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In Passing

In Passing
Robert L. Sphar Print E-mail
By Phillip R Smith   
February 11, 2010
Robert L. Sphar

I had originally met Bob in 1988 when I started playing tournamentchess. After moving to Peoria in 1996, we ran into each other andtalked. He told me he had quit playing tournament chess and wantedto get into running. I mentioned that I had done quite a bit ofrunning and other training for running, biathlon and triathlonracing. I told him I could easily help him put a training programtogether and show him how to get into distance running. We wouldrun together at least once a week, and usually more frequently,for 3 to 4 years. I tried getting him to come back to chess withhim coming back to the club twice in that time, but it neverstuck. He did get into playing chess on the internet via the  playchess.de server after I introduced him to it.

I didn't see him for awhile since I got busy with different optometry activities, but we still would get together for a runnow and then. I actually thought about giving him a call to see ifhe wanted to get a run in at exactly the same time they took him off life support. Obviously I didn't know he was ill. I decidedthat I needed to give it a few weeks before calling him. He passedaway within an hour and fifteen minutes of that. I'm sad.

Bob was found to be ill with mesothelioma at the end of December and after 2 major operations in early January he passed away. He went quickly. I spoke with a mutual friend that said he had had problems breathing since about Labor Day and had to walk a 3 mile race on Thanksgiving.

Remembrance by Ron Suarez

Robert L. Sphar - May you rest in peace.
 
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