Robert Heyer Muller, Jr., 60 of Chatham, NJ, passed away surrounded by family and caregivers at St. Barnabas Hospital on May 3, 2023. Visiting hours at Wm. A. Bradley & Son Funeral Home, 345 Main St. in Chatham will be on Saturday, May 6th from 3pm to 7pm. A Funeral Mass will be celebrated St. Patrick Church, 85 Washington Ave. also in Chatham on Monday, May 8th at 10am. Interment will follow at Fair Mount Cemetery.
Born in Montclair, NJ, the son of Dr. Robert and Joan Muller (Prout), Rob graduated from Montclair Kimberly Academy in 1981. He earned his bachelor’s degree in history and minored in anthropology and museum studies at Rutgers University in 1985. Rob began his museum career at the Morris Museum (where he met his wife to be in 1986) before joining the American Museum of Natural History in NYC as Exhibition Preparator for 16 years where he met lifelong friends. He was a curator for an Air and Space Museum in New York before working on exhibition and collections projects for such institutions as the Whitney Museum, the Museum of the City New York, the Newark Museum, and the Liberty Science Center. At LSC, Rob was the designated handler of Lyuba- a 41,000-year-old Russian female woolly mammoth calf in the travelling Mammoths and Mastodon Exhibit. Rob was a member of several organizations including the American Society of Military Insignia Collectors and would go to shows to find and sell historic items.
Rob dedicated a lifetime of involvement in conservation, preservation and restoration of a family farm in northwestern New Jersey. He stabilized and renovated a 19th Century Barn. Rob worked with his father over a twenty-year period exhibiting the family collection of Early American industrial and domestic tools, agricultural implements, carriages and sleighs. Rob was a vegetarian. He appreciated nature and kept a look out to watch all animals especially rabbits, deer, groundhogs, humming birds, owls, and cardinals. He loved going for long walks and enjoyed playing tennis, paddle, frisbee, swimming, Ping-Pong, sleigh riding and hitting a beach ball at Memorial Park or on Long Beach Island.
An avid reader, Rob was also an eloquent conversationalist sharing his encyclopedic mind on many topics especially history. He had a quick wit, a fantastic sense of humor and enjoyed comedies, adventure and science fiction. He was extremely appreciative and would always be so thankful for anything anyone would do for him. He in turn was an extremely thoughtful, honest, respectful and kind by treating people the way he would like to be treated. The last 7 weeks, with the support of family, friends, neighbors, St. Patrick Parish, choir and pastor and chaplains and staff at St. Barnabas Hospital, Kessler Institute and Overlook Hospital, Rob fought hard to regain his life with strength, courage, perseverance, hard work and determination and was on the way to an incredible recovery. Tragically, a fatal condition ended that battle.
Rob was the beloved husband of 28 years of Juliann. He was the devoted son of Joan Muller Prout and best friend to Kevin McCabe. He is also survived by his brother Russell and his wife Karen, his sister in laws, Marian Hobbie and her husband William and Joann Gaydos and her husband Kirk Morgan, 6 nieces and nephews and 6 grand nephews. Donations in Rob’s memory can be made to The Raptor Trust, 1390 White Bridge Rd., Millington, NJ 07946 or Antler Ridge Wildlife Sanctuary, 52 County Rd 661, Newton, NJ 07860