Robert Allen Coultas
10/06/1935 - 03/02/2024

Robert A. Coultas (Bob) of Madison, NJ, passed away peacefully at home after a long illness on Saturday, March 2nd, at the age of 88. He is survived by his wife of 64 years, Catherine (neé Scull) Coultas of Madison as well as his son David Coultas and wife Helen Coultas of London, England; his daughter Linda Coultas of Medford, MA; grandchildren Maya Gomez-Coultas and Clayton Gomez-Coultas; brother Bruce Coultas and his wife Laural Thurston-Coultas and his aunt June Coultas. He is also survived by his nephews and nieces, Tim Coultas, Hannah Kate Coultas, Chris Coultas, Thomas Coultas, Wayne Coultas, Lisa Brown, Cathy Oudine, Bill Crammer, and cousins Anne Stockton, Elizabeth Stockton, Peter Stockman, and John Stockman. He was predeceased by his parents F. Thomas Coultas and Thirza Coultas and brother Thomas W Coultas (Skip).

Bob was born in Madison at the family home on Greenwood Avenue. His parents were F. Thomas Coultas and Thirza Coultas. His grandfather, Dr. Aldo Bliss Coultas, delivered him into the world. Bob attended Madison public schools, and in high school he played drums in a band with his brother Skip and mother Thirza. They also played at weddings and other local events. He attended the RCA Institute in New York City, and later attained his Associates Degree in Electronics from Union College in NYC. He worked locally repairing radios and televisions for Madison residents (including Mrs. Dodge) in the 1950s and drove his grandfather, Dr. A. B. Coultas, to patients’ homes. He was in the Navy Reserves from 1957 to 1964 and repaired communications and radar equipment on naval vessels. On one mission, he was able to inform the captain they were on a collision course with another navy ship in Hoboken Harbour.

In 1959, he married Catherine (Cathie) Scull at the Methodist Church in Madison. Shortly afterwards he began his work with Fairchild Oscilloscope Laboratories, Techtronix and Dumont Oscilloscopes Laboratories, eventually establishing himself in sales. They moved for a short time to Virginia for his training, after which he was transferred to Portland, Oregon, and later to Huntingdon Valley, PA. His son David was born while they lived in PA. They moved to Vestal, NY, when he was transferred again and their second child Linda was born. In 1966, they returned to Madison, moving into Catherine’s childhood home. They lived there for the remainder of his life.

In 1973 Bob and Cathie decided to start their own business, and opened a Sir Speedy Instant Printing franchise in Morristown, NJ. Eventually they left the franchise and changed the name of their business to The Print Shop, which they ran successfully until their nephew Tom took over management in the late ‘80s and ownership in 1999, changing the name to One Source Communications, at which point Bob retired.

Bob joined the Rotary Club of Morristown in 1974, becoming club President in 1978. He was the Rotary District Governor in 1985 and was on the Rotary International Board of Directors into the ‘90s. He later served as Aide to the President and Chairman of the RI Peace Conference during the tenure of Richard King, past RI president. He was getting ready to board a train to NYC on 9/11/01 to attend meetings at the United Nations representing RI, but hearing the news, stayed home. He was later involved in the Gift of Life Program of RI, which raised funds to fly children from many different countries to NYC for heart surgeries. He was a Paul Harris Fellow.

Bob and Cathie welcomed many young people from around the world into their home through the Rotary Exchange Student Program. Over the years they hosted 25–30 students for approximately 6 months each, as well as having many short-term exchanges, particularly with Japanese students. They remained in touch with many of their students, and continued to welcome them back into their home for visits.

Bob was on the Board of Directors of the Madison YMCA from 1978 to 1991, and Board Chair from 1985 to 1989. He was instrumental in the fundraising effort to transform the Lucy B. Anthony School into the current F.M. Kirby Day Care Center of the Madison YMCA. When the Board later wanted to revive its Annual Campaign, Bob became an advisor to the current YMCA Executive Director, Diane Mann, and spoke at board campaign meetings and board meetings as late as 2012. While he was a strong advocate for the YMCA and its mission, he spent his time at the Y in a suit and tie, and was never seen on an exercise bike or in the pool. Bob was also on the Board of Directors of the Madison Public Library.

Over the years, Bob and Cathie traveled to 32 different countries for Rotary, and also to visit family and friends. He enjoyed watching the New Providence HS football team, as a booster during his brother Bruce’s tenure as a coach during the ‘70s and ‘80s. Bob enjoyed spending summer weekends and later longer periods at their cottage on a lake in Pennsylvania with his wife and family. Bob and a neighbor built a new cottage over one summer, and the simple place in a grove of white pines was a peaceful retreat. He was a big fan of the Montrose Blueberry Festival nearby. Bob loved his John Deere tractor mower, and spent hours riding around cutting the grass, and sitting on the back porch admiring the trees and birds with a cup of coffee. He could take up the room with his laugh, life advice, and presence. He will be sorely missed by his family and friends.

A private family service is on March 9th. A celebration of his life is being planned for the spring. In lieu of flowers, please send donations in his honor to the Rotary International Foundation, the Madison Rotary Foundation, The Madison Area YMCA or The Madison Public Library.


Funeral Home:
Wm. A. Bradley & Son Funeral Home
Funeral:
A celebration of his life will be announced at a later date.
Memorial Gifts:
In lieu of flowers, please send donations in his honor to the Rotary International Foundation, the Madison Rotary Foundation, The Madison Area YMCA or The Madison Public Library.
Bradley Funeral Homes
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