Robert “Bob” Francis Leavitt, 85, of Brielle passed away on June 21, 2020. Bob was born and raised in Montclair, NJ and graduated Immaculate Conception High School, Montclair. He graduated St. Mary’s University in San Antonio, TX, where he studied journalism and received a degree in English. Bob then served in the U.S. Army and trained as a Medical Aide Man in Fort Sam Houston Medical Center in San Antonio, Texas. He was assigned to his permanent station in the 25th Infantry Division at Schofield Barracks in Hawaii. He was attached to the 25th Medical Battalion. After his service Bob started to work as a salesman for the truck division of the Goodyear Tire Company. After a few years, he was promoted to Regional Sales Manager. He moved to Verona, where he was involved in politics. He was elected Democratic Chairman of the County Committee in Verona and within two years, he had a Democratic Mayor and Councilman elected for the first time ever in Verona. He was appointed, through the governor’s office to a position in the Commissioner’s Office at the New Jersey Department of Labor and Industry. He oversaw an on-site program for health and safety in the workplace. OSHA co-sponsored the program and sent him to the University of Alabama for an advanced course in OSHA regulations. The program was very successful under his direction. He worked as Senate Aide and in the Senate office of Senator Frank (Pat) Dodd of Essex County. He was involved in many successful campaigns, organized fund raisers and promotional events. He was on the Essex County Screening Committee and the Governors Screening Committee to screen potential candidates for political office. Pat and Bob loved to go on vacation together. They made 30 consecutive trips to Ft. Lauderdale to Super Bowl parties. Bob was also manager and promoter of Dodd’s nightclubs in Essex and Monmouth counties. The Essex Country Club was the largest in the state at that time. Bob moved to sea Girt and purchased the Parker House. At the time it had little or no business and was considered to be a “white elephant.” He used his years of experience in managing Dodd’s clubs to make the Parker House a successful bar and restaurant. After revitalizing and selling the Parker House, he began buying and “flipping” houses and this led him to start a painting business, South Monmouth Painting. It became one of the largest and most successful painting companies in the area. Bob was a former member of the Manasquan River Golf Club. He was one of the original members of the Friendly Sons of the Shillelagh in West Orange, NJ. He was very proud of his Irish heritage and marched in many Essex County St. Patrick’s Day Parades. He attended St Denis Church, Manasquan. Bob loved his Golden Retrievers, Shane and Molly, who always went with him to work. They were always seen with their heads sticking out of his Jeep’s windows cruising through town. Bob had a great sense of humor and Irish wit. He found humor in almost anything and he loved to make people laugh.
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He was predeceased by his father, Bertrand A. Leavitt and his mother Mary Patricia (nee Callahan) Leavitt; as well as a brother William Joseph Leavitt.
Family and friends are invited to attend a visitation on Thursday, June 25, 2020 from 3-5 pm and 7-9 pm at Orender Family Home for Funerals 2643 Old Bridge Road, Manasquan, NJ 08736. A Mass of Christian Burial will be at a later date due to COVID-19. Interment will be at Brig. Gen. William C Doyle Veterans Memorial Cemetery, Arneytown. In lieu of flowers memorial donations may be made to Monmouth County SPCA 260 Wall Street, Eatontown, NJ 07724. To send condolences to the family please visit www.orenderfamilyhome.com.