WESTFIELD, NJ — In the late 50s when Robert E. Brewster and his wife, Margery, were looking for a home in which to raise a family, the couple chose Westfield for, among many reasons, its sports-minded tradition.
This factor was important to Mr. Brewster. Born in Verona on Nov. 30, 1928, he was the eldest of three children. Raised in Newark, he was an outstanding athlete earning all-city and all-county honors in football and basketball while at Central High School (now Malcolm X Shabazz High School). He graduated from St. Benedict’s Preparatory School and continued his studies at Rutgers in Newark earning an associate degree in business.
He was RCA plant manager in Harrison for 27 years, worked briefly in sales at ZEP, a cleaning supply distributor, and moved on to APC in Wyckoff where he remained for 14 years before retiring.
Mr. Brewster met Margery at a dance on the Belmar boardwalk. They married in 1949 and had four sons: Robert Jr. of Westfield, Daryl of Mendham, Brad in South Carolina and Roger in Alabama.
Mr. Brewster immersed himself in community sports programs. It is estimated that he attended more than 2,000 Westfield sporting events and coached almost 5,000 youngsters. He helped with wrestling, football and baseball teams, and was honored by the naming of the Blue Devils high school baseball field as the Bob Brewster Sr. Field adjacent to Edison Intermediate School. The folding chair in which he sat for games is bronzed and displayed with a nearby plaque.
Mr. Brewster was the only person to have been named to both the Newark Athletic Hall of Fame and the Westfield Athletic Hall of Fame. He was also inducted into the Westfield School Boosters Hall of Fame for 40 years of service. He served on the Westfield Hall of Fame Board of Governors.
He was the UNICO Man of the Year in 1979 and twice honored by the New Jersey General Assembly and Senate as a model citizen.
For 26 years, Mr. Brewster was president of the Westfield Boys Football League. He founded and ran the Westfield Basketball Clinic for 21 years and served 10 years on the Westfield Recreation Commission.
Mr. Brewster loved whatever team for which his family played. His sons Roger, Robert and Brad played football. Brad also ran track and Daryl wrestled. Mr. Brewster rooted for the Mets and the Jets, had a Cub Scout pack, was a PTA member and founded the Westfield Jockers Club, which was an informal social group.
Mrs. Brewster said that she and her husband believed in treating one another with respect and presented a united front in raising their children. Mr. Brewster passed away on April 6, 2010. He was a member of the First Methodist Church and he is buried at Fairview Cemetery. The family continues the tradition of awarding an annual academic scholarship to assist deserving student athletes.
The Westfield Historical Society is pleased to induct Robert E. Brewster Sr. into its Hall of Fame.
The Westfield Hall of Fame is a Committee of The Westfield Historical Society. The Hall of Fame Committee has a long list of qualified candidates submitted by the public for its consideration in future inductions. The Historical Society members and the public at large are encouraged to submit profiles of persons believed to be strong candidates for the Westfield Hall of Fame to Westfield Historical Society, P. O. Box 613, Westfield, NJ 07091.