After a valiant fight and repeated partial recoveries Bob died of complications from multiple strokes. During his struggles he never lost his sense of humor and compassion for others. Bob’s partner of twenty one years, Keith Miller, was by his side and lovingly cared for him from the beginning of his illness to his death. Keith fondly remembers many times of great joy with Bob during this time. Bob was still filled with humor and wit and Keith was a regular target of his practical jokes. Mickey Gault shared those times of joy as Bob’s co-caregiver without fail, as she and Keih held strong during the extremely difficult times as they witnessed Bob’s overwhelming pain and suffering, comforting him as best the could. Bob was born August 19, 1956, in Houston, Texas where he graduated first in his class of 600 from Lamar High School. Bob graduated cum laude in 1978 with a BA degree in political science from Duke University. During his undergraduate years Bob served at various times as managing editor, contributing editor, production editor and staff writer for “The Chronicle”, Duke University’s campus newspaper. Bob earned credit for extensive course work at UNC’s School of Journalism and Mass Communications at the same time he carried a full course load at Duke. From August 1976-May 1978 Bob was a stringer for The New York Times. From 1977 to 1980 Bob was a staff writer for The News and Observer. During 1980 Bob was the Director of Media Relations for the North Carolina Democratic Party. From1981 to 1983 he was Wake County Public School System Public Information Director. From 1983 to 1994 Bob was Director of Marketing and Communications for The NC Center for Independent Colleges. In 1992, until his illness prevented him from practicing, Bob was a Therapeutic Massage Therapist, the career of which he was most proud. He combined his personal and professional strengths to become a compassionate caregiver. He combined his unique insights with techniques he learned in ongoing study to develop a massage technique that was his alone. He was so well respected by his clients that many did not seek a new therapist until near or after Bob’s death. Bob was proud of his participation as an actor in the Man Bites Dog Theater’s production of "The Normal Heart" in Durham. Performances were attended and critiqued by the New York based curmudgeonly playwright and AIDS activist Larry Cramer. The play was later performed on Broadway. The 2011 production of the play received three Tony Awards. While volunteering for the NC Human Rights Fund he wrote numerous articles about gay issues for North Carolina newspapers. He also wrote numerous articles and letters to the editor in support of gay rights and non-discrimination policies of governmental hiring and firing practices.Bob’s niece Joy shared the following story. “The family called him Rob, everyone else called him Bob. But whatever you called him, he was one of the most special people I ever met. I am not just saying that because he is my only uncle, but because that is how everyone who met him felt. He made me feel special by calling me his “favorite niece” (mind you I was his only niece). He made up names for me because of course just calling me Joy (my actual name) wasn’t fun. There were names like Voosh and Jolene. And he would make up songs about me like “Jolene keeps her fire engine clean”.One of my favorite memories of Rob was when I was 15 and my brother, Shane, was 13 and we went to visit Rob in the US (we were living in Israel at the time) for one month. Rob met us in New York City. In New York, Rob was able to cater to both my brother and me by taking us to see Cats the musical (for me) and a double header Yankees game (for my brother). Then we traveled to Disney World. There he whisked us to every ride we wanted to go. There was never a line because he knew exactly where to go and when to go. After that trip my brother and I hated each other and didn’t speak to each other for a good month but we both agreed that we had the best uncle in the world! Those feelings for our Uncle Rob continue to this day.” Bob is survived by his partner of twenty one years, Keith Miller and their beloved dog Chippie, who provided Bob with hours of comfort, guard duty, entertainment and the, sharing of snacks in front of the TV. Also Nephew Shane Kolin and his children Jonathon and Jackie and niece Joy Kolin and her husband Nat Averill of Nairobi, Kenya. His sister in law Cookie Kolin and husband Amir of Herzliya, Israel. By his beloved Aunt Helen Colin of Houston and her daughters Jeanie Goldman and Muriel Meicler and her husband Marcel. Cousins Michelle, of Houston and Philip and his wife Thayer of San Francisco and Jeanie’s daughter Emily and her husband Aaron Quinn and their children also of San Francisco. Keith’s Father Glenn Miller and brother Worth. He is also survived by his and Keith’s Raleigh adoptive family Jock and Mickey Gault and their children and grandchildren. Bob is also survived by “The Family”: Dale Gibson, Jane Cottingham and John Norris and daughter Sarah, Dennis and Holly Rogers, Karen and Brent Clayton and Regina and Ted Oliver.
A Celebration of Bob’s Legacy will be held on May 18 at 1:00 at Pullen Baptist Church on Hillsborough Street in Raleigh. A catered reception will follow. Honoring Bob’s life-long love of food heavy hors d' oeuvres will be served. If you plan to attend please RSVP by May 4th to firstname.lastname@example.org or 919-818-9449 by May 4th.