Robert Hearne

Obituary of Robert Hearne

Robert Benjamin Hearne, 75, died on April 17, 2013, after a brief but courageous battle with pancreatic cancer. Born in Hollywood, CA, Bob grew up in Coalinga, CA and graduated from Pomona College, Claremont, CA, where he starred on the rugby and baseball teams. Arriving in Princeton in 1967, Bob was a long time Princeton area resident. In 2002, he and his wife, Susan, moved to Hightstown. Following his involvement in the early developmental days of computer programming at the Defense Department, IBM, David Sarnoff Research and Booz Allen Hamilton, Bob had a long, creative, entrepreneurial career as a computer software designer. He founded multiple independent companies in the computer-publishing field and was a consultant to several NJ companies. Bob was widely known for his infamously pun-filled and sometimes irreverent sense of humor, grand tales and mischievous antics. A fixture in many local tennis leagues, Bob relished his time playing USTA tennis, the Mercer County leagues and the crack-of-dawn Bucks County weekly games. He was a fierce competitor and played on numerous teams that won local and regional tournaments. Whether flying his airplane to off-the-beaten-track spots in the Caribbean, treasure hunting or midnight Scuba diving, Bob was a man of adventure. On a lark, he showed up with his best friend, Joel Felsher, and over a thousand others, for the casting of extras for the local filming of the movie "IQ" in 1994. Bob landed the role of Walter Matthau's stand-in, dressing as Albert Einstein every day. Ever curious, Bob sought new challenges and enjoyed learning new things. With a can-do attitude, Bob spent much time in recent years remodeling, restoring and fixing up things at home. An extraordinarily positive individual, Bob was a champion for persons with disabilities and served on the Enable Board of Trustees for more than 15 years in many capacities. Enable is a nonprofit charity devoted to helping NJ men and women with chronic disabilities and elderly persons live as independently as possible in local communities. In addition to his wife, Susan Nation, he is survived by his daughter and daughter-in-law, Shelley Hearne and Kathleen Welch of Washington, DC, his daughter and son-in-law, Alexandra and Doug Jackson of Hillsborough, NJ and two grandchildren, Zoe and Ella Jackson, his stepson, Anthony Fraser of Brooklyn, NY, mother-in-law and father-in-law, Mary and Paul Nation of Vero Beach, FL, sister-in-law, Beth Nation of Hopkinton, MA, niece Hannah Soifer of Hopkinton, MA, nephew Alex Soifer of Hollywood, CA and brother-in-law, Adam Nation of Pittsburgh, PA. His former wife and mother of his two daughters, Pamela Jardine of Princeton, also survives him, as do the many friends made over the course of a life well lived. He will live on forever in our hearts and minds and we miss him greatly. Bob's family extends a huge thank you to the doctors, nurses and staff at Capital Health Medical Center, Hopewell for the exceptional care and extraordinary kindness they gave to Bob and to all of us. We will be forever grateful. A memorial gathering to celebrate Bob's life will be held June 9, 2013 at 2:00 at Princeton Airport, Princeton, NJ. Contributions in Bob's memory may be sent to: Enable, Inc., 13 Roszel Road, Suite B110, Princeton, NJ 08540 or may be made by going to Enable's website at
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