Obituary of Robert Sternfeld
ROBERT DREW ( BOB) STERNFELD died suddenly on Monday, July 1, 2019 at his Halfmoon, NY residence
Well this is one of the strangest things I have done in my life. At the suggestion of my family I am writing my own obituary to be certain that everything I want to say has been covered.
My first premise is that if you are hearing this then I have passed. Since I have done this before (more on this later) I am hoping that you guys checked to make sure I really am gone and not just messing with you.
My life has had many strange turns. I grew up in Albany, NY and discovered several things about myself. I loved music and I needed a structured environment to do well. To deal with this, I went to the Albany Academy in eight grade and began to learn to play the drums. The Academy experience was something I did not appreciate until later in life. Even though I complained and barely got by it did offer me many lessons, especially discipline. I also became quite good at playing the drums and even taught at Johnny Keal’s Modern Music Center for several years.
In third grade I went to the Temple Israel Hebrew School and met my future wife Linda-Rose Smuckler. Who knew? Linda and I went on our first date in 7th grade, broke up and went back and forth all through college and beyond. More to follow.
I attended the Berklee College of Music and graduated with a four year degree majoring in percussion and minoring in composition. During my time there I had five pieces of music published. I also played with many top names, such as The Fifth Dimension and Jesus Christ Superstar, the Broadway touring company. I composed jingles for products and wrote a score for the Ice Capades. I also toured with several bands. Coming back to the area I worked for Hilton Music and joined the band Symmetry. We were the top band in the area for weddings, parties, clubs etc. for many years. We all remain friends to this day.
I love my Country. I always wanted to do something in the military and/or law enforcement. What none of you know is that when I was living in South Carolina I tried to enlist in the Army. My bum knees and weight kept me out. I was disappointed beyond words, but determined to do something about it someday.
In the late 70’s my old roommate from Berklee, Tom Coffee, suggested that I join the Cohoes Auxiliary Police force. These were none paid volunteers (much like the fire and rescue departments) that supplemented the regular police at fires, parades, festivals, etc. We were sworn Peace Officers and received training from the Department of Criminal Justice Services. I had finally attained a major goal in my life. One of the instructors was Steve Robinson. We hit it off right away and Steve brought me into the world of Private Investigation. I rose through the ranks of the auxiliary and ultimately retired as the Chief of the unit. Steve and I continued our friendship and in 1986 formed INTELLI-CHECK Investigative Services. There are too many stories I could tell about some of the things we did, cases we handled and bad guys busted. It was the best time I ever had carrying a gun! I would share more but the Statute of Limitations may not have expired on all these stories. Steve and Maureen, (Steve’s wife) I love you guys!
Steve you have been my best friend and mentor. I am grateful beyond words.
Linda and I had begun dating again and she proposed to me on Sadie Hawkins Day of 1975. Oddly enough no one believed us, based on our past history. We were married at Temple Israel (I always liked it as if I was returning to the scene of the crime) November 14th of 1976. My Grandfather was my best man. At the time we did not know he had cancer and was dying. I loved and respected him very much. He taught me a great deal about life.
Thirty years later we renewed our vows at Temple Israel and my grandson Jordan was my best man. You cannot make this stuff up.
I needed a job with benefits and found out that the Southern Adirondack Education Center was looking to start a Criminal Justice program. I sweet talked them into hiring me and worked there for 17 years until my health tuned. During this time I earned an Associate’s Degree in Criminal Justice and my Master’s degree in Security Administration. I also became licensed by New York State to teach.
My very first year something unique happened. I met a student named Rebecca Bailey. I went home and told Linda that if I had been born a girl or if we had had children of our own, this would be the one. We kept Becky in our lives until she was 24 and had a son named Jordan. I went to an Attorney I knew and asked about legally adopting Becky. He said it had been done and Becky and her family were in favor of blending the families so POOF! Instant kid! Later Trey came along. Linda and I love them to pieces. Becky you have brought me more joy then you can know. Thanks for being my kid! Love you!
The attack on the World Trade Center deeply affected me. I had amassed a very unique group of Law Enforcement friends over the years that encompassed City, State and Federal Service as well as Military from all over the Country. These folks were part of my education career and Investigative work. I lost people I knew that day and was so very proud of so many more that went to ground zero to be part of the rescue and recovery effort. May God Bless those that were killed and watch over those that served.
I have had my share of near death experiences. Heart Attack, TIA’s, Pacemaker-Defibrillator, clinically dead, etc., which is why I want you to be sure! I owe a great deal too many doctors and EMT’s. God bless each and every one of you!
During my time at BOCES many of my students went on to greatness in my eyes. We had New York State Police, Warren and Washington County Sheriff’s, Correctional Officers, an FBI Evidence Technician, a Texas Ranger, A Glens Falls Police Officer, A Federal Police Officer stationed in Washington D.C. at the White House, many members of the Military and students that have distinguished themselves in the Private Sector! I am so very proud of each and every one of you! You have filled my heart with more joy then you can ever know.
Folks, I have had a heck of a run.
I love my kid and grandchildren.
Above all else I love and have always loved my wife Linda-Rose.
I loved my doggies especially Yoshi, Cajo and Kiska. I know I am with them and they are again watching over me.
My passing should not be a time of sorrow. Celebrate my life and accomplishments. Laugh, joke and tell stories. That’s what I would be doing for you if the roles were reversed.
I do not fear the next leg of my travels. Been there, done that! I will always be watching and be with you. Your memories will keep my spirit alive for many years.
My time has come so I leave you with this very profound thought. “A fish that swims fast does not sweat!” Screaming Chicken, Native American Shaman, F-Troop, T.V. Series, 1966.
To the rest of you “Failure is not an option!” Make me proud!
See you on the other side!
Survivors include Bob's wife Linda- Rose Smuckler Sternfeld, a daughter, Rebbecca Sternfeld of Niskayuna, NY, 2 grandchildren, Jordan Bailey and Earl Graves III
Bob also leaves his Mother, Aileen Sternfeld of Albany, NY. He was predeceased by his father, Edward Sternfeld and his sister, Lisa Goldberg
Services at the Levine Memorial Chapel, 649 Washington Avenue in Albany on Wednesday, July 3, 2018 at 11:30am. Friends are relatives are respectfully invited to attend. Interment will follow the service in the Workmen’s Circle Cemetery on Western Avenue in Guilderland, NY. Following the service of interment, folks may call at the Sternfeld residence at the Falcon Trace Apartment Complex in Halfmoon, NY. In lieu of flowers those wishing to remember Bob in a special way may make a memorial contribution to the American Heart Association, the Mohawk and Hudson River Humane Society or the Saratoga Animal Shelter.