Robert Re, a former Bergen County undersheriff and Saddle River councilman who spent nine years heading up a private security detail for former President Richard Nixon, died on February 15. He was 91.
Nixon, who moved to Saddle River in 1981 and then to a townhouse in Park Ridge, waived his lifetime Secret Service protection in 1985 and instead hired Re to protect him and former First Lady Pat Nixon. Re was at Nixon’s side when he died of a stroke in 1994.
Re was a U.S. Marine Corps veteran who served in the Korean War and became a police officer in 1956. He became Ho-Ho-Kus police chief in 1973 and held the post for fifteen years.
After Bergen County Sheriff William McDowell was elected as the first county executive in 1986, he wanted his undersheriff, Garry Garabedian, to replace him. Gov. Thomas Kean picked Garabedian, who then lost his 1987 sheriff’s race to Democrat Robert Herb, a Bergen County Police captain. But some key Republicans, including McDowell’s finance chairman, J. Fletcher Creamer, wanted Re to get the job.
Herb named Re to serve as his undersheriff in 1988.
He was appointed to fill an unexpired term on the Saddle River Borough Council in 1991 and remained there until becoming the borough’s police director in 1998. He again won a council seat in 2002 and was re-elected in 2006.
Re wrote a column for the Bergen Record called “Behind the Badge.”
He is survived by his wife, Sylvia, four daughters, nine grandchildren, and six great-grandchildren.
The Re family will receive visitors on February 20 at the Vander Plaat Funeral Home in Wyckoff. A funeral service will be held at 10 AM on February 20 at St. Gabriel the Archangel RC Church in Saddle River.