ForeverMissed
ROBERT DAVID ASSAF II

May 18, 1957 – September 25, 2020

“God changes his appearance every second. Blessed is the man who can recognize him in all his disguises.” ― Nikos Kazantzakis

If ever there ever were a greater gifter, you must let me know.  As we know with the full of our hearts that had there been a competition for such a thing, our Robby - Robert David Assaf the Second-would surely win. Year after year, so creative was he – insightful, inspired, poignant in his gift of gift giving that one wondered which was better – the gift itself or the personal note included in his most beautiful penmanship.

Born in San Francisco, Robby had a poet's heart; a nature boy was he. The oldest of several siblings, he led the way with playfulness – never ceasing to enjoy running amok with his little brothers and sisters - even when they grew taller than he.

Ronny, Stephen, Roxane, Alessandra, Christopher and Tiffany all have stories that we never tire of -of Robby’s mirth and generous spontaneity.  He named his baby brother  -eighteen years his junior - after the seagull Jonathan and Thoreau’s Walden.  He is reunited with Jonathan Walden† now – and we’re quite sure they’re misbehaving!


“The greatest oak was once a little nut that held its ground.”―Unknown

After an awakening summer as a nature conservationist in Colorado when he was sixteen, Robby would become a fierce defender and lover of our Earth’s many natural wonders.  He went on to be the youngest graduate of his LSU class receiving his Bachelor’s Degree in Anthropology at a mere twenty years old.

That degree was often the wellspring from which came many a piercing and stimulating conversation. He was a type of man you don’t readily see much anymore in this age of technology.  A host.  He knew how to entertain.  Your eyes wouldn’t – couldn’t – be drawn to a cell phone around him.   He could make the most seemingly trivial thing relevant and often profound, explaining why knitting was the craft of the fisherman; that a single votive sitting on a restaurant table was, in fact, an ancestral calling to gather round the campfire; the beauty of the gift that doesn’t last forever - a reminder to live in the moment, as romantic love, like the most memorable moments, is ephemeral.


“To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment.”- Ralph Waldo Emerson

He was an embarrassment of riches, really.  You might think we exaggerate, but no.  He had beautiful hands and teeth, a great mane of hair, an elegant voice and was a lovely singer.  He could draw and would scribble off a compelling pencil sketch with skill and ease.  And oh! How he could cook!  Yes. He kept us delighted on many fronts.

And, Robby was macho, but never too macho to dance; and while dancing was the one thing he could not do, he did it with such exuberance and abandon that you couldn’t help but get caught in the contagion.

Now, while he enjoyed the finer things in life-so much so that one might think the Robb Report was named for him -he loved his LSU Fighting Tigers, the Sunday Morning Show’s trumpets, Popeye’s Chicken, a good hot dog, and Count Dracula.  For Robby, Dracula was the most beautiful love story ever told, what with its themes of metamorphosis and being born anew each night with his friend the moon.  Guess who he was every Halloween!

New Year’s Eve, however, was his favorite holiday – again echoing his appreciation for new beginnings &new chances, and on this day, he’d celebrate his other alter ego.  Donned in tux and French cuffs, beautiful car and cocktails at hand, with a suave savoir-faire, off he’d glide toward midnight as none other than007.  He was always striving to be a better man.


Where there is peace, let me sow love.”  -St. Francis of Assisi

Guided by the wisdom of St. Francis, Robby always said, “I’d rather for you than for me.”  He tried to bring and make peace by healing the hearts of those who may not have had the right intentions.

He had the ability to be truly happy for others. And vision.  He could see potential and craft the reality.  This skill served him well as both a restaurateur and Financial Advisor in New Orleans and Chicago.


“…for their souls dwell in the house of tomorrow…”– Kahlil Gibran

Robby is survived by his three children, and when it came to them, no thought went spared.  He made it a point to provide piano lessons before they could even read or write, as he knew it would cultivate their mental acumen.  He took a keen interest in their education, as he wanted to give them something no one could ever take from them.  From the sidelines he watched with pride as one by one they surpassed him in this regard.  Robby delighted in their personal accomplishments as graduates of Dartmouth, Spring Hill, and University of Denver. 

