His Life
Robert Allen Lux 

Early Years: Bob was born during the Great Depression, but both his parents had steady jobs: Mabel as a bookkeeper and Henry as a machinist. Bob wasn't very old when his parents divorced. Although he never lived with his father again, Hank kept in regular contact with him and taught him the love of taking things apart and making new things. Bob lived with his mother and grandmother in a modest bungalow on the South Side of Chicago in the Kenwood neighborhood. His mother was a self-contained person who loved to read and valued education. His grandmother was a behind-the-scenes caregiver. As a child, Bob had been exposed to Lutheranism, but he used to say, “It didn't take.” Bob's lifelong love for cats began with his beloved Toby. In high school, Bob played chess and worked on the school newspaper. He was valedictorian of his class and got a full scholarship to the University of Chicago.

Young Adulthood: In college, Bob worked in the bookstore and enjoyed fencing. More to the point, he liked square dancing. His regular square-dance partner was a gregarious and artistic woman named Edith. Edith and Bob got married before they moved to Madison where he entered the U of Wisconsin PhD program. After he got his PhD in physics, Bob worked for General Electric. First the company sent him to Syracuse and then they sent him to Oklahoma City where he and Edith adopted their son, David. Bob turned down the next transfer GE offered. As a parent now, he needed more stability than moving every few years.  

Nuclear Physics Career: Bob's last move for decades was to New Jersey where he got a job as a civilian in the Army Research Lab at Fort Monmouth. He worked on its underground cobalt source for its radiation facilities. He also used Van de Graaff generators as accelerators to generate energetic particles and X-ray beams for low-energy nuclear radiation research. The first computers he worked on were old DOS mainframes. In order to program them, he learned several computer languages. Every year he would adjust to the latest computer models. Bob traveled all over the US presenting workshops and getting awards. He also won many patents. One of them was for a badge someone could wear to detect radiation.

First Marriage: Edith was Bob's social secretary, but Bob always tried his best to play along. Lots of their social life evolved around folk music. They participated in a regular folk singing group and attended folk camps and concerts. He and Edith didn't attend any religious services, although they would put up Christmas trees and eat latkes in December as Edith celebrated Passover as part of her Jewish upbringing. They were married for forty years. Some of their cat friends over these years were: Guppy, Gilgamesh, Chutzpah, Mike, and Hubris. Edith was loquacious and Bob was terse. She was talented and he was skilled. She was social and he was introverted. She was gifted and he was smart. After Bob and Edith had lived in New Jersey for decades, the Army Research Lab planned to relocate to Maryland. Edith and Bob decided he should retire early instead of moving, but Edith died unexpectedly leaving Bob alone with his books in his big, empty house.

Second Marriage: Bob realized being single did not suit him, but his social contacts had always come through his lab co-workers or his wife. No longer having either, what was he to do? Oh, he would be an early pioneer in computer dating, of course. He and Margaret wrote each other intellectual emails about social policy and history. When they finally met, they were delighted with how seamlessly they worked together on simple activities and how much they could learn from each other. Bob tended to choose his words carefully whereas Margaret tended to be more impulsive verbally. In 1999, they got married at the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Monmouth County (UUCMC), beginning Bob's long journey into UUism. His UU friends now provided a new community for him and Margaret. Even though Dave lived in Chicago, Bob and Margaret were nonetheless excited when he and Liz provided them two grandsons, Max and Simon. 

Unitarian Universalism: Bob found Unitarian Universalists to be accepting of his agnosticism. He was on the Unitarian Universalist Ocean County Congregation (UUOCC) Board and edited its newsletter. In 2002, Bob and Margaret moved to Vallejo, California, in order to be closer to Margaret's daughter Marlo and Marlo's baby son Tivo. Once in California, Bob and Margaret joined the UU Fellowship of North Bay (UUFNB). Bob served as its treasurer. When many clueless newbies in the community reluctantly got their first personal computers, Bob became the congregation's official computer guru who helped them over their technological hurdles.  

Step-Families and In-Laws: In California, Bob and Margaret chose a house with a large deck and a place for Bob to garden in the back. They got to be active grandparents who could participate in Tivo's growth over the years. Bob continued to celebrate life's milestones with Margaret, Marlo and Tivo (who now goes by Julian). Bob was a steady presence even though he played a secondary role in the Kelso/Kindermann dynamic.

Before the pandemic broke out this year, Dave and his fiancée Jessica intended to get married in the summer on a cruise. It was obvious that Bob couldn't handle a cruise, though, so they arranged a simple family ceremony in Marin County in December, not realizing that COVID would make it their only ceremony. The couple's family includes his new daughter-in-law's three sons: Jake, Nate and Wyatt.

Gradual Decline: First Bob botched a chess game at the Senior Center. He got lost while he was driving. He had his cataracts removed and his knee replaced. He stopped gardening, stopped driving, stopped doing the taxes, stopped paying bills, stopped cooking and stopped taking out the trash. It was no surprise when Bob got his official Alzheimer's diagnosis in 2018. In 2020, he was diagnosed with myelodysplastic syndrome, a bone marrow disease. As soon as he got this new diagnosis, he was moved into home hospice care, and Dave came from Chicago to Vallejo to help Margaret care for his father. Bob got weaker and weaker and slept longer and longer. He was never in any physical pain.

Surviving Family Members:

Margaret (Meg) Kelso – Bob's second wife
Dave Lux – Bob's son
Max & Simon – Bob's grandsons (Dave's sons from his first marriage)
Marlo (Mary) Kindermann - Bob's step-daughter (Margaret's daughter)
Julian (Tivo) Kindermann - Bob's step-grandson (Marlo's son)
Jessica Cummins – Bob's daughter-in-law (Dave's second wife)
Jake, Nate & Wyatt Cummins – Bob's step-grandsons (Jessica's sons)