Robert Shosteck, 68, a noted gardener, outdoorsman and auther and for many years the curator of the B'nai B'rith museum, died of a heart attack Sunday at his home in Bethesda.
Mr. Shosteck was a botanist by training. He was born in Trenton, N.J., and grew up there and in Washington, where he graduated from Eastern High School. He earned a bachelor's degree in botany from George Washington University and then worked briefly as a ranger for the U.S. Forest Service in the State of Washington.
In the late 1930s, he was outdoors editor of The Washington Post. Then he switched careers, although he continued to enjoy the outdoors and to write about nature and other things for the rest of his life.
In 1941, he joined the staff of B'nai B'rith, the Jewish service organization, as director of research in its vocational services bureau. During World War II, he worked for the War Manpower Commission and then returned to B'nai B'rith. He later earned a master's degree in vocational guidance at George Washington University.
In 1957, when B'nai B'rith built its national headquarters at 17th Street and Rhode Island Avenue NW, he became curator of the organization's museum. He held that post until his retirement in 1975.
At the time of his death, Mr. Shosteck was making regular appearances on the television program PM Magazine (Channel 9-WDVM), offering bits of local lore and history. He also was a lecturer at Montgomery College and at the Smithsonian Institution.
His publications included "Potomac Trail Book," first published in 1936 and revised in several editions since, "Flowers and Plants," "The Weekenders Guide" and "409 Camp Grounds from Maine to Florida." He was a founder of the Wanderbirds and Capital hiking clubs.
Mr. Shosteck produced pamphlets for the Montgomery County National Capital Park and Planning Commission. He also wrote about edible wild plants and herbs and was a consultant to the National Park Service.
He was a member of the Washington Jewish Historical Society and a student of American Jewish history. He wrote a study about George Washington's podiatrist, who was a Sephardic Jew, and several studies about the Jewish community in Washington.
Mr. Shosteck was a member of Temple Shalom in Chevy Chase.
His first wife, Dora, died in 1969.
Survivors include his second wife, Ruth, of the home in Bethesda; two children, Dr. Herschel Shosteck, of Silver Spring, and Sara Williams, of Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada, and three grandchildren.
The family suggests that expressions of sympathy be in the form of contributions to the Temple Shalom Beautification Fund, 8401 Grubb Road, Chevy Chase, Md., 20015.