Robert Pasch, an advertising man who left Madison Avenue for the third-floor study of his family's Babylon Village Victorian home, where he ran his own advertising consultancy and pursued civic projects, died Sept. 6 at Good Samaritan Hospital. The cause was asthma, said his family. Pasch was 91.
In a career that took him to firms such as Kenyon & Eckhardt and Ogilvy & Mather, Pasch introduced a nation of pimpled teenagers to Clearasil by asking them, "How much time have you got -- to be 17?" To their parents, he offered the suburban ideal in a full-page print ad for Scotts Lawn products: "Give me one Saturday morning of honest effort, and I will GUARANTEE you a better lawn."
His ads didn't rely solely on words to tell their stories. An ad intended to build support for the still-young United Nations hit the reader with a page-wide photograph of a nuclear mushroom cloud and followed with a bold-type caption: "This is one alternative to the United Nations."
He was one of the early members of the Advertising Writers Association of New York, which helped validate the burgeoning profession and later awarded him multiple Clios for his work.
When he left Madison Avenue in the early 1970s, he plowed through Will and Ariel Durant's 11-volume "Story of Civilization," started a novel and wrote plays about Babylon history, sometimes in the middle of the night to Dixieland jazz and the chagrin of children trying to sleep.
When stairs grew hard, Pasch moved his office to the second floor, then the first.
Pasch, who walked with a cane after a childhood bout with polio, took to the seas in the family sloop and served as commodore of the Babylon Yacht Club.
He became the publicity agent for the Conklin House, home of Nathaniel Conklin, one of the area's earliest settlers, which had fallen into disrepair before Pasch and other residents convinced village officials to buy and restore it in 1990.
He served on the Babylon Town Youth Board and from 1980-1998 on the board of the village Youth Project, a group that took village youth sailing and to museums, offered homework help and community service opportunities.
Project director Eric Price was a boy when he met Pasch there. "He was quiet until you got into something he was passionate about," Price said, recalling a proposal to do away with a project tradition of cooking dinner for area seniors. "He let us know it was important."
The dinner continues.
Pasch was born in Brooklyn and educated at the University of Michigan. He is survived by his wife, Fran, and three children, Peter of Washington Depot, Conn., Leslie Woods of San Francisco and Robin Maya of Los Angeles; and numerous grandchildren and great-grandchildren.