Lawrence Carlbon Remembered As Arts Advocate

Lawrence “Larry” Kress Carlbon, who will be remembered as an advocate for the arts throughout his life, passed away on April 1.

Carlbon, 88, was a longtime member of the New Jersey State Council on the Arts.

He died at his Hackettsown home after a short illness, surrounded by his loving family.

Carlbon was widely known for his great passion for the arts and culture.  Carlbon enthusiastically served as a Council Member on the New Jersey State Council on the Arts since 2000, under six different Governors, and had been a tireless advocate for artists and the venues that promote them. Arguably the longest serving member of the council ever, he was on the board until his death. While at the Council, he was their representative to the Emmy nominated New Jersey Network. He was among those members who planned the organization’s 50th anniversary celebration in Trenton last year.

Carlbon was also one of the earliest supporters of The Hunterdon Art Museum, where he served as President and worked hard to help restore and preserve it, and became a lifetime Board Member. In addition, he was on the Hunterdon County Cultural and Heritage Commission, serving as Vice Chair, where he was dedicated to helping farmers preserve their land, as well as many conservation and cultural efforts.

Carlbon had also been active in other Community Service activities throughout his life, particularly while living in Hunterdon County, as a member of the Union Township Board of Education, including as President, on the Township’s Planning and Zoning Board, including as Chairman, and was the Township Historian.

He is survived by his wife of 65 years, Barbara Hafley Carlbon.  He leaves a brother, Joel Sandt Carlbon, of Mendham, and was predeceased by brother Edward Lundberg Carlbon, and his parents, Edward Adolph and Elizabeth Kress Carlbon.

He is survived by his children, daughter Susan Carlbon Hirshberg and her husband Daniel, and sons Lawrence Frederick Carlbon and his wife Rebecca, and Scott Leon Carlbon and fiance Sarah Jacob, and his grandchildren, Julie Flanigan, Nathan Hirshberg and his wife Jessica, Lauren Carlbon, Melanie Hirshberg DeStefano, Alexander Kress Carlbon, Lilah and Eva Fleishman. He was anticipating the birth of his first great-grandson.

Born in Perth Amboy, growing up in Metuchen, Carlbon later moved to Westfield. He served in Japan at the end of World War II and graduated from Rutgers University.  He and his wife moved to Pattenburg, Hunterdon County, and together restored and lived on a small historic farm for almost 50 years where they, and their children and grandchildren, created lasting memories. For most of those years he also commuted to New York City, where he was a Senior VP at Dickie Raymond Advertising and Needham, Harper, Steers. He retired from the advertising business 30 years ago.

For the past two years he and his wife lived in Hackettstown.

Carlbon will be remembered by many as a loving and caring friend, mentor, husband, father and grandfather, and always as a committed contributor to his community.

A private internment arranged by Scala Funeral Home was at Fairview Cemetery, Westfield. Friends and family are invited to a Celebration of his Life that will be held at the Hunterdon Art Museum, 7 Lower Center St., Clinton, NJ on Sunday April 23 beginning at 2 p.m.

In lieu of flowers, a contribution to the Hunterdon Art Museum, The Shepherd’s Fund at the House of the Good Shepherd in Hackettstown, or Compassionate Care Hospice is appreciated.

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