Honorable Robert L. Reiher, Longest Serving Mayor of West Caldwell, State Farm Insurance Agent Passes


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WEST CALDWELL, NJ - The Honorable Robert L. Reiher, 83, of Bonita Springs, FL and Ocean Beach, NJ, passed away on Thursday, Sept. 4, at Columbia Presbyterian Hospital in NY after a short illness. 

Mayor Reiher will be lying in state at the Township of West Caldwell Library (In the Reiher Wing), 30 Clinton Road, West Caldwell, on Thursday, September 11, from 4:00 pm -8:00 pm. A Mass of Christian Burial will be offered at Notre Dame R.C. Church, 359 Central Avenue, North Caldwell, on Friday, Sept. 12, at 10:00 am. The interment will follow at Prospect Hill Cemetery in Caldwell. Arrangements entrusted to the Codey & Jones Funeral Home of Caldwell. To extend a condolence or share a memory, please visit www.codeyjonesfh.com.

Bob was born in Orange, NJ to Lawrence and Mae Reiher and was raised in Maplewood, NJ. He was a Veteran of the Korean War proudly serving in the US Navy. After the war he met and married the love of his life, Olga Zuk and moved to West Caldwell where they raised their family.

Mr. Reiher was an insurance agent with State Farm and started a successful agency in Madison, NJ, where he prospered for 41 years. 

Mayor Reiher or “Mr. West Caldwell,” as he was fondly known, was a public servant for many years, including the Mayor of West Caldwell for 17 years, the longest serving Mayor in the Townships history to date. During his administration he and the council helped the township grow to be one of the finest communities in NJ to live and raise a family. Bob also served as President of the NJ League of Municipalities for two terms in 1994 & 1995.

Bob was active member & Past Scout Master of Troop 9 Boy Scouts of America in West Caldwell. In Florida he stayed active and was the current Commander of the Naples Sail and Power Squadron, District 22.

After retirement Bob and his wife, Olga, stayed active in West Caldwell until 2008. The past five years have been good times spent with family and friends at the Jersey Shore and in Florida. Times that were most special were with his grandsons fishing on his boat, the “Reel Office.”

He is survived by his beloved wife of 59 years, Olga; devoted children, Jim Reiher and Nancy Cannon; loving grandchildren, Thomas James “T.J.” and Robert Cannon, and Hunter Reiher; dear friends and grateful citizens of West Caldwell.

In lieu of flowers, donations to The Friends of the West Caldwell Library, 30 Clinton Road, West Caldwell, would be greatly appreciated.

To extend a condolence or share a memory, and/or photos, email jschatell@tapinto.net and they will be added to this article and the TAP into West Essex Facebook page.


Dear Mrs. Reiher,

I was a first grade student of yours in, I believe, the 1979-1980 school year. My maiden name was Bonnie Stephenson. When I saw this article and saw the last name I was sure this must be your husband. I wanted to extend my condolences to you and your family. I remember you well and I hope you are in good health. I am very sorry for the loss of your husband.
Bonnie Stephenson-Shaw

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