- 75 years old
- Date of birth: Feb 15, 1939
- Date of passing: Mar 13, 2014
|Let the memory of Robert be with us forever|
"Dearest Husband, yesterday was 2 years since you passed and I spent the day celebrating your life! I thought of only positive aspects of our 46 years together and offered gratitude for the love you had for me and I for you. I miss you every day and look forward to being with you again in Eternity. I love you my dearest Robert......"
"Thinking of Robert with his big smile and sweet soul. Out of arms reach but forever in our hearts.."
"Happy 77th Birthday my dearest Robert. I miss you everyday. I love you and you will always be in my heart until the day I join you. HUGS and KISSES from your loving husband, Thomas"
"Robert, you and Thomas were among the wonderful IBM friends I made during my career. I'd joked with both of you that YOURS was the most expensive Executive Interview I conducted while Branch Manager. You and I discovered our mutual love of the holidays and Christmas decorations. You convinced me to sign up for Franklin Mint Commemorative ornaments. Well, it was expensive, but I think of you every year when I decorate my tree.
Yours and Thomas' was a deep love and you pioneered the way for many couples to be able to express their devotion to each other. You didn't need the Supreme Court to "bless" your commitment. However your courage and tenacity for legal recognition of your vows to each other is finally the law of the land....
With great affection for both you and Thomas. He continues to miss you; but as you predicted, he has many friends to love and support him."
"Wow - do I miss you? Yes, you were such a sweet, happy and gentle person - loved to see you and Thomas at Mass at St. Theresa's You and Thomas were and (ARE) a great couple - Just miss you a lot - know that you are missed and loved so much...One great big HUG for a wonderful guy!!! -Love you!"
"What can one say when a loved one passes but try to celebrate your memories and in those memories find comfort for the life they lived and the difference they made for having been in yours and our lives . Take comfort that Robert will be missed by many not just Thomas ."
"Robert, we have so many good memories of the times we visited you and Thomas. We remember the sightseeing trips we took, enjoying your delicious cooking, meeting and enjoying your friends, etc. We still regret the fact that we didn't get to see you in the several years before you left us but we want to say that we spent a wonderful week with Thomas in March and that must have made you smile. We were able to meet some of your friends as well and we are grateful for that time. Thomas will bless many with his hours of volunteering. Your house is beautiful and reminded us once more of your many capabilities."
"I will always remember the model he made of the house in Pewaukee. What a cool house it was. An intelligent and caring man he is. I will remember him always. He is just around the corner. Love to Thomas and Robert Van Etten."
"So, where does one begin so that we relay what is in our hearts but not write forever. We so remember Robert for his amazing intelligence and ability to take on any project that he and Tommy pursued, including Robert's amazing ability to choose, build and renovate their beautiful homes. But more importantly, we remember Robert because of the love that Tommy and he had. They had such a passion for one another and even though Robert was usually the quiet one, you could always see how much he loved Tommy and, of course, how much Tommy loved Robert. Tommy, you always showed us how much you loved Robert and life in general, and we so love this. We think Robert did too.
Tommy, it is our wish that everyone find a soul mate like you did in Robert. We love both of you and know that Robert would wish you to celebrate life to the fullest before you are again joined as soulmates forever. Big hugs, Butch and Chris"
"Robert is my dad's little brother and his only sibling. Since we never had a big family, our family members have always been very precious to us. We are so appreciative of the friends and wonderful support Robert and Thomas have in their circle of "adopted family" out in California, people who loved, cared and supported them through the good days and the very bad ones. Everyone should be so blessed to have a support group of such wonderful people as Robert and Thomas have had. So, to any of his CA family who read this note, we have always thanked God for you and for how you have touched the lives of the people most dear to us!! We know that Thomas, with his giving heart, will continue to give back to the community with his volunteer work. And, that is truly our mission here on earth, to show the love of God to those we come in contact with. God bless!"
"Robert was a wonderful person that I was fortunate to have known for many years. He was a blessing to Uncle Tom and they were very fortunate to have had each other in their lives to share all that life has to offer. God Bless."
"Robert you are truly missed by everyone you touched. Thomas is doing very well and he misses you most of all."
