ROBERT N. ALFANDRE
Robert N. Alfandre, born June 9, 1927 in New York, NY, died at his home in Washington, DC on June 12th. He is survived by his wife, Priscilla Alfandre.
His parents, Joseph and Annette Henry Alfandre, moved to Washington D.C. when Robert was eight. Encouraged by his teachers at Anacostia High School in DC to apply, Robert became the first of his family to attend college, choosing Swarthmore when Princeton and Yale offered later matriculation dates. At the end of his freshman year, he enlisted in the U.S. Navy, returning to school in the fall of 1946. Upon graduation from college in 1949, he attended the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Study on a fellowship and received a Master of Arts degree in 1951. After graduate school, his first position was with the Central Intelligence Agency, where he was employed in operations concerning Western Europe. After five years with the CIA, he resigned his position to pursue a career in real estate development with his father and brother Jack. He prospered in the real estate and construction industries in the Washington D.C. area, developing his own companies. He married Priscilla Buck, a college classmate, in 1951. They have two daughters, Dominique (Thomas Palmer) and Nicole, and four grandchildren, Carl and Claudia Halbreiner and Luned and Rosamund Palmer (Miles Portek). Alfandre became a force in the D.C. cultural community, serving on the board of the Woodrow Wilson House and opening his Kalorama Road home to myriad non-profits for fundraising events. He also served for many years on the Board of the Whitman Walker Clinic in D.C. and was a leader in fighting AIDS, raising millions of dollars for AIDS research and establishing residences and support systems for victims of AIDS in D.C. and Key West, Fla. He founded the Carroll Sledz House at the Whitman Walker Clinic in honor of his long time partner Carroll. Alfandre purchased the historic, iconic residence at 701 Fleming St. in Key West from the renowned composer and lyricist Jerry Herman in September 1985.
Alfandre's philanthropy and support of the arts in Key West continued for the past 29 years. He organized and hosted the very first Human Rights Campaign Fund dinner in Washington, D.C. Alfandre maintained residences in D.C, Key West, Fire Island and Paris, where he pursued his deep love of French culture. He was an active member of the French Heritage Society, as well as the National Trust for Historic Preservation. He was named a Knight of the Order of St. John. Robert is also survived by his brother Jack Alfandre and devoted grandchildren, nieces and nephews; also by his friend Sidney Martin. Memorials to the breadth of this life lived well will be held August 17 in Fire Island and in Key West later during the winter season. Details will be announced.
The funeral was held on Saturday, June 21 at All Souls Church in D.C. with burial at Oak Hill Cemetery. The Alfandre family extends their heartfelt gratitude to the staffs of Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, NY Presbyterian Hospital and the homecare givers, all of whom cared for him through his long final illness.