Herbert Hobler loved his community.
He was one of the founders of the Spirit of Princeton Fund at the Princeton Area Community Foundation and helped bring the Memorial Day Parade back to town. He served as Chair of the Board of The American Boychoir for more than two decades and earlier this year, attended his 75th Princeton University reunion.
Mr. Hobler died on Aug. 10 at the age of 96, two years after the death of his wife of 73 years, Mary. But their legacy of generosity will live on through the Herbert and Mary Hobler Operating Endowment.
“Dad was a force of nature when it came to organizations he cared about,” said his daughter, Debbie Hobler. “The Hobler family is incredibly honored that the Community Foundation would create the Herbert and Mary Hobler Operating Endowment. Dad would be so touched and Mom too, as they both gave of their time, money and efforts over 70 years to the Princeton community.”
Mr. Hobler came to Princeton to attend the University, where played on the basketball team, ran track and later chaired many of the Class of 1944’s reunions. He served in the Army Air Corps during World War II, founded the Nassau Broadcast Company, and in 1964 bought WTOA-FM from the Times of Trenton and changed the call letters to WPST.
He served on the boards of the local YMCA, the Hun School, the United Fund, the American Boychoir, Princeton Savings and Loan, the Nassau Club and Tiger Inn, and was often honored as Princeton’s Man of the Year. He was a co-founder of Concerned Citizens of Princeton, and served for many years as the Chairman of the Speakers program at the Nassau Club.
He also served as a Founding Member of the Princeton Area Community Foundation Board of Trustees. Mr. Hobler was instrumental in creating the Spirit of Princeton Fund at the Community Foundation more than two decades ago. He also raised money to create a scholarship fund at the Community Foundation in memory of his friend, Frank Clark, who spent many years as the Director of the Princeton YMCA. The Frank Clark Memorial Fund helps support the Community Foundation’s Greater Mercer Scholarship and also provides grants to the YMCA.
Mr. Hobler also had two of his own charitable funds at the Community Foundation for many years: a donor advised fund established in 1995 with a gift from Mr. Hobler, and a designated fund created in 2006 using a qualified charitable distribution from an IRA rollover. Upon his death, he instructed that those funds continue to support a number of local nonprofit organizations, including the Community Foundation.
With that grant, the Community Foundation has created the Herbert and Mary Hobler Operating Endowment, Memorial gifts made to the Community Foundation in honor of Mr. Hobler will also be deposited in that fund, which will help support the work of the Community Foundation.
We think this is a terrific way to honor the Hoblers’ generosity to the community,” said Jeffrey M. Vega, Community Foundation President & CEO. “The fund will reside here at the Community Foundation in perpetuity to commemorate their legacy.”
Mr. Hobler is survived by four children, six grandchildren and 11 great-grandchildren. A memorial service will be held at 1 pm on Oct. 12 at Princeton Day School, 650 Great Road, Princeton, NJ 08540.