Alban Albert

Obituary of Alban Roberts Albert

Albert, Alban Roberts (“Al”), 93, a 65-year resident of Wyckoff passed away on May 24 at the Valley Hospital. Al was diagnosed with COVID-19 just two days after his wife of 67 years, Sue, passed away from the virus. Loving husband, father, brother and son, Al was a devoted family man, teacher and accomplished artist. Al was born in Paramus, NJ, the son of William and Harriet (Roberts) Albert. An older brother, William, predeceased him in 2009 and a younger sister, Marilen, predeceased him in 1980. In addition to his late wife, he leaves a son Kenneth Albert of Palm Springs, CA. and three grandchildren (Shannon, Sharon, Sean); a daughter Heidi Gilmore (husband Jack) of Millis, MA. and two grandchildren (John, William); and a daughter Karen Gardner (husband Steve) of Wynnewood, PA. and two grandchildren (Andrew, Lisa). Al was a 1944 graduate of Ridgewood High School. He enlisted in the Army and, upon graduation from high school, was shipped off to the Philippines. He was honorably discharged as a Private First Class in 1946 after World War II ended. Upon returning to New Jersey, he sponsored Filipino children through World Vision for the rest of his life. A graduate of the Mechanics and Tradesmen's Institute in New York City, with additional studies at Pratt Institute, Al worked for six years in commercial design and advertising in New York City. He also taught adult evening art classes at the Paterson YWCA, where he met his future wife, Sue Phillips. They were married in 1952. He graduated cum laude in 1956 from The Ohio State University with a B.S. degree in art education. He worked for The Columbus Dispatch throughout his undergraduate years, once again in commercial design and advertising. At Ohio State, he was elected to Delta Phi Delta, the national art honorary society. Al was first introduced to oil painting in his youth by Otto Benz of North Haledon. He pursued study further with Frank Vincent Dumond and Arthur F. Maynard at the The Ridgewood Art Institute in Ridgewood, NJ. Al served as president of the Institute from 1962-1964 and was also an instructor there for eight years. For most of his career, he was the head of the art department at Ramapo Regional High School in Franklin Lakes, NJ. Hired on as one of the original faculty members in 1956, he retired in 1985 after almost 30 years. Though his passion was painting, he was equally passionate about instilling a love for the arts in his students (an appreciation for his jokes was also mandatory!). In 1975, he obtained his M.A. with a focus in ceramics from Montclair State College. He used that learning to incorporate a ceramics program into the art curriculum at Ramapo. In addition to teaching at the high school, in 1964, he and his business partner, Janis Schlenz, acquired the Old Wortendyke Railroad Station in Midland Park and started the Albert & Schlenz Studio Gallery. Several generations of children and adult students learned to paint, draw and create ceramics there and it is still an art studio today. Al also served frequently as judge, lecturer and demonstrator for various art groups in the NY/NJ metropolitan area and in Pennsylvania. Al won numerous awards in local, county and state-wide exhibitions in New Jersey. His oil paintings were accepted by juries in national shows under the aegis of the American Artists Association and of the American Artists Professional League (AAPL). Diverse distinctions included the Landscape Prize in the 7th Regional Show of the Ridgewood Art Institute and the Pauline Wick Award from the AAPL Open Exhibition. His works were also displayed at the Salmagundi Club in New York. More recently, in 2016, the Ridgewood Art Institute held a retrospective of his work. Al's paintings hang in private collections around the world and are especially prevalent in the northeastern United States. Besides his love of the arts, he also loved trains. He was a decades-long member of The Ramapo Valley Railroad Club. Sue and Al were happiest being with their family and in spending summers at the house they built together in rural Maine. Our father and mentor to many is sadly missed and always loved. There will be an online service in celebration of both Al and Sue’s lives on June 28, at 1pm EST, via Zoom. Please get the session info here: https://bit.ly/2zLxAFU. All are welcome to attend and, if you are comfortable doing so, please come ready to share your favorite story about Al. (Wearing red socks is not mandatory, but desired!) In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to: • Ramapo Valley Railroad Club, Attn: Bob Dodds, c/o Allendale Community for Senior Living, 85 Harreton Road, Allendale, New Jersey 07401 • Wyckoff Wildlife Center. Make checks payable to County of Bergen (in the memo field write: Environmental Center Trust Fund) and mail to: James A. McFaul Environmental Center, 150 Crescent Ave., Wyckoff, NJ 07481
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