"I remember Robert from his IBM days; he was very professional, knowledgeable and respected. I always admired the wonderful, long, supportive relationship that the two of you had. You were truly soul mates."
"Robert is relaxing at the Great Naked Pool Party in the hereafter, and waiting to welcome all of us. Cheers, my friend. We miss you."
"During the few times i had the opportunity to visit with Robert he gained my admiration and respect. I felt him to be a great role model for the community...his love for and commitment to Thomas. ....and his commitment and courage to make a difference for him and his husband and for gays in a time that relationships were still very much closeted as were gay men in general....I was excited and thrilled to hear him sharing some of his insights, he shared things with me that I had never heard anyone else share, things that I felt I had only thought of myself, which I gotta tell ya was way awesome and makes me right!! lol....so Robert my friend thank you for your insights and inspiration....i'm only sorry i didn't get more time with ya...peace"
"How does one describe Robert? He was probably the gentlest, most patient, tolerant, incredibly intelligent, talented, artistically and design gifted individual I have had the pleasure of knowing for much too short a period of time during our mutual 'Atlanta' days. And he loved, without condition or reservation, his devoted firecracker Thomas ... my 'sister'....Robert intuitively knew when Thomas and I were getting into trouble together, and could always be counted on to simply say "OH, THOMAS!!!" He then separated us by moving to the other side of the country;)
The world is a sadder place without Robert. Thanks for being a friend."
"I have so many sweet memories of Robert and how he came to meetings every day with Thomas and supported Thomas's new journey and along the way became supportive and friends with many of the other people in the room including me. It was a sad day when Robert stopped coming along and I felt his missing presence. I loved how Robert & Thomas dressed alike, down to the matching socks and sandals :) I was fortunate to hold Robert's hand, look him in the eyes and tell him goodbye the last day of his life in their beautiful home that Robert had done much of the work on. Robert was a gentle soul and a gentleman and he is missed by many.
Out of arm's reach, but forever in our hearts."
"Only a few times in a lifetime are you treated with unwavering kindness and love. Robert radiated this notion, that all were worthy and had something to contribute. He made me a better person just being in his presence. I can honestly say, I loved Robert most when he interacted with Thomas. He demonstrated kindness and love in his most frustrating of times. Thank you Robert for your example. All my love."
"I met Tom in 1981 when I started working for IBM and he was a force of nature - efficient and hard-working but irreverent, edgy and hilarious. It was wonderful meeting Robert then who was none of those things and instead a very loveable nerd. Everyone knew who they were since they had the same last name which back then was unusual but with them, totally accepted. Robert was a kind, sensitive, serious man who loved Tom so much that he let Tom take the lead on so many of their adventures. Anyone who got to visit the lavender Victorian on the hill got to know the wonderful man Tom loved with all his heart and soul."
"I did not know Robert well. However, I was most impressed with his easy going personality. He just seemed to not get too excited about too many things. Well, there were exceptions when it came to some morons in politics! He made the planet a saner and happier place."
"I miss Robert, he was so loving and I miss his smile and his laughter.
I instantly took a liking to Robert and soon after I loved him and he became a close friend. He shared with me his intellect and skills which were equally matched by his wit, I learned so much from him.
I am forever filled with gratitude simply for having had him in my life."
"I ONLY KNEW ROBERT FOR A LITTLE MORE THAN ONE YEAR AFTER HE AND THOMAS MOVED INTO OUR PARK. HE TOUCHED THE HEARTS OF EVERYONE THAT HE MET. WE HAD A LOT OF GOOD LAUGHS AND SOME SAD TIMES AND I WAS BLESSED WITH HIS FRIENDSHIP AND BEING WITH HIM AT THE TIME OF HIS PASSING. I MISS ALL THE GOOD TIMES WE HAD TOGETHER. SAVE US A SEAT IN HEAVEN."
"My dearest husband of 46 years. I love you and miss you every day. You were the wind beneath my wings. You helped me soar in so many ways. You told me that you were not worried about leaving me as you felt I would be surrounded by love. It is your love and your prediction that makes my journey bearable without you. I will see you again."
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