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Former PEF VP Ken Robertson dies

Ken Robertson

PEF is grieving the loss of Ken Robertson, 73, a former PEF vice president, Region 10 coordinator, Executive Board member and the first leader of his PEF division during the union’s formative years in the 1980s.  A US Navy veteran, Robertson died February 23 at a veterans’ home in Plainfield, N.J., following a lengthy battle with Parkinson’s Disease.

Robertson had been a senior research scientist at what is now the state Office of Addiction Services and Supports.  He was very active in PEF for about 14 years, mainly during President Rand Condell’s administration (1985-1991).  After Robertson left state service in 2003, he went to work for the Transport Workers Union of America, where he was director of applied research until 2010.

“I really liked and enjoyed working with Ken,” said Charlene Lojewski, a Region 6 activist who is now retired.  “I feel he taught me a lot about PEF and about politics.  He will be missed.”

Robertson is widely remembered by PEF members and retirees as an energetic, tireless advocate for working families, social justice and good public policy.  He was very active in the PEF Political Action Committee, and in the union’s early organizing efforts.  He was president of  the Plainfield Democratic Club and testified before the party’s national convention platform committees in 1992 and 1996.  His abilities as a problem solver and strategic thinker were much admired by those who knew him best.

He served on the Plainfield Planning Board for 30 years and was honored for his community service in 2013 by the Plainfield Area NAACP.

Sherry Halbrook