Soaring into the world, Alexander, Ariana, and Austin all remember their father for giving them grit; each blossoming on their own and taking on the world independently. 

Robby loved babies and new life; therefore, it is no surprise, he got such a kick out of being a grandfather.  Three new little grand children made his heart smile :Ella Mae, nine; Jett Michael, five; and Emory Regan, eight and a halfmonths.


“For love if it finds you worthy will guide your course.”- Kahlil Gibran

Indeed, Robby will be remembered as a mamma’s boy as he adored his mother Evy†.  They are reunited now.  In joy and peace and soft-spoken, attentive conversation, we are sure; those two had a very special connection.

When Robby last saw his father, Roberto, just a few days ago, PaPá

sang to him in Spanish and promised they’d be playing billiards together soon.

Kasia – “his Kasia Linda” – the love of his life who stood by him tirelessly through his final battle, also survives Robby.  The final words he uttered on this earth were to her, “Good morning, Baby.”


“The only thing I know is this: I am full of wounds and still standing on my feet.” ― Nikos Kazantzakis

A complex and multi-faceted man, Robby’s body succumbed to a complexity of issues while in the care of a Chicago area hospital.

Persevering to the bitter end, with the spirit of a crusader, this Fighting Tiger fought with optimism and the mantra, “I am going to win,” emblazoned upon his lips. Robby did win as evidenced by the countless lives that he improved, the fighting spirit that he instilled within his family, and his own experiences in life. These accomplishments can only be attributed to one who has had a life that was fully lived—a life, like his death, which was a tour de force.


The last of Robby’s loves…

Robby loved New Orleans, and it seemed a fitting tribute that he answered his call home at 5:04 pm – 504 being the area code of his beloved hometown. He stepped to the other side as “Shine On You Crazy Diamond” accompanied his crossing, loved ones there to receive him–his mother Evy, his brother Jonathan, his dear friends Chris Constantine and Jacques Mennis, et al.

Robby’s favorite animal was the dog, admiring them for their affection, loyalty and because they are devoted members of a pack.  We, his pack, will surely be lost without him. Robby left an indelible thumbprint on each of our hearts, souls, and minds; and though we are better for having known him, our missing him will match his impact.


As the pandemic prevents us from gathering to celebrate him, please do sign on here and add a tale or two…

www.forevermissed.com/robert-david-assaf-ii



Posted by Br Carl Bouchereau on October 27, 2020
To Robby's three children: Alexander, Ariana, and Austin,
    It is very difficult to lose a parent (and a friend), especially a parent who was so very young of age and heart. I want to extend to you my deepest sympathies; know that you are in my thoughts and prayers. 
   Your dad thought so much of you and spoke of you often.  I enjoyed keeping up with you through his eyes.
   I invite you to take some comfort knowing where he is and with whom he is now sharing his heart. My he rest in peace, AMEN. 
Brother Carl
Posted by Br Carl Bouchereau on October 27, 2020
Dear Mr. Roberto, Kasia, Ronny, Stephen, Roxanne, Alessandra, Christopher, and Tiffany,
    Allow me to extend to you my deepest sympathies on the passing of my former student and friend of 48 years, Robert D. Assaf, II.
    We have remained in contact with each over all these years either by phone, email, Christmas card, or whatever. Time allowed us to keep in touch; geography was not an issue. We informed each other of the highlights in each of our lives. It was like we spoke weekly, but in reality it was two or three times a year. I will miss our "visits."
    I am thankful to Alex and Tiffany for giving me the opportunity to speak with Robby the day before he died. Thank you Alex for the commentary as we spoke... telling me of his smile as he recognized my voice. Thanks too to Tiffany for the research in finding me and making the contact for me to phone the hospital. I am happy that I had the opportunity to say good bye, even though I did not realize it at that time. I am also happy to have had the opportunity to pray with Robby Psalm 23, "The Lord is my Shepherd," as well some traditional Catholic prayers he would have recognized from our religion classroom prayers,  way back in the '70s. Thank you,
    And now, life goes on. I know where he is, who he is with, and more smiles abound...hence, my consolation. "May his soul and the souls of the faithful departed through the mercy of God, rest in peace. AMEN."

YES, rest in peace, Robby, rest in peace!

