Dr. Kenneth Robert Bair

May 31, 1948 - July 22, 2020

Dr. Kenneth Robert Bair, born May 31, 1948, aged 72, passed away peacefully on July 22nd, 2020. A long time resident of Bergen County, New Jersey, he was the son of Jack L. Bair and Shirley Fuhr Bair, who preceded him in death. He is survived by his wife of 45 years, Rosemary Vitalo Bair, his son Adam and his wife Ramina, his granddaughter – Lydia, his brother, Steven and his wife Mimi, his nieces, Janine, Corinne, Monique and their families.

Dr. Bair, a graduate of the Pennsylvania College of Optometry (1977), established a practice first in Pompton Plains, New Jersey and later on in West Milford, New Jersey. After over 30 years in practice, he retired in 2017. Dr. Bair’s patients did not welcome his retirement as his professional care spanned generations within families. Dr. Bair was active in his county professional organization serving as president of the Bergen County Optometric Society for more than one term.

Family was first on Ken’s list of priorities. He and Rosemary enjoyed traveling, live theatre and relaxing with friends over casual dinners. Once their son Adam was born in 1991, there was no doubt as to why Ken’s priorities were realigned. Adam was the joy of his life. He was always home for dinner, at his son’s sports games, and supportive of his wife’s endeavors. Ken’s kindness, gentle spirit and sense of humor carried him throughout life. For Ken, the glass was always half full. Whether he was talking to a handyman, reminiscing with his son, playing with his granddaughter, or giving a young child an eye-exam, that person left with a smile. Famous for his dinner-table jokes and impromptu naps, Ken lived life how he wanted. A resident of Bergen County, New Jersey (Westwood and Ridgewood) for 40 years, Ken exchanged his snow shovels for golf clubs and relocated to southeastern North Carolina in 2017. Putting work behind him, he could now divide his time around important daily activities – golf, playing piano, reading and just relaxing. Recently, he began volunteering in New Hanover public schools teaching golf to elementary school children. When Adam and his family relocated to Raleigh, North Carlina, Ken’s retirement became absolutely perfect.

Ken’s wish was to be cremated. Memorial services will be postponed until a later date. In lieu of flowers: please consider a donation to the American Diabetes Association – https://www.diabetes.org/donate.

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  • July 25, 2020
    Leslye Pearson says:
    Rosemary and family, My heart is breaking for all of you in the sudden loss of Ken. I met both of you when you embarked on your interior design project with our firm and I always looked forward to our meetings as you were always so delightful and engaging to speak with. I loved that Ken was a man of science, being an ophthalmologist, as well as a lover of the arts, being an amazingly proficient piano player. I remember re-doing your floor plans multiple times in order to accommodate his beautiful grand piano! Your playful banter underscored what was a tremendously palpable and deep love for one another and I was excited for you both to embark on this new chapter in your lives. He will be exceedingly missed, but not forgotten, as he lives on in your beautiful memories and in the smiles of your beloved son and new baby granddaughter. With sincerest and heartfelt condolences, Leslye Pearson

  • July 28, 2020
    Leonard Press says:
    Oh no, Ro - am heartbroken to have heard the news this morning. As an Optometry classmate and NJ colleague, I always felt a very close connection to Ken. I will miss his wit and wisdom immensely, and Miriam and I send condolences to you and the family.

  • July 31, 2020
    Dee Johnson says:
    Rosemary, please know that your friends share in your sorrow. May Ken R.I.P.

  • August 02, 2020
    Sandeep Joshi says:
    As our neighbor in Ridgewood, NJ, Ken used to always walk over to chat, talk about Adam's accomplishments, discuss current event and more. During Hurricane Floyd time, Ken and Rosemarie comforted the whole neighborhood. Ken left us with lot of great memories and we all will miss him. Sincere people like him are difficult to find.

  • August 10, 2020
    Sue Britton says:
    So sorry to hear of Ken's passing. He was such a nice person and a wonderful boss. West Milford Vision Center was never the same without him. I am so happy he was able to see Adam get married and have time with his granddaughter. I hope your memories of him bring you comfort.