Robert Preston Neuffer, president of a management recruiting firm and a decorated World War II Marine Corps veteran, died of cancer Wednesday [January 15, 1997] at Rosary Hill Hospice in Hawthorne, N.Y. He was 77 and a resident of Pound Ridge, N.Y.
A 1940 graduate of Wesleyan University, he enlisted with the Marines in 1941 and fought in some of the most crucial battles of World War II on Guadalcanal, Guam, and Okinawa. As a member of Edson’s Raiders, an elite Marine unit, he played a significant role in the battle for Guadalcanal in 1942. The six-month military campaign marked a turning point for American forces, handing them their first victory against the Japanese Imperial Army after months of defeat. His command of his men in the First Marine Raider Battalion earned him the Silver Star for “conspicuous gallantry” and “exceptional leadership and initiative.” He later received a Bronze Star for his courage and judgment during the 1945 battle for Okinawa. He retired from the Marine Corps with the rank of lieutenant colonel in 1946, after helping to oversee the return of Japanese troops from mainland China.
Mr. Neuffer launched his business career in Boston with Gillette, where he was director of food store operations. During a 25-year career in sales and marketing in the New York City area, he worked as general sales manager of Chesebrough-Ponds; vice president of the consumer products division of Hoffman-LaRoche; and vice president of drugstore sales for Revlon. He was president of Management Recruiters of Westchester, a management recruiting firm in Tarrytown, N.Y.
He leaves a son, Mark of Chicago; and a daughter, Elizabeth of Berlin.
A memorial service will be held Tuesday at 4 p.m. in Pound Ridge Community Church in Pound Ridge, N.Y.