Brother Carl
Posted by David J. Knowles on October 12, 2020
Robert and I met some 40 years ago when he was with Merrill Lynch. About the time I started to tinker in the stock market and we argued constantly over the reasons to buy Penny stocks, which I loved. His wisdom prevailed and I backed down
For whatever the reason I Liked Robert, really. We, in his and my mind we were like brothers. He traveled to New Orleans to celebrate my 90th birthday, so wouldn't that be classified as a Friend/Brother.
GOD SPEED ROBERT. YOU WILL LIKELY SIT HIGH AND NEAR OUR CREATOR.
Posted by Suzy Vernoff on October 7, 2020
Words fail me. This is too raw, too great a loss to accept. Another leaf has fallen off of the Golden Tree, & that brings such sorrow. I loved Robby ~ he was an elixir, truly he was. Popped up in life to offer a swig of himself, at JUST the moment someone needed it, needed him. I want to scream for months and not stop, i am so angry at the life force i put stock in, that took another piece of my love, away from this Earth, too soon. I have never read a more ‘love imbued’ tribute than the memorial written here about Robby, and he would be so very touched by this homage. A cousin who i came to truly know only in the adult years, Robby’s essence & flow were easy on the heart & soul. You knew him instantly, & he knew you. I will always remember a very meaningful quote i posted on FB years back, from a movie i’ve always loved, but frankly don’t think many people are as familiar with to be able to identify the quote. Sure enough, within the hour of my posting, Robby pops up with the name of the movie & sends me a YouTube link to my favorite scene. It took a genuine aficionado of that film, to appreciate my reference, & just as we would never fail to send each other happy FB birthday wishes, he continued to occasionally send over a song link or a movie suggestion he thought might interest me. While he was not a part of the original ‘AWA’ encounter (only a few Assaf sibs know of this reference), i did regale him with it’s significance at a family reunion once, & he told me he was sorry he’d missed out. What a privilege it was knowing Robby, & i’ll always associate him with tremendous passion, sentimentality & fervor. The bookends are reunited once more, & Evy never has to let go.

Hug Bruce for me
Posted by Alessandra Assaf on October 7, 2020
Posted by Ko Koedijk on October 7, 2020
Robert Assaf, how I met you for the first time in New Orleans, in your office of a big financial institute as my (very first) financial advisor. You were the man who, I knew immediately, could do the job. And Alessandra realized that a close relation between her beloved brother Robby and me was born. As I always was adventurous, I was looking forward to working with Robby on my portfolio. But soon I noticed that money was not my real business and I felt save leaving that hassle to my B.I.L...My Brother In Law: Robert Assaf. For over twenty years Robby took very well care of my precious assets and until tomorrow and the days after I can rely on his skills…He set such wise wheels in motion.
As we were close family, I would also get to know Robby as a family man and a father and I was impressed by the fact how he loved his children, telling them how great they were and how thoughtful he was about their future...
I shall miss you Bro, today and in the near future...Rest In Peace B.I.L.
Posted by Alessandra Assaf on October 4, 2020
Today, October 4th, is the Feast Day of St. Francis of Assisi.

I remember so many years ago, 1973 maybe, when Robby piled a bunch of us into his ramshackle, VW convertible bug with the NO NUKES sticker on its bumper. It was one of those exciting, spontaneous moments Robby was so good at creating. I hadn't known I was going to be whisked off to the cinema until the very moment I was! Probably seven of us crammed in, elbows in ribcages, bony knees pressed against bony bottoms...Robby treated us to Franco Zefferelli's Brother Sun, Sister Moon. While the critics may have panned the film, I loved it! Everything looked so beautiful to me; just the way I thought the world should be. I think I'll watch it again tonight. I believe it's on Amazon Prime. Join me? Robby so loved St. Francis, what he stood for, and all his words of wisdom.
Posted by Tiffany Tandecki on October 4, 2020
From Leo Tandecki:
Robby was the first of a long list of amazing Siblings. His Spirit, love and passion for life could be seen reflected in each of his younger seven Siblings, but none more than Tiffany who was in a way raised and adored by her God Father Brother Robby.
His own children are the shining examples of the loving support and empowerment that bestowed upon them to each grow into equally amazing individuals.
He always brought and stirred up the best energy with his charisma and charm, and while his presence will be sorely missed his Spirit will continue to guide and inspire each of us who knew him to Fight to the end and always strive to accomplish more!
Love you Robby!
Posted by Gary Hoffman on October 3, 2020
I met Robby 39 years ago. His brother Stephen, who I’d met as a music student at UNO, introduced us at the Assaf family home on Spencer Ave in Lakeview. His young bookend brother Jonathan was hopping on the sofa, giggling and singing some self-composed ditty while his doting mother Evy looked on. Robby then began complaining, albeit with a glint in his eye, about how he, being the first born, had to endure being the guinea pig for his parents exploratory reprimands whereas Jonathan received full clemency.

