Robert A. Potdevin

09/03/2013 12:55 PM |

Robert A. (Bob) Potdevin died peacefully Aug. 11, 2013, at his home in Laurel. He was 86 years old.

Bob was the patriarch of the Potdevin family and preferred family gatherings on Great Peconic Bay over all else, especially if they included dogs and boats. He was happiest with a view of the bay, and it was particularly beautiful the day he died.

Bob was born Feb. 16, 1927, in Brooklyn to Mathilda Fetzer and Adolph Potdevin. He grew up in Garden City and excelled in track and soccer in high school. Bob enlisted in the Army Air Corps and participated in the Berlin Airlift after World War II, based in Oberpfaffenhofen. He later attended Hofstra University.

Bob married his high school sweetheart, Ruth Hauser, on April 28, 1951. The couple moved to Ridgewood, N.J., where they raised four children, Robert Scott, James Todd, Jan Carol and Roger Dodge Potdevin.

The Potdevins were avid tennis players and belonged to Upper Ridgewood Tennis Club and the North Fork Country Club in Cutchogue. The family enjoyed boating and took many extended trips on their boats, the Weather Lee II, III and IV, from Montreal to the coast of Maine to Florida and the Bahamas. The family traveled extensively, frequently combining Bob’s business with pleasure to far-flung destinations.

Ruth Potdevin died tragically May 30, 1985, and the couple’s son Roger died April 11, 2005, after a brief illness.

Bob was president and CEO of the Potdevin Machine Company, based in Teterboro and West Caldwell, N.J., a manufacturer of packaging machinery sold both nationally and internationally. He was a packaging industry leader and served a term as president of the Packaging Machinery Manufacturers Institute. Bob was also active in Rotary International and served on the board of directors of the Hackensack, N.J., YMCA.

Bob married Martha Covington (née Fogg), Dec. 7, 1989. Bob and Martha split their time between Ridgewood and Laurel, later spending more and more time at their Great Peconic Bay home, which they loved.

Bob is survived by his beloved wife, Martha. He also leaves behind his sons Robert, of Basking Ridge, N.J., and James, of Juneau, Alaska, and daughter, Jan Munier of Falmouth, Mass.; 10 grandchildren; and two great-grandchildren.

A memorial gathering will be held Sept. 12 at VanderPlaat Funeral Home in Wyckoff, N.J., between 2 and 4 p.m.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests memorial gifts be made to Mattituck Yacht Club, P.O. Box 1126, Mattituck, NY 11952 or K9S For Warriors, www.k9sforwarriors.org.

Arrangements were entrusted to DeFriest-Grattan Funeral Home.

This is a paid notice.