BEAR CREEK, LUZERNE COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) — Local businessman Eberhard “Eb” Faber IV of the Eberhard Faber Pencil Company passed away at the age of 85 on Friday, September 2.
Born in 1936, Eb Faber grew up on Fifth Avenue in Manhattan with his mother, Julia T. Faber, his father, Eberhard III, and his sister, Theo.
After losing his father in 1946 in a drowning accident, Faber went on to attend Dalton School and Collegiate Academy, where he skipped two grades and served as a child reporter and emcee for ‘Child’s World,’ a radio show that would later transition to television.
Faber led the long-winning collegiate team on the popular Triple B Ranch kids’ radio quiz show, hosted on NBC affiliate WEAF by Bob Smith aka ‘Howdy Doody.’
While reporting with ‘Child’s World,’ Faber was able to interview many celebrities of the time, including his idol, baseball legend, Jackie Robinson, in 1948, and Faber, himself, was profiled in LIFE magazine in that same year.
In 1957, Faber moved from New York City to the Wyoming Valley, to open a new plant in the Crestwood Industrial Park in Mountaintop.
Faber married Ellen Scurria of Harrisburg in 1958 and serve in the Army for six months in 1960.
After returning from France to Pennslyvania, Faber and Ellen had two sons, Eberhard V in 1966, and Anthony in 1968.
He would move back to the Princeton area in 1969, where we would begin working at Eberhard Faber Inc. Not long after, Faber and his wife Ellen separated in 1972.
In the 70s, Faber was still working for Eberhard Faber Inc., and eventually became President and then CEO and Chairman of the company, a span during which he returned the failing writing instrument manufacturer back to profitability.
He married Mary Louis Carey Smith of Baltimore, in 1979, an attorney who would eventually practice law that included employment gender discrimination in Wilkes-Barre.
Upon marrying Mary, Faber became the stepfather of Georgia C. Smith, Margaret C. Smith, Mark C. Smith, and Deirdre M. Smith.
In the ’80s, Faber met the then-Fed Chairman, Paul Volcker, and profiled him in a Fortune magazine piece, titled, ‘Fly Fishing with Volcker.’
Finally, in 1986, on his 50 birthday, Faber sold Eberhard Faber Inc., to Faber-Castell, (no relation), and retired after 20 years of work as the historic pencil manufacturer.
For the next 36 years of his life, Faber managed the capital from the sale of the company and served on numerous Boards of Directors that included PNC Bank, the Citizens’ Voice, and King’s College. At King’s College, he served on the board from 1980 to 2022 and was chairman from 1997 to 2010.
The college awarded him with an honorary doctorate in 2012 for outstanding service to King’s College and the liberal arts.
Faber also served as Director of Real Estate Investment Trust at W.P. Carey from 1998 until 2015, where he then transitioned to Lead Director as well as on the Executive, Nominating, and Corporate Governance Committees.
“Over 17 years, he was a great mentor to us all, especially our Founder, Bill Carey, and helped guide the company through periods of significant change and growth,” Jason Fox of Carey reflected.
He loved his dogs, who he kept spoiled by his inability to resist feeding them some of whatever he was eating. He loved raw oysters, lobster, steak tartare, unfiltered cigarettes, good wine, and ridiculously strong gin martinis.
But above all, he took pleasure in his family, in the love and company of his sons, stepchildren, nieces, and nephews, and of course in the growth and exploits of his many grandchildren.
A public service is scheduled for 10:00 a.m. on Saturday, September 10, at Kings College Chapel where anyone can pay their respects to Eberhard Faber IV.
Although it is voluntary, those in attendance are encouraged to wear masks inside the chapel. Also in lieu of flowers, a donation to King’s College is suggested.