I recall the day that Alexander was born and Robby’s beaming pride shining through the thick cigar smoke. I also recall seeing the same pride years later when he introduced me to his young daughter Ariana. I hope to meet Austin one day and get a glimpse of his father again.

One time, I had an airline ticket to Germany that I was unable to take advantage of due to school. Robby encouraged me to go anyway despite school, telling me that travel to Europe would be better than going to class. He eagerly told me of his trip there with his father and how amazing it was and thereby planted the seed in me to visit Europe one day. I did. And I’m still here. He was right.

I never spent as much time with Robby as I did with his siblings. He was older and had more responsibilities, both as a father and business owner, than the others who were still in school at the time. But in the past ten years or so since Facebook arrived, Robby and I had much more contact, sharing our love of music, Europe and, a phenomenon from my neck of the woods, the Aurora Borealis. I would send him pictures I had taken and he commented on how he would love to see them live. I gave him a standing invitation to come and see the real thing. Due to this back and forth discussion of the Aurora every winter I have a habit of thinking of Robby every time I see them. A week ago, they appeared for the first time this fall in a rather intense display. Robby would dig this, I thought.







Posted by Kenny Spellman on October 2, 2020
On behalf of the Brothers of the Sacred Heart Alumni Association and Brother Martin High School, I offer our prayers and condolences. We will say a Mass in his memory.

Father of all, we pray to you for Robert, and for all those whom we love but see no longer. Grant to them eternal rest. Let light perpetual shine upon them. May his soul and the souls of all the departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace.

Kenny Spellman ’84
Brother Martin High School

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Posted by Br Carl Bouchereau on October 27, 2020
To Robby's three children: Alexander, Ariana, and Austin,
    It is very difficult to lose a parent (and a friend), especially a parent who was so very young of age and heart. I want to extend to you my deepest sympathies; know that you are in my thoughts and prayers. 
   Your dad thought so much of you and spoke of you often.  I enjoyed keeping up with you through his eyes.
   I invite you to take some comfort knowing where he is and with whom he is now sharing his heart. My he rest in peace, AMEN. 
Brother Carl
Posted by Br Carl Bouchereau on October 27, 2020
Dear Mr. Roberto, Kasia, Ronny, Stephen, Roxanne, Alessandra, Christopher, and Tiffany,
    Allow me to extend to you my deepest sympathies on the passing of my former student and friend of 48 years, Robert D. Assaf, II.
    We have remained in contact with each over all these years either by phone, email, Christmas card, or whatever. Time allowed us to keep in touch; geography was not an issue. We informed each other of the highlights in each of our lives. It was like we spoke weekly, but in reality it was two or three times a year. I will miss our "visits."
    I am thankful to Alex and Tiffany for giving me the opportunity to speak with Robby the day before he died. Thank you Alex for the commentary as we spoke... telling me of his smile as he recognized my voice. Thanks too to Tiffany for the research in finding me and making the contact for me to phone the hospital. I am happy that I had the opportunity to say good bye, even though I did not realize it at that time. I am also happy to have had the opportunity to pray with Robby Psalm 23, "The Lord is my Shepherd," as well some traditional Catholic prayers he would have recognized from our religion classroom prayers,  way back in the '70s. Thank you,
    And now, life goes on. I know where he is, who he is with, and more smiles abound...hence, my consolation. "May his soul and the souls of the faithful departed through the mercy of God, rest in peace. AMEN."

YES, rest in peace, Robby, rest in peace!

