Obituary of Felix J. Rospond
Felix J. Rospond, P.E.
Family man, entrepreneur, bon vivant
Felix J. Rospond, P.E., 87, beloved husband, father, grandfather and great-grandfather, passed away on July 5, 2023, in Toms River, N.J., after a long illness.
Born and raised in the Vailsburg Section of Newark, Mr. Rospond was the son of Vincent W. and Estelle (Gibajlo) Rospond. A graduate of West Side High School, Mr. Rospond studied engineering at Duke University and Newark College of Engineering (Class of 1959). He began his professional career at V. W. Rospond Inc. (his father’s contracting business), followed by employment at Fred Baumann & Sons before starting his own engineering practice (F. J. Rospond Associates) in Bloomfield, N.J.
During his career, Mr. Rospond worked on notable projects for the Newark Board of Education, Parsippany-Troy Hills Board of Education, Rutgers University and the State of New Jersey. An early proponent of cogeneration systems, Mr. Rospond also designed large-scale projects for East Orange General Hospital, Crozer-Chester Medical Center in Pennsylvania and the B. F. Goodrich Company. In later years, he served as an adjunct professor at New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT) and worked on several award-winning projects with his daughter Victoria, a founding principal of the NYC-based firm CDR Studio Architects.
A great believer in civic duty, Mr. Rospond was an active participant in local politics and community events from the 1960s through the 1980s while living in Bloomfield and West Orange, N.J. ¾ including to help elect Ralph G. Conte, the first Democratic mayor of Bloomfield, who has remained his friend for more than 70 years. In the early 1970s, when members of the German Presbyterian Church in Bloomfield were looking for a place to relocate their nearly century-old steeple bell, Mr. Rospond donated engineering services as part of a team ¾ spearheaded by another lifelong friend Joe Barry, former Bloomfield councilman ¾ to create a local monument. The bell remains to this day in front of Seibert Hall on the campus of Bloomfield College.
Fueled by his lifelong interest in history, music and art, Mr. Rospond was an avid traveler ¾ sharing his adventures across the U.S. and overseas with Loretta (Jacobitti), his loving wife of 65 years and high school sweetheart, and their children. A larger-than-life personality known for his humor, dapper sense of style, twinkling blue eyes and devilish smile, Mr. Rospond was quick to speak his mind on current events or other topics that impassioned him. And his generous spirit ¾ and readiness with a cocktail ¾ ensured that no guest in his company went away hungry or thirsty.
In addition to Loretta, Mr. Rospond’s survivors include his son Vincent W.; daughters Lia (Magliacane) and Kathryn (Roberts); their spouses, Margaret, Joseph and Sam; grandchildren Felix Brandon (and wife, Anna), Alexandra, Sofia, Jason and Eleanore; great-grandchildren Alexander and Leo; and numerous nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his brother, Vincent S. Rospond; sons David and Eugene; and daughter Victoria.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made in Mr. Rospond’s memory to the Robbins-Baiano Honors Scholarship, an endowment Mr. Rospond started in honor of NJIT Distinguished Professor Emeritus James M. Robbins and fellow alum Lucien “Lou” Baiano.
Gifts by check should be made payable to “Foundation at NJIT” with a notation in the memo area for the “Robbins-Baiano Honors Scholarship in memory of Felix Rospond.” Checks should be mailed to Beth Kornstein, Office of Development & Alumni Relations, NJIT, 323 Martin Luther King Blvd., Newark, NJ 07102-1982.
Gifts by credit card may be made at https://njit-connect.njit.edu/givenow. In the “Comments” box, please note that the gift is for the Robbins-Baiano Honors Scholarship and the contribution is made in memory of Felix Rospond.
A memorial service for Mr. Rospond will be held at Sacred Heart of Jesus Roman Catholic Church, 537 Grove Street, Irvington on Saturday, September 16, 2023 at 12:00 Noon. All arrangements are under the direction of the Clayton & McGirr Funeral Home, Freehold Township. For information or to leave condolence messages to the family, please visit www.claytonfuneralhome.com