Former Ottaway Publisher Robert Widmer Dead at 86

By: E&P Staff

Robert Starner Widmer, former general manager of the Pocono Record, Stroudsburg, Pa., and publisher of the Tri-State Gazette, Port Jervis, N.Y., died Aug. 13. He was 86.

Widmer, who resided in Stroudsburg, was employed for 38 years with Ottaway Newspapers Inc., owned until 2007 by Dow Jones & Co. and now the Dow Jones Local Media Group under News Corp. ownership.

The Record reported that Widmer delivered the paper in the late 1930s and eventually worked as a reporter. He transferred to display and retail advertising sales in 1951, was promoted to classified advertising manager in 1957, circulation manager in 1966 and business manager in 1970.

Two years later he was named publisher of the nearby Tri-State Gazette. He was back at the Record in 1982 as general manager, and retired in 1987.

A U.S. Navy veteran who served as a radioman 3rd class during World War II in patrol torpedo boat squadrons in the European and Pacific theaters, Widmer was aboard the craft that carried Eisenhower across to Normandy Beach shortly after D-Day, in June 1944.

His old newspaper also noted that Widmer was a drummer and “life member of Local 577 of the American Federation of Musicians” who played with several groups.

Widmer also led several civic, business and charitable organizations in Stroudsburg and Port Jervis and served as chairman of the Pennsylvania Newspaper Publishers Association classified and circulation committees.

He is survived by two sons and their wives, and by three grandchildren. His wife, Mildred, died in 1999.

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