral Home on Friday, August 3, from 4 pm to 7 pm. Relatives and friends are invited to a memorial service at the Griggstown Reformed Church on Saturday, August 4, at 11 pm. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in his name to the Griggstown Reformed Church, 1065 Griggstown Road, Princeton, NJ 08540.