Brother Carl
Posted by David J. Knowles on October 12, 2020
Robert and I met some 40 years ago when he was with Merrill Lynch. About the time I started to tinker in the stock market and we argued constantly over the reasons to buy Penny stocks, which I loved. His wisdom prevailed and I backed down
For whatever the reason I Liked Robert, really. We, in his and my mind we were like brothers. He traveled to New Orleans to celebrate my 90th birthday, so wouldn't that be classified as a Friend/Brother.
GOD SPEED ROBERT. YOU WILL LIKELY SIT HIGH AND NEAR OUR CREATOR.
his Life

Here’s to Robby!

ROBERT DAVID ASSAF II

May 18, 1957 – September 25, 2020

“God changes his appearance every second. Blessed is the man who can recognize him in all his disguises.” ― Nikos Kazantzakis

If ever there ever were a greater gifter, you must let me know. As we know with the full of our hearts that had there been a competition for such a thing, our Robby - Robert David Assaf the Second-would surely win. Year after year, so creative was he – insightful, inspired, poignant in his gift of gift giving that one wondered which was better – the gift itself or the personal note included in his most beautiful penmanship.

Born in San Francisco, Robby had a poet's heart; a nature boy was he. The oldest of several siblings, he led the way with playfulness – never ceasing to enjoy running amok with his little brothers and sisters - even when they grew taller than he.

Ronny, Stephen, Roxane, Alessandra, Christopher and Tiffany all have stories that we never tire of -of Robby’s mirth and generous spontaneity.  He named his baby brother -eighteen years his junior - after the seagull Jonathan and Thoreau’s Walden.  He is reunited with Jonathan Walden† now – and we’re quite sure they’re misbehaving!

“The greatest oak was once a little nut that held its ground.”Unknown

After an awakening summer as a nature conservationist in Colorado when he was sixteen, Robby would become a fierce defender and lover of our Earth’s many natural wonders.  He went on to be the youngest graduate of his LSU class receiving his Bachelor’s Degree in Anthropology at a mere twenty years old.

That degree was often the wellspring from which came many a piercing and stimulating conversation. He was a type of man you don’t readily see much anymore in this age of technology.  A host.  He knew how to entertain.  Your eyes wouldn’t – couldn’t – be drawn to a cell phone around him.   He could make the most seemingly trivial thing relevant and often profound, explaining why knitting was the craft of the fisherman; that a single votive sitting on a restaurant table was, in fact, an ancestral calling to gather round the campfire; the beauty of the gift that doesn’t last forever - a reminder to live in the moment, as romantic love, like the most memorable moments, is ephemeral.

“To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment.”  - Ralph Waldo Emerson

He was an embarrassment of riches, really.  You might think we exaggerate, but no.  He had beautiful hands and teeth, a great mane of hair, an elegant voice and was a lovely singer.  He could draw and would scribble off a compelling pencil sketch with skill and ease.  And oh! How he could cook! Yes. He kept us delighted on many fronts.

And, Robby was macho, but never too macho to dance; and while dancing was the one thing he could not do, he did it with such exuberance and abandon that you couldn’t help but get caught in the contagion.

Now, while he enjoyed the finer things in life-so much so that one might think the Robb Report was named for him -he loved his LSU Fighting Tigers, the Sunday Morning Show’s trumpets, Popeye’s Chicken, a good hot dog, and Count Dracula.  For Robby, Dracula was the most beautiful love story ever told, what with its themes of metamorphosis and being born a new each night with his friend the moon.  Guess who he was every Halloween!

New Year’s Eve, however, was his favorite holiday – again echoing his appreciation for new beginnings &new chances, and on this day, he’d celebrate his other alter ego.  Donned in tux and French cuffs, beautiful car and cocktails at hand, with a suave savoir-faire, off he’d glide toward midnight as none other than007.  He was always striving to be a better man.

“Where there is peace, let me sow love.”  -St. Francis of Assisi

Guided by the wisdom of St. Francis, Robby always said, “I’d rather for you than for me.”  He tried to bring and make peace by healing the hearts of those who may not have had the right intentions.

He had the ability to be truly happy for others. And vision.  He could see potential and craft the reality.  This skill served him well as both a restaurateur and Financial Advisor in New Orleans and Chicago.

