Robert Emmett Blythe of Metuchen died on June 28, 2019 at Robert Wood Johnson Medical Center, surrounded by family, after a three year battle with cancer. Bob (or, if you knew him back in the day, “Bean”) was one of those gentle, generous souls God puts on Earth to make it a little better place. Sadly, he was here far too short a time.
There were plenty of things that were important to Bob, but none more than his children Rose and Rob and Rob’s wife Elyse, and his grandsons Vincent, Killian and Matthew. The joy and pride he had in their lives and accomplishments was one of the central themes of his life. If we measure ourselves by the love of those who care about us, Bob was a rich man indeed.
Bob was born on June 22, 1952 in Cincinnati, Ohio to David and Rose (Thompson) Blythe, fourteen minutes after his twin brother Michael and ten months to the day after his older brother David. He grew up in Cincinnati, Edison and Metuchen before moving to Pennsylvania, where he lived for many years before retiring and returning to Metuchen. Bob graduated from JP Stevens High School and attended Wagner College and Mercer County Community College. In the late 1970s he owned an auto parts store with his brother David and then had a successful career as a salesperson and sales manager with AT&T. After retiring from corporate life he managed a musical instrument store and taught guitar to countless lucky students.
One of the other threads that ran through Bob’s life was his love of music and his remarkable talent as a musician. He always remembered with special fondness playing as a young man in The All-Night Flyers and then for more than twenty years in The Steve King Band. Earlier this year, refusing to be hobbled by his cancer, he formed a band called Not Dead Yet with friends who had also fought and bested serious illnesses.
Bob is survived by his children and grandchildren, his brothers, his cousin Don Gordon (who was very much another brother), his niece Mary and nephews Will, David and David. He was predeceased by his parents and cousin Jim Gordon. He is also survived by friends too many to count or name, and by a couple of special soulmates who stayed very close and who meant a great deal to him: Bobby Ciccone, Lou Spina and Chris Hollenbeck in particular, all of whom were sources of strength and comfort to him during his health struggles.
The family wants to express their heartfelt appreciation to the medical professionals at Robert Wood Johnson and at Boyt’s Pharmacy in Metuchen for their caring treatment of Bob these past three years and for their graciousness and sensitivity to the family. In keeping with the family’s wishes there were no wake or calling hours.
There will be a celebration of Bob’s life on Saturday, August 17th from 12:00 pm to 3:00 pm at the Metuchen Elks Hall, 87 Middlesex Avenue (Route 27) in Metuchen. Musicians are encouraged to bring an instrument to sit in for an informal jam session to honor Bob’s great talent and love of music.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made in Bob’s honor to St. Francis School in Metuchen.
Among Bob’s parents, aunts and uncles there was a special way they always took leave of each other at the end of a visit. It fits here. Goodbye, good luck and God bless you.