Robert Wright Ashbrook

Robert Wright Ashbrook, a devoted husband and father, home builder and resident of Allentown, died on July 2, 2016 at age 85. He is survived by his wife of 61 years, Linda; two sons, Robert Jr. of Wallingford, Pennsylvania and John of Montclair, New Jersey; their wives; five grandchildren; and his sister Elizabeth Ashbrook McCann of Gladwyne, Pennsylvania. He was predeceased by two brothers. Born in Columbus, Ohio on February 5, 1931 to Byron Baldwin Ashbrook and Helen Wright Ashbrook, he attended Newark, Ohio public schools and graduated from Western Reserve Academy in Hudson, Ohio. He attended Williams College and earned a B.S. from Ohio State University in 1955 and an M.B.A. from Stanford University in 1957. He served in the Korean War as a Second Lieutenant in the U.S. Army Special Forces. Mr. Ashbrook began his career as a home builder, developer and realtor working for his brother-in-law Robert McCann’s home building business in Allentown in 1957. He went on to found several construction and real estate companies, including Brookhaven Residential Sales in 1959, Sterling Homes in 1970 and Brookhaven Realty in 1973, which he ran before stepping back from day-to-day management in 1994. Over his career, he employed hundreds of people and built over three thousand custom homes in the Lehigh Valley and central New Jersey, including the developments of Brookhaven, Meadowbrook, Millbrook Farms, Fox Run, and Buckingham Place in Salisbury and Lower Macungie Townships in Lehigh County. He was a lifelong runner, private pilot, world traveler and avid golfer.

A memorial service will be held on Saturday, July 16, 2016 at 11:00 a.m. in the Chapel at the First Presbyterian Church of Allentown at 3231 West Tilghman Street.

In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to the Church or to Newark, Ohio-based A Call to College at

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