School 13

Robert P. Calabrese

January 9, 1937 ~ December 27, 2022 (age 85) 85 Years Old
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Obituary

Born on January 9, 1937, in Manhattan, New York, Robert Calabrese grew up in the neighborhood known as Kingsbridge. 
 
Robert walked to elementary school passing an Irish bar, Jewish candy store, Hungarian deli, German ice cream parlor, Greek florist, Chinese laundry, and an Italian cookie factory. This cultural diversity undoubtedly had an influence on his early years, but none more so than his time spent in the vacant lot where learned to appreciate the beauty of nature’s colors and patterns as he observed the native plants and wildlife.
 
Robert spent his early school years drawing as well as in the library. A voracious reader, his imagination was sparked by encyclopedias and the works of Dickens. At age 7, he wrote his first book using alliteration and metaphor. Coached by his father, Robert participated in music, sports, especially baseball, until he began to think of college. Robert attended the Pratt Institute of Art where he explored greater books, art history, and color theory, where he received his degree in Fine Arts. In 1958, Robert embarked on a career in advertising where creativity and competitiveness were the major ingredients for success. Creating an advertising portfolio led him to the position of Assistant Art Director at a major advertising agency in Manhattan, where he was soon promoted to Art Director. Following a tour with the Army Reserve, Robert moved from the family homestead in Connecticut and became a true New Yorker, studying the city’s architecture and again, enjoying the cultural diversity the city provided. He “rubbed elbows” with some of the most talented and celebrated artists, photographers, film makers, and crafts people in the business.
 
In 1996, after 35 years in the advertising field, Robert retired to Central Florida to care for his aging parents where he turned his focus to writing, and joined several poetry workshops. Robert shared the spotlight at local poetry readings, and soon created a stage act of readings, entitled “Not Your Grandmother’s Poetry”.
 
Robert had a long-standing association with the Atlantic Center for the Arts and was active with the Florida State Poet’s Association, and enjoyed his role as leader of The Poet’s Corner Poetry Workshop of New Smyrna Beach.
 
In 2009, while on his journey to find his poetic voice, Robert found his true love, Peggy Rogerson. Peggy was his most caring and supportive partner, and Robert considered her an integral part of all his further creative works and achievements. They shared a beautiful life of love and art together, until her untimely passing in 2016.
 
Robert Calabrese described himself as “an artist, a poet, and a lover”.
 
He will be missed by all that knew and loved him. He is predeceased by his parents, Sam and Philomena Calabrese, and his soulmate, Peggy Rogerson. He also leaves behind his cousins Joseph Amodeo, Jon Amodeo, MaryAnne Shourdem, his dear and trusted friend Toby Rogerson and several cousins that meant so much to him. Robert will be missed by all the dear friends he has in his poetry circle.
 
 Funeral Service will be 1:00 p.m. Monday, January 9, 2023 at Settle-Wilder Funeral Home with the Sacred Heart Redemptorist Fathers, officiating. Burial will follow at Edgewater-New Smyrna Cemetery. Friends will be received on Monday, January 9, 2023 from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. at Settle-Wilder Chapel.
 
 
 
 

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Services

Visitation
Monday
January 9, 2023

11:00 AM to 1:00 PM
Settle-Wilder Funeral Home and Cremation Service
406 S. Orange St.
New Smyrna Beach, Florida 32168

Funeral Service
Monday
January 9, 2023

1:00 PM
Settle-Wilder Funeral Home and Cremation Service
406 S. Orange St.
New Smyrna Beach, Florida 32168

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In Loving Memory Of

Robert Calabrese

January 9, 1937-December 27, 2022




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In Loving Memory Of

Robert Calabrese

January 9, 1937-December 27, 2022




Look inside to read what others have shared


Family and friends are coming together online to create a special keepsake. Every memory left on the online obituary will be automatically included in the book.   


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