Life is amazing. And then it’s awful
And then it’s amazing again.
And in between the amazing and the awful it’s ordinary and mundane and routine. Breathe in the amazing, hold on through the awful, and relax and exhale during the ordinary. That’s just living, heartbreaking, soul-healing, amazing, awful, ordinary life. And it’s breathtakingly beautiful.
Robert “Bob” F. Strauss, 80, of Sayre, PA, passed away on October 19, 2022 at his home attended by his loving wife following an extended illness.
Born on August 21, 1942 in Brooklyn, NY, he was a son of the late Reuben and Claire (Markowitz) Strauss. Bob and his wife, Susan, were avid travelers. Throughout their life together, they made their home in diverse locations including Webster NC, Ashville NC, Hattiesburg MS, Lincoln NE, College Station TX, Carbondale IL. He and Sue often joked that their life consisted of traveling from university to university, collecting degrees as part of their mutual and passionate pursuit of knowledge.
Bob possessed an eclectic range of interests and was perennially on a quest to obtain more knowledge. His academic CV includes a Master’s Degree in Library Science in 1989 from the University of Southern Mississippi, a Master’s Degree in Geography in 1981 from Southern Illinois University, and a Bachelor’s Degree in Literature in 1970 from Columbia University. Bob also studied Botany at Ithaca College, Geography at the University of Georgia, and Climatology/Meteorology at the University of Nebraska, Lincoln University, and Texas A&M University.
Bob worked as a Librarian for 30 years, retiring in 2017 from Western Carolina University. He also worked as a proofreader for horror and extreme fiction novels. Through his work with these genres, he was named an honorary member of the Horror Writers of America and was affectionately known as “Pegleg” to them because of his cane. He also wrote a bibliography of climate classification systems that was published on the web.
Bob had a long list of interests and pursuits: loved puns, dinosaurs, ball games, festivals, fairs, horror, fantasy, climate and weather patterns, galleries, museums, movies and live performances in music, theatre and dance as well as wine tastings, craft breweries, and single malt scotch. He took vacation time when Susan would attend conferences. This way they could explore different cities together, seeking out botanic gardens and bookstores wherever they went. Bob was a lifelong collector of weather data and phenology and enjoyed baseball and basketball, especially his favorite teams the Boston Red Sox and the Boston Celtics.
Bob is survived by his wife of 42 years, Susan Kay Brown-Strauss, sister Carol (Strauss) Klenfner, nieces Kate Ruby Klenfner and Bryn Victoria (Klenfner) Fenech, sister-in-law Deborah (Brown) Freeman (husband Mark), brothers-in-law Michael Brown (wife Nancy) and James Brown (wife Kim); nieces Michelle (Brown) Perry, Natalie (Brown) Miller, Christan (Brown) Rice, Autumn (Freeman) Osborne; nephews Timothy Brown, Thomas Brown, Douglas Freeman, Aaron Brown, and numerous cousins, great-nieces, and great-nephews.
Bob hated attending funerals and wanted to be remembered as celebrating life - crazy as it can be. A celebration of life is being planned around his birthday, August 21 2023. As his birthday falls on a Monday we will plan the event for a weekend so that more will be able to attend. Additional details will be shared closer to that time. So, for now, raise a glass, grab a cup of coffee, read a book, admire the trees, look up at the sky, enjoy or curse at the weather (he did both), take in a game or go to a fair… think of Bob and post a memory.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made in Bob’s memory to:
The Arbor Day Foundation, 211 N. 12th Street, Lincoln, NE 68508 or by visiting https://fundraise.arborday.org/give/183224/#!/donation/checkout
Books for kids and promoting literacy was very important to Bob given his love of learning and more than 30 years as a librarian.
1) Contributions could be sent to a specific local library
2) $1 Donation Book Trust: Book Trust provides eligible students with a monthly allowance to choose their own books from Scholastic Book Clubs. For many, these will be the first books in their homes. Donations can be made directly to: https://www.booktrust.org/donate/
3) Dolly Parton's Imagination Library: Donations can be made directly to this organization too. $25 will get a one child a monthly book for a year.
Donation link: https://donate.imaginationlibrary.com/?_ga=2.89868187.1285003452.1666711196-1693849606.1666711196
4) Scholastic Book Club: Set up a fund at your local bank to support local teachers each year. We belong to a group that has picked one local teacher, specifically a new teacher, to help their classroom. The money set up in an account at your local bank can be paid directly to local teachers who are registered on the Book Club.
Direct donations can be made here: https://shop.scholastic.com/giftcard/purchase?lang=en_US This method can be used to give to a local teacher directly for their classroom needs.
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