We are very sad to announce the untimely passing of one of all-time longest customers, best friends and highly admired and supportive gentleman, Robert B. O'Brien, Jr. Bob first came into our Gladstone showroom almost 40 years ago and completed somewhere north of 30 transactions with the Stable over those years. Bob is the person whom many customers and visitors to The Stable have heard of as the record-holder for the number of purchases of the same car. We sold a 1960 Aston Martin DB-4 to Bob in the 1970's and, as with his other automotive toys, Bob eventually traded that car back to us on a different car. He was to purchase that car three times from us over the decades as each time he traded the car back to us, he proclaimed that he had made a mistake. He would rectify his error by repurchasing the great car it when it came back to The Stable. That car holds The Stable's record of most times sold--eight times in almost 40 years--and Bob O'brien was responsible for ta lion's share of those purchases.
Bob O'Brien had a 35 year banking career, with his last long-term banking position being the President, CEO and Chairman of Carteret Savings Bank. During those years, Bob let no grass grow under his wheels. He served as Director and Head of the Federal Savings and Loan Insurance Corporation, Chairman of Neighborhood Housing Services of America, Chairman of the Home Loan Bank of New York, Chairman of Neighborhood Housing Services of America, a trustee of The Thenan Foundation, Chairman of The New Jersey Historical Society, Commodore of The Bay Head Yacht Club, Chairman of The New Jersey State Opera, President of the Bay Head School Foundation, co-founder of the New Jersey Museum of Boating and member of the New Jersey Supreme Court Attorney Ethics Committee--among many other selfless public service positions.
The founder of The Stable, Tom Rossiter, was privileged to be able to travel to many colorful world destinations with Bob and his wonderful wife Sarah. From Newport Pagnell to watch Aston Martins carefully being assembled, to the 24 Hours of Lemans to watch Chip Robinson, a very talented and successful local race car driver of whom Bob was a major supporter, drive for Porsche, to the the flee market at Beaulieu, to race tracks around the country for vintage racing (Bob had a team which maintained and supported his various vintage race cars.)
Bob truly enjoyed automobiles. He had an equally great love of wooden boats. Once again our company president, and his wife Laura, were able to spend delightful time with Bob and Sarah on the O'Brien's 1928 67 foot wooden commuter yacht, Ragtime, sailing down from Ottowa, Canada (where the Ragtime won Best of Show) through the Canadian and New York State canals and locks. Upon his retirement from his banking career, Bob continued his love affair with wooden boats, had a great deal of pleaure,and spent a great deal of time, with O'Brien Yacht Sales, of New Jersey and Florida, and the New Jersey Museum of Boating.
A long-time friend, business associate, fellow Bay Head Yacht Club member and current owner of one of Bob's automotive toys, a 1947 Ford Woody wagon, called to express his sympathies regarding Bob's passing. His comment--"Bob O'Brien was a gentleman's gentleman" summarized Bob O'Brien. We will all sorely miss this great man.