Monday, May 10, 2021


Robert Wendler


Robert Wendler of Old Saybrook passed away Dec. 23, 2020 at the age of 93. He was born in Newport, Rhode Island, the son of Esther Gill and Arthur Wendler. Bob served during World War II in the Navy where he played in the Navy band. After the war he attended Carnegie Mellon University in Pennsylvania, where he earned a degree in architecture in 1952. It was in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania where he met his wife, Joan Pastin, a local TV personality and model.

Bob had a successful architectural career in New Haven for more than 35 years. Among the many projects he worked on were Temple Medical Center, New Haven Medical Hotel, Long Wharf Maritime Center, Rich Forum in Stamford, and the renovation of the historic Shubert Theatre in New Haven. Over the years he served as director of the YMCA of Greater New Haven and The Graduate Club and was president and trustee of the Institute Library.

Bob and Joan moved in 1959 to Old Saybrook, where he served on many boards and committees including the Board of Education, Building Code Board of Appeals, Historical District Commission, School Building Committee, Old Saybrook Historical Society, and the Katharine Hepburn Cultural Arts Center.

Music was a lifelong passion for Bob. He was an accomplished pianist and enjoyed singing in choirs including Cappella Cantorum and the New Haven Chorale. He loved living by the shore, exploring the local waterways in his sailboat with a drop centerboard and a mast that could be lowered to pass under the South Cove causeway. He collected books for many years and, after retirement, began a second career in the rare book trade where he was known and respected.

Bob will be remembered for his quiet, distinguished manner and the dedication and love he put into his many pursuits and friendships.

He will be greatly missed by his family including his wife, Joan, with whom he celebrated 69 years of happy marriage in September, and his sons, Curt of Old Saybrook and Brian and his wife Susan of New Haven. He was predeceased by his sister Naneen.

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