on September 11, 2013 - 12:01 AM
Nov. 21, 1950 – Sept. 6, 2013
Robert J. Neubert of Amherst, a retired U.S. Customs employee who narrowly escaped becoming a victim of the 9/11 terrorist attack on New York City, died Friday following a motor vehicle accident in Pennsylvania. He was 62.
Mr. Neubert, who was known as Jim, was beginning a trip across the country when the crash occurred between Erie, Pa., and Pittsburgh.
A native of Natrona Heights near Pittsburgh, Mr. Neubert was a graduate of Thiel College in Greenville, Pa., where he was a member of the Lambda Chi Alpha fraternity and received a bachelor’s degree in history.
He moved to the Buffalo area after college to work for the Customs Service, a career that spanned more than 37 years until his retirement in 2011. It was here that he met his future wife, the former Susan McClellan. The couple married in 1993.
Mr. Neubert was scheduled to be in Lower Manhattan on Sept. 11, 2001, for a training seminar, his wife recalled, but she was not sure where he would be. She subsequently remembered that he had pointed out the World Trade Center towers to their son, A.J., when they saw them during a TV show and telling him that he was going to be there for his job.
It turned out that he was not in one of the towers but in one of the smaller, adjacent buildings in the World Trade Center complex when the attack began. He and the others in his seminar fled the building before the second plane hit the other tower.
Sue Neubert easily remembers the anxiety and fear she felt after the towers collapsed but recalls with equal ease the joy and relief she felt when she heard her husband’s voice on the phone that afternoon.
Mr. Neubert was a member of the BPO Elks Club of Tonawanda. He enjoyed bicycling and attending classic car shows. He also was an avid golfer, an activity he especially enjoyed when he could play with his wife or his son.
He also is survived by a sister, Sherry Lauer.
A funeral service will be held at 10 a.m. Thursday in Amigone Funeral Home, 2600 Sheridan Drive, Town of Tonawanda.