Robert Shyer

LAKEVILLE — Robert “Bob” Shyer died peacefully on Dec. 19, 2017, aged 86, surrounded by his family. 

Bob was loved by his family and friends for his kindness and wonderful sense of humor. He was born in Queens, N.Y., on Oct. 15, 1931, to Rose (Schwartz) and Joseph Shyer. 

Bob graduated from Long Island University in 1954 with a B.A. in economics and then joined Zyloware Corporation, founded by his father in 1923; his brother Henry joined two years later, marking the beginning of a 60-plus year partnership. 

From 1968 to 2000, Bob was president of Zyloware, and then became chairman. He was an innovator in the optical industry, to which he devoted his professional life, spearheading many industry firsts, including launching the first American designer eyewear brand, Gloria Vanderbilt, and the  first celebrity named eyewear, Sophia Loren. 

Bob demonstrated his dedication to the optical industry through his longstanding service on many boards. He was also a longtime member of the Young President’s Organization (1971-81) and YPO Gold. 

Bob was an avid tennis player and was admired on the court for his crafty drop shot. 

He was a passionate collector of New Zealand and Polynesian art. 

From 1998, Bob, with his New Zealand-born wife, split his time between New York City and Lakeville. 

He is survived by his wife, Catherine, and their daughter, Elizabeth; his first wife, Marlene Fanta (their marriage ended in divorce) and their three children, Kirby, Christopher and Alison; his younger brother, Henry; two grandchildren, Griffin and Grace; and many nieces and nephews. 

A memorial service will be held on Jan. 19 at 1:30 p.m. at Frank Campbell Funeral Home, 1076 Madison Ave. in New York City. 

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Bob’s name to Plan International USA.