“…for their souls dwell in the house of tomorrow…” Kahlil Gibran

Robby is survived by his three children, and when it came to them, no thought went spared.  He made it a point to provide piano lessons before they could even read or write, as he knew it would cultivate their mental acumen.  He took a keen interest in their education, as he wanted to give them something no one could ever take from them.  From the sidelines he watched with pride as one by one they surpassed him in this regard.  Robby delighted in their personal accomplishments as graduates of Dartmouth, Spring Hill, and University of Denver. 
Soaring into the world, Alexander, Ariana, and Austin all remember their father for giving them grit; each blossoming on their own and taking on the world independently.

Robby loved babies and new life; therefore, it is no surprise, he got such a kick out of being a grandfather.  Three new little grandchildren made his heart smile: Ella Mae, nine; Jett Michael, five; and Emory Regan, eight and a half months.

“For love if it finds you worthy will guide your course.” - Kahlil Gibran

Indeed, Robby will be remembered as a mamma’s boy as he adored his mother Evy†.  They are reunited now.  In joy and peace and soft-spoken, attentive conversation, we are sure; those two had a very special connection.

When Robby last saw his father, Roberto, just a few days ago, PaPá sang to him in Spanish and promised they’d be playing billiards together soon.

Kasia – “his Kasia Linda” – the love of his life who stood by him tirelessly through his final battle, also survives Robby.  The final words he uttered on this earth were to her, “Good morning, Baby.”

“The only thing I know is this: I am full of wounds and still standing on my feet.” ― Nikos Kazantzakis

A complex and multi-faceted man, Robby’s body succumbed to a complexity of issues while in the care of a Chicago area hospital.

Persevering to the bitter end, with the spirit of a crusader, this Fighting Tiger fought with optimism and the mantra, “I am going to win,” emblazoned upon his lips. Robby did win as evidenced by the countless lives that he improved, the fighting spirit that he instilled within his family, and his own experiences in life. These accomplishments can only be attributed to one who has had a life that was fully lived—a life, like his death, which was a tour de force.

The last of Robby’s loves…

Robby loved New Orleans, and it seemed a fitting tribute that he answered his call home at 5:04 pm – 504 being the area code of his beloved hometown. He stepped to the other side as “Shine On You Crazy Diamond” accompanied his crossing, loved ones there to receive him–his mother Evy, his brother Jonathan, his dear friends Chris Constantine and Jacques Mennis, et al.

Robby’s favorite animal was the dog, admiring them for their affection, loyalty and because they are devoted members of a pack.  We, his pack, will surely be lost without him. Robby left an indelible thumbprint on each of our hearts, souls, and minds; and though we are better for having known him, our missing him will match his impact.

As the pandemic prevents us from gathering to celebrate him, please do sign on here and add a tale or two…

Recent stories

Last Words to My Dad

Shared by Ariana Jokers on October 8, 2020
“I want to say thank you. 
Thank you for showing me that life can be so grand, and that if you believe it, it must be true. 
You taught me how to be larger than life - I watched you do it. 
I loved growing up in the beautiful reality you built for us: thank you for the piano lessons, my education, my expectations, and my grit. 
I want you to know that I’m successful and I’m happy. 
Thank you for being the music of my childhood: I have your flute. I also encourage my kids to play the harmonica, the way we did just for fun as kids  - which was because of you, and some of my favorite memories. 
I remember you playing records when we lived on Bellaire Drive; you’re the reason I love classic rock: Eagles, Led Zeppelin, Allman Brothers, Doobie Brothers, etc. 
I’ll continue to think of you every time I hear Neil Young, because you sounded just like him when you sang. 
...And every time I look at the Moon because you’d always say, “The Moon is your friend.” 
I’m mostly sad about the relationship we didn’t have, but I forgive you...and I release you to your next chapter. 
Love you Dad.”
Shared by VICKI WILCOX on October 5, 2020
Dear Uncle Robert and Family,

We are so very sorry to hear of the passing of Robbie. He was a wonderful person.
May he rest in peace with Evy and Jonathan. 
May God comfort and give you strength during these difficult times.

May God Bless You,

With Our Deepest Sympathy,

Mike&Vicki Wilcox