PHONE: (908) 852-3361
FAX: (908) 852-4117
905 High Street Hackettstown, NJ 07840

Best, Sr. Robert E. March 12, 1935 - June 30, 2024

Date of Funeral

July 6, 2024

Robert E. Best, Sr., lifelong farmer and community leader, has passed away Sunday June 30, 2024 at his home in Hackettstown, New Jersey. He was 89 years old.

Bob was the owner and operator of Best’s Fruit Farm, which was originally purchased by his father Ernest and stepmother Dorothy in 1945. The farm is now owned and operated by his son Robert Best, Jr.

Bob was born March 12, 1935 in Newton, New Jersey and attended Hackettstown Elementary School and the Central School in Independence Township. He then attended Hackettstown High School, while in high school, he was a member and president of the Future Farmers of America for 3 years. He was also a member of the FFA Board for the State of New Jersey and he also had a passion for football and played 3 years for legendary Coach Charles Morrison.

Bob and Ruth both attended the First Presbyterian Church as members and became leaders of the High School Aged Youth Group at the church. Bob later also became on elder of the church. He was a charter member of Emmanuel Bible Church in Schooley’s Mountain and a member to the present.

Bob was a member of the Independence Township Board of Education for 10 years serving as President for 5 years. He was a member of the Independence Township Committee for 8 years serving, as Mayor for 2 years and also a member of the Independence Township Land Use Board, serving for 40 years. He was a member of the Warren County Board of Agricultural Committee for 4 years.

Bob was a member of the New Jersey State Horticultural Society for 10 years, serving as both Vice President and President each for 2 years. He also was on the New Jersey Apple Institute for 30 years, and the New Jersey Apple Industry Council for SO years, many of which were spent as Chairman.

Bob was predeceased by his father Ernest, his birth mother Agnes, his stepmother Dorothy, his wife Ruth and his daughter Kim.

Bob is survived by his son Robert Best, Jr. and is also survived by 3 grandchildren, Heather Best, Justin and his wife Jamie Best, Rachael and her husband George Binns, 6 great grandchildren and 2 great-great grandchildren.

A visitation will take place on Friday July 5, 2024 from 4 pm – 8 pm at Cochran Funeral Home, 905 High Street, Hackettstown, NJ 07840.

A graveside service will be held on Saturday, July 6, 2024 at 10:00 am at Stanhope Union Cemetery, Waterloo Road, Stanhope, NJ 07874.

In lieu of flowers, please make a donation to St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital, Memorial & Honor Program, 501 St Jude Place, Memphis, TN 38105-1942, in his honor.


  1. REPLY
    Joy Snyder says

    It is with great sadness I learn of the passing of longtime friend, Bob Best. He and my husband Les (R.I.P) could spend hours together talking about the “good Ole’ days” in Hackettstown…A true “Gentleman” if there ever was one! R.I.P. Bob…you will be very much missed…

  2. REPLY
    Beth Miles says

    My sincere condolences to the entire Best family. Bob and Ruth were not only my first bosses since I worked for them, but they were neighbors and wonderful people! I have fond memories of them inviting friends and neighbors over to watch fireworks and eat homemade peach ice cream. May he rest in peace!

    • Ed Wehmeyer says

      My deepest sympathy and condolences to the Best Family. My thoughts and prayers are with you all during this sad time. Bob was a wonderful man and I will always remember my time with him.
      RIP Bob

  3. REPLY
    Timothy Cussen says

    I am very sorry to hear of the loss of Bob. He was a wonderful man. I will truly miss speaking with him at the farm stand on my visits.

  4. REPLY
    maria hadley says

    We are so incredibly sorry to hear of Bob’s passing. He was a great guy and he will be missed. They don’t make them like him anymore.

  5. REPLY
    John. Kietrys says

    Bob was literally the Best.

    John Kietrys class of ‘53

  6. REPLY
    Jessie Driscoll says

    My deepest condolences to The entire Best family. They always gave me a job, taught me so much about so many things in life. I miss spending time with them in their loving home. The first time Mr. Best SR gave me a tour and educated me on how the cider mill operated; you could see the excitement in his eyes explaining it all and he was so proud that nothing goes to waste in that process. He was a proud, honorable and caring man. He will be greatly missed. I hope his legacy lives on through Mr.Best JR and the grandkids, great grandkids and great great grandkids.

    • Chick and Linda Dimiceli says

      Sad to hear of the passing of Bob we was a family friend going back to when his dad and uncle Harold had as store on main street next to my grandfathers shop He was always a great part of Hackettstown history Will miss his talks

    • Chick and Linda Dimiceli says

      Sad to hear of the passing of Bob we was a family friend going back to when his dad and uncle Harold had as store on main street next to my grandfathers shop He was always a great part of Hackettstown history Will miss his talks

  7. REPLY
    Paul & Robin Wallace says

    Bob, my Wife Robin and I were so sorry to hear of your Father’s passing, we cherish our friendship with him, do to logistics had not been able to stop for a while. Always a great conversation, from a Man who loved His Township, as I our Town. But most especially His Love for Christ.
    We know these words will not ease the sting that comes when our Loved One passes, so please know we are praying 🙏🏻 our FATHER In Heaven provides the comfort only HE can through Christ Our LORD.
    GOD Bless
    Paul & Robin Wallace

  8. REPLY
    Vincent and Theresa Fiedler. says

    Bob was a wonderful man and a pillar of the community. The greater Hackettstown area just won’t be the same without him. Our condolences to the Best family.

  9. REPLY
    Gary J. Kuipers, Sr. says

    Our sincere sympathies to the Best family. Bob was a true gentleman, knowledgeable, hard working, and an honest businessman. I enjoyed conversing with Bob during visits to the farm stand. I am certain that Bob is in the hands of our savior Jesus Christ.

    • Paul Stahl says

      My sincere condolences to the Best family.
      He was one of my history mentors, town, county, state, and the ongoing and unfinished history of Buck Hill, Dr Stanowicz, star and cross..He also had 4 filing cabinet drawers with his, maternal and paternal genealogy ancestry, going back to Great Britain, many hundreds of years! He was right up there with Ray Lemasters, and Charlie Prestepine,a historian his own right! I’ve learned much from you, you’ve taught me well..

  10. REPLY
    Sandra Wocock says

    So sorry to hear about Mr. Best. I will treasure all our talks.

  11. REPLY
    Cindy Neumann says

    My condolences to the Best family. I will miss the many great stories over the years that he spoke to me about. I would see him and his daughter, Kim at the HHS basketball games and afterwards my dad and I would meet up with them at IHOP on Wednesday nights for half price meals and conversation. The conversations between Mr. Best and my dad were usually always entertaining. Those sure were good days..

  12. REPLY
    Joyce Ort Berninger says

    Sad to hear Bob has joined others of his family. The Orts and Bests have been friends for many generations. He was one of a kind and will be missed by many people.

  13. REPLY
    Eddie meeker says

    Condolences to the entire Best family…..

  14. REPLY
    Stephen and Pamela Davis says

    Our condolences to the Best Family. I will miss Mr. Best’s interesting talks about Hackettstown.

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