It is with sadness that we inform you of the passing of Mr. Robert Weschler. From 1951 to 2010, Mr. Weschler taught numerous subjects and classes at the Waldorf School of Garden City – including physical education, woodworking, gardening, stone sculpture, driver education and ballroom dancing; touching the lives of hundreds of Waldorf students. He died peacefully on Saturday, August 15th, at his son Bruce’s home with Bruce and “daughter-in-love” (daughter-in-law) Serogini at his side. He was 89.
Affectionately known as “Wesch” to his students, Mr. Robert Weschler graduated from Andrew Jackson High School in St. Albans, New York in 1944. After one semester at New York University, “Wesch” joined the U.S. Army. He served two years during World War II in General Patton’s Third Army, 4th Armored Division in Germany as a Tank Destroyer driver. In 1953, “Wesch” married his wife Edith and they were blessed with four children, Bruce ’73, Bonnie ’74, Bradley ’75 and Bobbie ’76.
After receiving a BA in Physical Education and an MA in Elementary Education from Adelphi College, “Wesch” was hired by then-Faculty Chairman John Gardner as the school’s first physical education teacher and woodworking teacher in 1951.
His duties did not stop there; he also drove the Waldorf School bus, composed the school’s first playground rules and regulations, was responsible for checking the student’s eyesight, purchased Christmas trees and made decorations for all the classrooms, created the school’s first fire drill manual and conducted official fire drills. He was also responsible for organizing the first “play day” (now known as “Field Day”), sports night, Holiday Faculty Luncheon and many other long-standing traditions that continue to be enjoyed by students and faculty today.
In addition to teaching physical education, woodworking and coaching team sports, “Wesch” served as Superintendent of Grounds, Driver Education Instructor, Gardening teacher, and even taught a block entitled, “Pruning as an Art.” Beginning in 1970, with the help of students, faculty, parents and neighbors, “Wesch” began work creating the Nature Trail that today circles the school’s property. In 2004, the Nature Trail was named in his honor and that same year, he received the “Spirit of Waldorf” Award at the School’s inaugural Gala Dinner. Up until he was 84-years-old, “Wesch” continued to share his passion for ballroom, square and social dancing with Waldorf’s middle and high school students. Like a true Waldorf teacher, “Wesch” was called upon to perform a variety of tasks and rose to the challenge each time, maintaining his sense of humility and always bringing joy and happiness to his students and colleagues. For sixty years, “Wesch” provided generations of Waldorf students with a lifetime of practical lessons and fond memories.
Alumni, faculty, parents and students are invited to share their favorite “Wesch” memories on the School’s official Facebook page (www.facebook.com/waldorfgarden) as well as official alumni group page (www.facebook.com/groups/WSGC.alumni). As a celebration of his life, these memories will be compiled and shared with the Weschler family.
Following is a photo gallery of Robert Weschler and some photos from his years at the Waldorf School of Garden City.
A wake will be held on Thursday, August 20th, from 2:00 pm to 5:00 pm and 7:00 to 9:00 pm, at:
O’Shea Funeral Home
603 Wantagh Avenue
Wantagh, New York, 11793
Tel: (516) 731-5550
Those wishing to attend the burial are invited to meet at O’Shea Funeral Home on Friday, August 21st, at 12:00 pm.
UPDATE: There will be a Robert Weschler Memorial Service on Friday, October 23rd at 7:00 pm in the School Gymnasium at the Waldorf School of Garden City. In an effort to allow as many people as possible to attend, the memorial service will take place the same weekend as the annual Fall Fair & Alumni Day (Saturday, October 24th) We hope you will Save-These-Dates on your calendar and join us as we celebrate and honor the life of Robert “Wesch” Weschler.
Friday, October 23rd
Robert “Wesch” Weschler Memorial Serivce
The Waldorf School Gymnasium
7:00 pm – 9:00 pm
Saturday, October 24th – Fall Fair & Alumni Day
Community Square Dance in Celebration and Honor of Robert “Wesch” Weschler
The Waldorf School Gymnasium
10:30 am – 11:30 am
In lieu of flowers, the Weschler family has asked friends and family to make donations to the Waldorf School of Garden City; which will be specifically dedicated to the school’s beautification fund. Donations can be mailed to:
The Waldorf School of Garden City
Office of Development
225 Cambridge Avenue
Garden City, New York 11530
Or click here to make a donation online. Write “School’s Beautification Fund” in the comment section and be sure to include “In Memory of Robert Weschler” when completing the form or writing a check.
On behalf of the entire Waldorf School community, we extend our heartfelt condolences to the Weschler family.
For more information, please contact Robert Ingenito, Communications Director, at the Waldorf School of Garden City. Tel: (516) 742-3434 Ext. 311. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.