Age 80 years, of East Amwell Township, NJ passed away in the embrace of his family on Sunday, March 20, 2022, at the Hunterdon Medical Center, Raritan Township, NJ.
Born in Winthrop on May 26, 1941, he was the son of the late Alfred and Alice (Coscia) Fusi, and was one of five kids running throughout the house. He previously resided in Saugus, Dover, DE, and Reading, CT, before moving to beautiful Hunterdon County, NJ in 1981.
His childhood was filled with lots of family and constant gatherings, with stories of lively antics when he set out on adventures with his siblings and cousins. Bob would always joke that we would never let our kids do the things he did as a kid. Many life lessons were learned on the street, surely with no parental supervision.
Bob was a spectacular student, President of the National Honor Society and graduating second in his high school class before heading off for higher education at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). He had many accolades and honors during his time at MIT, and earned both a bachelor’s and a master’s degree in Food Science and Technology, in 1965. Humble to his core, Bob’s family only heard of his special honors by chance when they picked him up from MIT for breaks. “You must be so proud of Bobby!” they would say. Bob kept things to himself and was never one to brag. Although, he was not a complete choir boy during his MIT years. There are stories where he and his friends hacked the elevators in his dorm to trap the police as a joke.
The next stop was a lifelong career (30-plus years!) at Kraft General Foods as a food scientist. He was constantly coming up with new patented innovations, including many products you probably know such as Crystal Light, Pop Rocks candy, Jell-O 1-2-3, Lean Bacon Strips, Stain-free Kool-Aid, Kool-Aid Balls, perfecting Minute Rice, and many more. If you were ever over to the house during the Kool-Aid ball development phase, you were probably initiated into the mix by seeing how many Kool-Aid balls you could fit into your mouth at one time. It is safe to say the sugar rush would last for most of the day.
Bob was a man of many talents with a plethora of hobbies to keep his brain active. You would often find him making creations in his woodworking shop, building or repairing something fantastic with his carpentry skills, visiting historical places, or celebrating his love for music through song writing, singing and playing guitar. If you are curious to hear Bob sing, you can find some of his older albums online (Spotify, Amazon Music, Pandora, etc). Bobby loved his collections, and it is hard to open a cabinet or drawer in the house without coming across a collection of some sort. Whether it be fossils, coins, gems, old tools, or really anything that caught his interest. An incredibly hard worker, Bob spent countless hours keeping up the farm so his family could enjoy their horses.
Above all else, he loved spending time at his home, Wagner Hill Farm, in Stockton, NJ with his family and friends. Bob and his wife were such wonderful people to be around that all of the kids gravitated to the farm. At any given time, there were a handful of kids hanging out at the house being entertained by Bob. He was like a surrogate father to some, teaching them anything they were willing to learn. One Christmas, the whole slew of kids got mugs with a picture of the farmhouse that said, “Fusi Inn, established 1981.” He was always happy to make them feel like part of the family.
Bob’s grandkids were absolutely the light of his life, and he would drop anything he was doing for them. He made many late night runs to return stuffed animals so the kids could fall asleep soundly, or bring a grandchild back to the farm for some grandparent time. He was constantly doing projects with them, taking them on adventures, going to school events, or watching them play sports. Bob’s grandchildren brought out a whole different side that made him glow.
Surviving are his beloved wife of fifty-five years, Barbara (Edgar) Fusi; his two children, Kristen Lynne Fusi, of Marianna, PA and Robert W. Fusi II and his wife Marion, of Flemington, NJ; seven grandchildren, Jessica, April, Holly, Benjamin, Sebastian, Andrew, and Nathan; one great-grandchild, Callen; as well as his siblings, Janice, Marilyn (and Salvatore), and Diane (and Peter). Robert was predeceased by his brother, Alfred “Freddie” Fusi (and Marion, still surviving).