Robert Bleier passed away on Friday, February 28, 2014 at his home in Northridge, CA. He was 88.
Robert was born in Cleveland, Ohio to Hungarian-American parents, Frank and Alice Phillips Bleier. His beloved mother, Alice, died when he was seven years old. His father married Irene Weiss, a sweet, loving and intelligent teacher, who became a new mother to Robert. Frank and Irene had two children together, Lois and Donald Bleier. The family moved to Los Angeles in 1944 and together they opened and operated a chicken ranch in Tarzana.
Feeling a deep sense of patriotism, Robert was eager to serve in WWII. He served in the army from 1944-1946 and was stationed in Italy.
Returning to the United States after the war, he went to UCLA and graduated in 1951 with a BA in Zoology. Bob decided on a Health Service profession and went to the UCSF School of Dentistry, graduating in 1956 with a DDS. He opened his own office in Chatsworth and practiced there from 1956-1988. During his practice and then later during retirement, he taught various classes in Dental Materials at the UCLA School of Dentistry.
Robert met the woman of his dreams, Merium Rosenthal, in March of 1959 and they married two months later. They entertained constantly, and opened their home to their extended family and friends. He was a devoted husband, father, brother, uncle and cousin. His witty and playful sense of humor brought the family great joy. Robert and Merium spent 44 years together until Meriumís passing in 2003.
His other real love was art. He honed his skills in photography, wood sculpting and glass blowing. One of his patients, a Professor of Ceramics at California State University, Northridge introduced him to working with clay and he was immediately hooked. Inspired by the Terracotta Horses he saw on a trip to Xian, China, he started creating unique equine sculptures. His sculptures evolved into multi-headed fantastical horses and a wild parade of surreal hybrid creatures, dragons and extraterrestrials. He was enrolled at the CSUN ceramics and sculpture department for 22 years, and then acquired his own kiln and sculpted at home.
Robert travelled the world and was awed and delighted by itís beauty. His curiosity and appetite for experience and knowledge led him to the Arctic Circle, Antarctica, South Africa, Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand, Machu Picchu, the Galapagos Islands, Turkey, South Africa, Egypt, Israel, Alaska and all over Europe. Never one to lounge on a cruise ship, he took exhilarating educational expeditions with National Geographic/Lindblad, UCLA and Road Scholar. He was an intrepid explorer and had great traveling companions in his wife, Merium and his daughter, Alicia.
Robert is survived by his three children, his brother, his sister and many other caring relatives who loved Bob and will miss him dearly. We will hold him in our hearts forever.
In lieu of flowers, memorials would be appreciated to the National Parkinsonís Association and American Cancer Society.
Please take a moment to view Bob's web site and get a sense of his Artistry, his Wanderlust, and his strange and wonderful sense of humor. And if you knew Bob, please share your thoughts with his family via the Contact Us page.