Wednesday, November 4, 2009

thank you for your caring and support

As he said in his last entry, Bob had planned on posting a health update several weeks ago, but he got busy with living--recording oral histories with his children, visiting with friends, participating in the UU Forum, talking at AA meetings, and hosting get-togethers with UUers to talk about end of life issues.

About a week ago Bob's health started deteriorating very rapidly. The tumor was pressing on all his internal organs. Breathing became quite difficult, he felt nauseous constantly, and was in considerable pain. He needed oxygen to breath and morphine to manage the extreme discomfort. Then Friday night he fell several times getting out of bed. He became restless and agitated. Latte, Bob's middle son, came over from Spring Lake to help out Marian. The hospice nurse started making daily visits. After a difficult weekend, Bob finally fell into a restful sleep Monday morning. That night, his younger daughter Kim, who is a nurse, came in from California. Tuesday, Marian's son, Joe, and his wife, Michele arrived. Bob's youngest son, Turner, his fiancee, Moya, and their baby, Azaria, drove up to Lansing. At 3:30pm on November 3, Bob passed away quietly at home in his sleep with family by his side.

As a scientist, Bob's final contribution to understanding the human condition was donating his body to Michigan State University through the Willed Body Program. His tradition of breaking new ground in scientific research continues after his death.

Bob lived a rich and full life. Many thanks to those of you who have followed his blog. Your comments touched his heart and helped him find joy in the months since his decision not to undergo any additional aggressive treatment for his cancer. The service celebrating Bob's life will take place this Sunday, 2pm, at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Greater Lansing.

~ Stephanie (Bob's older daughter, aka Professor Cyborg)
"Death ends a life, not a relationship."
from Tuesdays with Morrie


  1. Thank you for letting us know. He sounded like such a wonderful man. I wish I knew him more. My sympathies to you and your family.

  2. i'm thankful he shared this time with us.

    my condolences to you and his friends and family.

  3. Thank you Bob, and Stephanie. My condolences...

  4. Love to all and my favorite poem at these moments in life. Candice:

    "At this time of my parting, wish me good luck, my friends.

    When I go from here, let this be my parting word: That what I have seen is unsurpassable.

    I have tasted the honey from the flowers that bloom in the forest of light,
    and thus, I am blessed.

    Let this be my parting word.

    In this playhouse of infinite forms, I have had my play.
    And now, when playtime is over, what is this sudden sight that has come upon me?
    The world, with eyes bent, stands in awe, with all its silent stars.

    And on the day when Death came to my door, what did I offer to him?
    Oh, I set before my guest the full vessel of my life. I did not let him go with empty hands.

    All the sweet vintage of all my autumn days and summer nights, all the earnings and gleanings of my busy life did I place before him, at the close of my day,
    When Death came to my door.

    So, at this time of my parting, wish me good luck my friends.
    The sky is flushed with the dawn, and my path lies beautiful."


  5. I'm very sorry to hear that. I admired Bob and regret his passing. He showed the kind of courage I hope I do when it's my time.

    My sympathy and condolences to his family.

  6. Candice:

    Thank you for sharing Bob.

  7. Hope the family is doing well in these months afterward. This was a good blog to read while Bob was alive and still find it to be. Thanks for leaving it up.