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In the early years of our discipline at this university, Bob Bostrom was hired as chair of what was then the Speech department. He was already a known scholar in the behavioral study of communication and a strong empiricist, two areas which fitted our plans for development, and his addition to our team was a strong step forward. I knew him as a friend and ally during that time, but he had other talents. Many members of the general public knew him for his voice and thespian skills. He won considerable praise as Tevye in performances of Fiddler on the Roof in Lexington and at Jenny Wiley theater in Prestonsburg, and as part of the musical quartet that entertained at the faculty club and at college parties. And then there was a side of him possibly learned while working summers as a cowboy on his uncle Lars' ranch in the sandhills of Nebraska, where he learned rougher ways that some people with more tender lives did not understand. Beyond his sometimes gruff exterior, I knew him as a gentle and kind person who extended a hand to many who needed it. I saw him invite into his house students from other lands who had no place to go during the holidays, along with the recently bereaved or newly divorced, and others in unfortunate states. Inside his cheery home, he served them with food, drink, and laughter, buoying their spirits to pick up and go on. During his long career here, Bob was recognized throughout our discipline as a respected scholar among respected scholars. There have not been many like this remarkable man and we will miss him terribly.
Please visit the Dr. Robert Bostrom Memorial Facebook Page: http://www.facebook.com/RobertBostromMemorialPage.