In Memory of Bob Stuart
I first met Bob at his wedding (to Liz,
Kate’s cousin); but as is the case at most such functions, I had
little chance to get to know him.
That privilege came later, as his stint at Harvard resulted
in numerous opportunities for our families to mingle.
After the birth of his and Liz’s first daughter, Caroline,
the kids made it even easier (or, alternately, made it harder to do
anything other than hang with other parents).
Even after they (and new baby Emily) moved out to the San
Diego area where Bob took a teaching position at UC San Diego, we
saw them at least once a year during our annual visit to the
grandparents, and sometimes more than that.
Overall it’s been around ten years of regular contact.
So, what can I say about Bob? At forty, he seemed more like twenty, not so much from a
maturity standpoint (that was back when he was thirty), but from a
energy and enthusiasm standpoint.
Bob was an amateur astronomer with a telescope too large for
his house, an amateur geologist with too many specimens to count, a
thrower of boomerangs, a lover of the open desert, his four wheel
drive jeep and his convertible classic Mustang.
He was an amateur programmer as well to help him with gene
sequencing as part of his rather esoteric studies in renal disease
and other things I knew even less about. That’s a pretty large list of hobbies for someone with a
demanding career, a wife and two small children, but somehow he made
room for them.
He was brilliant, but never made you feel
stupid (well, at least not me).
He sometimes took delight in childish pranks, like setting up
his laptop to say, “Dave, you’re a bonehead” (and videotaping
it with the camcorder I forgot at his house).
(Make that “rarely made you feel stupid”).
In many years of trading presents, I think his
favorite was a Nerf Crossbow we gave him for Christmas one year.