Robert Cypher

Robert C. Cypher

Jul 22, 1926 - Jun 30, 2020
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Robert Charles Cypher, 56-year resident of Brewster, NY died peacefully on June 30, 2020. He was 93 years old.
Bob was born July 22, 1926 in North Tarrytown, NY. He began his art career in 6th grade by drawing on the blackboard for the first graders at elementary school. In high school, he was a member of the National Honor Society, the art and journalism clubs, and co-editor of the Headless Horseman yearbook. Bob deeply treasured his art teacher, Miss Rose Hofstetter for her generosity and attention. He served as assistant superintendent for his Methodist Sunday school and loved to sing baritone in the church choir. His favorite hymns were “What a Friend We Have in Jesus” and “the Old Rugged Cross.”
He graduated from high school in 1944 and during that time was a neighborhood night-time air raid messenger. By December ’44, Bob “Zero” Cypher was drafted by the Navy. Bob used his artistic talents as art editor to the Quonset Scout, the official newspaper of the US Naval Air Station at Quonset Point, RI. His role as staff cartoonist required him to pen illustrations, cartoons, write and edit articles to cover sports, movies, and other topics of interest to inspire those serving on base.
After an honorable discharge, Bob utilized his GI-Bill benefits to pursue his dream as a cartoonist. He attended the Art Career School and the Cartoonists and Illustrators School (now School of Visual Arts) in NYC, learning directly from famous cartoonists, including Will Eisner (Spirit).
Bob freelanced for state outdoor magazines and his illustrations appeared in Pennsylvania Angler, Florida Wildlife, New Jersey Outdoors, PA Game News, and Virginia Wildlife. He also illustrated a teen novel, Basketball comes to Lonesome Point in 1952.
From 1956-1990 he served as Art Director at Higham Press in Pleasantville, NY working on Readers’ Digest book reprints, newsletters, and many local commercial art projects.
Bob’s great joys were watercolor and photography. His homemade Christmas cards were saved and framed by many of us. He owned many cameras: Pentax 35mm K1000, Brownie, Yashika twin lens, Nikon, an antique bellows camera, and of course, a Super 8mm movie camera. As soon as the light changed or it snowed, Bob was out looking for the perfect shot. His favorite artists was Andrew Wyeth, Eric Sloane, Ansel Adams, and many watercolorists.
· “God blessed me with life and an ability to see and feel beauty in many things…art, photography, and nature.”
· “My favorite subjects were nature and I tried to frame the composition and get the light sources to best advantage. The aim was to take the perfect picture…dramatic, emotional. The Wharton farm motivated me for a lifetime and I never tired of walking the fields searching for just one more. My photography was all about my art inclinations. Art and photography are “brothers” and the essence of each are similar…composition, center of interest, contrast, balance, flow, etc. Black and white can be more beautiful than color. If you don’t believe it…check the work of Ansel Adams.”
His most recent joys have been his canine buddy, Kooky, and the bluebirds tending their nest in Jane’s garden.
Bob was preceded in death by his parents Charles Wilbur Cypher and Elizabeth Margarite Bartels and his sister Beatrice Masarek.
He is survived by his wife of 58 years, Elizabeth (Jane Wharton), and 3 children: Lisa (Rich Muellerleile) of Salt Point, NY; Scott of Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada; and Jonathan (Lisa Kelekolio) of Denver, Colorado; nephew Jeffery Masarek (Barbara) of Charlotte, NC; nieces Karen Schwenker (Charles) of Ballston Spa, NY and Kristine Reckner (Charles) of Colonie, NY; plus many precious great-nieces, great-nephews, and great-great nephews.
All services are private. Interment will be in Sleepy Hollow Cemetery, Sleepy Hollow, NY. In lieu of flowers, please make a donation to the Brewster Fire department or your favorite charity.
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Service Details

  • Interment

    Private Cremation
    N-A, --
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    Following a cremation, Robert will be buried in his family plot in North Tarrytown, NY.
A celebration of Rob's life will be held at a later date.


Donations are being accepted for: BREWSTER FIRE DEPARTMENT INC.


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Private Condolence


Posted at 06:53pm
Uncle Bob, your insightful observations, creativity, wit, and generous nature are the hallmarks that I will remember you by -- and they live on in your children, my cousins. The inspired birthday cards and letters graced with your art and humor (and your wonderful collection of stamps!) ensured the recipient knew of your sincerity and devotion. You always took time to embrace me with conversation that was candid and thoughtful. One of my dearest childhood treasures -- that upon reflection brought me no small amount of comfort as I kept it hanging in my room until I left for college -- is a 4" x 6" wood block painting of a rabbit leaping --perhaps a result of a missed shot by Kevin? Scott, my brother, had a matching wood block painting of a chicken and occasionally when we were younger and sharing the same bedroom we would argue over who had which one, because the rabbit in mid-leap is a little cooler! My first and only original art hanging in my childhood room was my Uncle Bob's. It is a evocative piece and I am grateful for it and for the man that created it. God gives all men talents, but not all are so keen to recognize them, so vigorous to exploit them, or so wise to use them. I was blessed to call you Uncle and will miss you.

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