Albert R. Bobal Cherished Westfield educator traveled in retirement Albert R. Bobal, age 93, died peacefully on Aug. 4, 2018, at Sunrise Assisted Living in Lincroft, N.J. The son of Michael and Mary (Pyontek) Bobal, he was born Jan. 28, 1925, in Perth Amboy, N.J., where he lived until he entered The Citadel as a freshman at age 17. At 18, upon completion of his freshman year, he enlisted in the Army Air Corps, where he served as a navigator on the B-17 and taught navigation until the war ended. His plan to reenlist changed abruptly when he met his future wife Agnes (Rapach) at a dance while he was home on leave. They were together from that point on, marrying in 1949, until her death in 2014. Al completed his undergraduate and master’s degrees in education at Rutgers and in 1953 went on to teach in the Westfield school system. He began his career in education as a history teacher during the controversial McCarthy era. He then served as principal of several elementary schools, both junior high schools, and the senior high school in Westfield. Al was a Fulbright Scholar in 1967, studying educational systems in India. He was an early proponent of technology in education, introducing language labs and computer classes. Al had a special concern for both gifted and special needs students, and especially for students who were struggling with difficult circumstances; he had a stern demeanor but a kind heart. When he retired in 1980 the town honored him with “Bobalmania,” a musical revue of Westfield in the 50’s, 60’s, and 70’s, performed by his current and former students. Al and Agnes moved from Westfield to Leisure Village West in Lakehurst in 1983. During their retirement years, they traveled extensively in Europe, Eastern Europe, and northern Africa. Every year, they escaped New Jersey’s cold and snow by wintering in the South, and avoided its hot, humid summers by spending those months in northern New Hampshire. They enjoyed meeting new people wherever they went. They relocated to Houston, Texas, in 2005 to be closer to their daughter, Kathie. Al was deeply moved by music, playing trumpet in a dance band for many years when he was young and attending operas at The Met. He loved history, amassing a large collection of Franklin Delano Roosevelt books and campaign memorabilia. And he loved golf! But most of all he loved his family, especially Agnes, his wife of 65 years. He was predeceased by his parents; his wife, Agnes; and his sister, Bernice, whom he teased mercilessly. He is survived by his daughters, Patricia Chukurov (Dan) of Red Bank, N.J., Kathie Shultz (Albert) of Glorieta, N.M.; three grandchildren, Peter (Lauren) of Walla Walla, Wash., Martin (Yumi) of Bergen, Norway, Katina (Stephen) Arvidson of Katy, Texas; and two great-grandchildren, Philip Shultz and Delaney Arvidson. A joint Funeral Mass for Agnes and Al will be held Wednesday, Aug. 29, at 10 a.m., at Church of the Nativity in Fair Haven, N.J., immediately followed by a memorial gathering at The Oyster Point in Red Bank, N.J.
Posted in: Star-Ledger
Posted on: 2018-08-13
Link to original obituary: https://obits.nj.com/obituaries/starledger/obituary.aspx?n=albert-bobal&pid=189884130&fhid=27008