Victor A. Pelson

June 11, 1937October 29, 2012

Victor Abraham Pelson died peacefully on Oct. 29, 2012, in New York City. Services are Sunday, Dec. 2, at 11 a.m. at Temple Emanuel-El, Fifth Ave. at 65th St., New York, N.Y. Born in Newark, N.J., in 1937, Victor and his now-deceased sister, Charlotte, grew up in Irvington, N.J., where he graduated from Irvington High School in 1955, as did his wife, Barbara. Victor received his B.S. in mechanical engineering from Newark College of Engineering (NJIT), and his MBA from New York University School of Business. He began his extraordinary career at Western Electric as an engineer, quickly moving up through the ranks of AT&T and ultimately achieving the position of chairman of global operations and a member of the board of directors. While at AT&T, Victor navigated the company through multiple challenges, including architecting key aspects of the company's divestiture of its manufacturing arm following an anti-trust suit filed by the federal government, and the creation of the regional Bell operating companies. He played the key role in establishing AT&T as a truly global company, and was one of the first American executives to establish manufacturing facilities throughout the world, including in China and Singapore. He retired from AT&T in 1996. Victor served as the chairman of the New Jersey State Chamber of Congress from 1989 to 1991, and was chairman of the board of NJIT for 14 years, where he also received an honorary doctorate. He served on many boards, including Acterna Corporation, Combustion Engineering, Dun & Bradstreet, Dynatech Corporation, Eaton Corporation, and United Parcel Service, and was a senior adviser to UBS Securities. Victor also navigated many challenges in his own life as a child and young man, losing his mother when he was a teen and his father soon after. Living in poverty, he cared for his disabled sister while working and going to school. Despite this, he did not acknowledge these obstacles as an adult, although they served to shape his approach to life. Victor was known by his friends and business associates as a man of great integrity, wisdom, and humor. He had an uncanny ability to bring clarity to complex issues and make wise decisions about business, and life, which led many to seek out Victor for counsel. As a father and grandfather, Victor was a hero and the center of the Pelson family. As a husband, Victor was the love of Barbara's life, marrying soon after college, and despite traveling to every distant corner of the world, never letting a day go by without wishing his wife goodnight. A man who stood with presidents, Victor still connected deeply with everyday people who valued hard work, honesty, and devotion to family. Victor will be remembered as a brilliant businessman, a loving and devoted dad, and a husband who wanted nothing more than to be at the side of his adoring wife, Barbara. He is survived by his wife of 52 years, Barbara (Meyers); his loving sons, Mark (Katherine), Jonathan (Katie), and Daniel (Jenny); and six grandchildren, Sarah, Megan, Mary, Benjamin, Zachary, and Tyler. In lieu of flowers, please make donations to the Victor A. Pelson Scholarship Fund, NJIT, Newark, N.J


Victor A. Pelson

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Frederic Salerno

April 25, 2013

Dearest Barbara & Family,
Pat and I just learned of Vic's passing today. Needless to day, our hearts are broken and our love and prayers go out to you, your children and your grandchildren.
Vic was an icon - well respected among his peers for his business prowess and accomplishments, but he was also head and shoulders among so many when it came to the most important of issues, namely the love of his family. Vic accomplished more than many in his long and distinguished career, but those who really knew him, knew that Vic's greatest joy came from his love for you, Barbara and his greatest pride came from his boys. He was a dear friend, a great mentor and an honored colleague. I know his passing has left a tremendous void in your family's heart. We hope that the good wishes and thoughts of those who loved Vic will help you through the tough days. And may the memories of the happy times you shared with Vic for 52 wonderful years comfort you as well. We will keep you in our prayers and please know that if there is anything that we can do to help, never hesitate to call. With love, Pat & Fred Salerno

November 24, 2012

Mark, Katherine, Sarah and Megan,

Our thoughts and prayers are with you at this difficult time.

The Earleys
Bristol, RI

Eric Davidson

November 21, 2012

I am saddened to learn of the loss and a man who taught me the key to success is respect for each person who enters your life. As John Donne stated, "No man is an island, lest any man die it diminished me." Thus, it is so.


Eric Davidson

November 13, 2012

Dear Jon and family:
How sorry Linda and I were to learn of your father's passing. He was certainly a tremendously successful businessman but we will remember him for the many many philanthropic causes with which he was involved and his close relationship you and your brothers. Our thoughts and prayers are with you at this difficult time.
With our sincerest sympathy,
Bill Ogden

November 12, 2012

Dear Barbara ,
We mourn with you over Vic's passing . He was a mentor ,friend and golf partner for over 30 years . He has left an indelible mark in so many hearts and minds , and will always be remembered for his love of family, loyalty to friends and business acumen .

Paul and Mary Wondrasch

November 12, 2012

Dear Barbara

I just learned of Vic's passing - my thoughts and prayers are with you and your family. I feel so blessed to have known such a wonderful man - let me know if I can so anything for you here - Much love!!! Ashley

Ellen Eismeier

November 11, 2012

My thoughts and prayers are with you and your sons at this sad time. May your many wonderful memories sustain you in the months ahead.

My sincerest sympathy,
Ellen Eismeier

November 10, 2012

Dear Mrs. Pelson, Our deepest condolence to you and your family. We will miss your visits.
Susan Ling
The Links Club

November 9, 2012

Dear Barbara, Mark, Jon and Dan,
I just learned of Vic's passing today from Mimi Eddleman and am so very sorry...He was indeed an extraordinary person who has left a legacy for all who had the pleasure of knowing him. His love of, devotion to and pride in his family was most evident...Please know that my thoughts are with you knowing how you will miss him.

Judy (Heimbach) (Rockaway, NJ)

Miriam Eddleman

November 8, 2012

Dear Barbara . . .

David and I were so sorry to learn of Vic's passing. Although we haven't seen you in a long time, we've kept up with the family accomplishments through Neal. And what accomplishments they are. We wish you and your family comfort, healing and a sense of peace during this difficult time and in the days to come.

Love to you all,
David and Mimi Eddleman