ROBERT STILLMAN

Obituary of ROBERT A STILLMAN

Robert A. Stillman, 74, formerly of Edison, NJ, passed away on April 21, 2021 from Fragile X-related Tremor/Ataxia Syndrome (FXTAS), a genetic neurological disease. He was born in Brooklyn, NY to Belle and Murray Stillman, and was the younger of two brothers. He attended Wingate High School in Brooklyn, and attended City College of New York on a Regents' Scholarship, majoring in Chemistry in the Honors Program. Apart from a year working at Hoffman-LaRoche immediately following his graduation from college, Robert worked at Bristol-Myers Squibb for his entire professional life, starting as a bench chemist and quickly working his way up to simultaneously chairing the Physical and Analytical Chemistry departments. While working full-time, he also earned his Master's Degree in Organic Chemistry from Brooklyn College, attending classes in the evenings and on weekends. He eventually became an executive, traveling the world negotiating partnerships with other laboratories. He retired in 2005, having spent 38 years at Bristol-Myers Squibb. Robert was a devoted family man and was particularly attentive and caring to his two children, Mark and Abby, who survive him. He was a soccer and Little League coach, a math tutor and science-project maker. He was a carpooler and laundry-doer long before fathers routinely did those things. He was the guy who could fix any problem, and he taught his children that staying positive was the way to get through life. A proud and passionate liberal, he championed social justice and progressive ideas. He marched on Washington multiple times for a variety of important causes, always mindful of what he had and what others did not. Cities were his first love, but Robert also cherished nature. He loved hiking the Appalachian Trail, often accompanied by his dogs Celtie, Smokey, and Casey. He enjoyed riding a good ocean wave, and had visited most of the lighthouses on the East Coast. A prolific amateur photographer, Robert honed his craft photographing buildings and cityscapes, leading to a lifelong passion for architecture. Between photos of buildings and pictures of his family and friends, he leaves a legacy of over 40,000 meticulously labeled 35mm film slides documenting every aspect of life. Robert was a “renaissance man” who prided himself on knowing “a little bit about a lot of things.” He reveled in learning, reading history, visiting historical places and modern art museums, and seeing films (which he called “pictchas” in his Brooklyn accent). He was a particular fan of monumental art and sculpture, which he sought out all over the world. Trains, subways, and industrial sites were also on his lists of interests — his idea of a family vacation was taking his kids to the Bessemer Steel Converter in Pittsburgh. Robert’s main stomping ground, though, was New York City, particularly the World Trade Center, which he watched being built from his train ride to graduate school and to which he was a regular visitor. In addition to his children, he is survived by their mother, Vera Stillman, his son-in-law, Jeremy, his beloved granddaughters, Annabelle and Nadine, and 8 nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his older brother, Burt, who passed away in July 2020, also from FXTAS. He will be greatly missed by friends and family alike. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Robert Stillman Memorial FXTAS Research Fund at the UC Davis MIND Institute. If you prefer not to donate online, checks can be made payable to UC Davis Foundation with Robert Stillman Memorial FXTAS Research Fund written in the memo line, and mailed to UC Davis Advancement Services, 202 Cousteau Place #185, Davis, CA 95618.
To plant a beautiful memorial tree in memory of ROBERT STILLMAN, please visit our Tree Store
Friday
23
April

Graveside Services

2:00 pm
Friday, April 23, 2021
Mt. Judah Cemetery
8114 Cypress Avenue
Ridgewood, New York, United States
718-821-1060

Burial

Mt. Judah Cemetery
8114 Cypress Avenue
Ridgewood, New York, United States
718-821-1060