The second anniversary of Bob’s death

Today is the second anniversary of my husband Bob’s death. And leading up to this day I’ve done a lot of thinking about him – mostly about how much I miss him and need him. I also read through some letters I received from friends after he died. I’d like to share a couple with you.

This first one is from Jack (Wizard) Doyle, my high school friend, Annie’s, husband. Here are his beautiful and thoughtful words:

Dear Madeline,
I treasured my friendship with Bob. He was more than special; he was exceptional.
Bob had the rare ability to relate to everyone he encountered. A common thread throughout his memorial service emphasized how well he connected with each individual be they a toddler, a new acquaintance or a skilled professional.
Robert Sharples was a man of the keenest intellect, a man of constant curiosity who never stopped learning. He was a man of empathy who had the stature of a polymath to me.
I too loved completing the Sunday LA Times crossword puzzle with Bob. Each and every Sunday  morning, I reflect on our camaraderie as I begin the NY Times Sunday Magazine crossword challenge.
Bob was a scientist, a humanist, a true gentleman and the very best of friends to all. At all times, I admired his notable sartorial elegance as he wore his splendid wardrobe with grace and elegance. He was ever so special in so many ways. A man who so deeply loved his family. He quite simply adored you, Madeline, and he so loved his sons. Throughout his life he bore his tragic losses with a quiet stoicism. He was and remains man for the ages.
When I learned of Bob’s passing, I thought “His laugh!” “His smile!” “His intellect!” What a loss to us all.
In love and sorrow,
Another letter is from Martha Hamilton who was Bob’s administrative assistant when he was managing a program for TRW on the Kwajalein Marshall Island (where our family lived for 19 months in the mid seventies). Yes, Bob loved astronomy and loved to look at the starry sky.


I recently heard about Bob’s death. Julie Allen (Brown) let me know when we
exchanged holiday greetings.  I’m so sorry.  He was such a great guy and
interested in so many things.  Renaissance Man was certainly a correct

I thought of Bob recently.  When the Jupiter and Saturn conjunction
occurred; Russ and I went out to a nearby field to have an unobstructed
view.  There was a man there who had his telescope hooked up to his
computer, so we could see the planets on the screen.  He was so happy to
share his astronomy knowledge with us.  It was then that I flashed back to
Kwajalein and remembered Bob was an astronomy enthusiast and a fan of Carl
Sagan  –  “Billions and billions of stars…”  Bob must have loved looking
up at the night sky over Kwaj.  It was practically overwhelming.  All those

Madeline, you are in my heart, and I hope your memories of Bob will comfort

Martha Hamilton


That’s enough for today. I don’t have to tell you all that Robert Sharples is and will stay in my heart.

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