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From Home Furnishing Business

Eppinger Furniture Co-Founder Dies at 80

Eppinger Furniture Co-Founder Robert E. Eppinger died at home in Stamford, Conn., Saturday at age 80.

For 53 years of their 56-year marriage, he and his wife, Paula W. Eppinger, resided in Stamford where they raised their three sons.

Born in New York City in 1934, Eppinger attended the University of Michigan, where he studied wood technology, in the School of Forestry and Conservation and then worked in the furniture manufacturing business.

He co-founded Eppinger Furniture Inc. in New York City with his father, the late Julius M. Eppinger and his brother James. The firm designed and built custom office furniture for many Fortune 500 companies. 

Robert cared deeply for his family and his friends and was an eternal optimist. His positive attitude and ready smile inspired those who knew him. 

One of Robert's greatest passions was playing social and duplicate bridge with friends and going to sectional, regional and national tournaments which enabled him to become an ACBL Bronze Life Master. An enthusiastic traveler, he planned numerous trips for family & friends, and visited nearly all the national parks, Canada and various countries in Central America, Asia and Europe. 

In his 60s, Eppinger began skiing and scuba diving and managed to complete more than 300 dives before his health failed. He was a very accomplished cook and prepared elaborate Chinese feasts for his family and friends. Eppinger was active in Temple Sinai where he served as president for two years during the 1980s. When his sons were young, he was the Cubmaster of Pack 11 for seven years. In his retirement he enjoyed guiding groups through Devils' Den in Weston, Conn.

After his cancer was diagnosed and possibly linked to contaminated well water at his home, Robert was a founding member and officer of the neighborhood advocacy group North Stamford Concerned Citizens for the Environment (NSCCE). Because of the advocacy group's efforts, Stamford has been offering subsidized well water testing since March 2012. The city has found carcinogenic compounds from pesticides and uranium in many private wells.

In addition to his wife, Eppinger is survived by son Jeffrey and his wife Francesmary Modugno of Pittsburgh, Penn.; son Steven and his wife Julie Laukkanen of Lexington, Mass.; and son Bruce and his wife Jean Siegel of Pittsburgh, Penn. Robert also leaves behind grandchildren Lauren and her husband Luis Lopez, Andrew and his wife Maryna, Samantha, Benjamin, E.J. and Aria, and great-grandchild Adrián. Also surviving him are siblings Carol Salzman of Ojai, Calif., Jean Susan Bronstein of Sunnyvale, Calif. and James Eppinger of Southbury, Conn.

In lieu of flowers, the family suggests a donation to one's favorite charity or the Eppinger/Wallach Floral Fund at Temple Sinai, 458 Lakeside Drive, Stamford, Conn. 06903; or NSCCE (North Stamford Concerned Citizens for the Environment), P.O. Box 3012, Stamford, Conn. 06905.

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