Fulton, Robert “Bob” Lester

Fulton, Robert “Bob” Lester

November 30, 1926 – July 29, 2016
Age 89 of St. Paul, died peacefully in his sleep at the Pillars Hospice in Oakdale, MN on July 29, 2016. He had been in declining health for the prior six months, suffering from pancreatic cancer and related ailments. He bore up under the weight of a failing body with an unflagging mind, cheerful demeanor and a buoyant sense of humor. A native of Toronto, Canada, Bob moved to the US in 1947 to attend the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana. Later, he attended the University of Toronto where he received his MA degree, and finally Wayne State University in Detroit, MI where he earned his PhD in Sociology. He was well known for his work in the field of death, grief and bereavement and was a founding member of the International Working Group on Death and Dying. Among his many contributions to the field was the creation of the first college course on death and dying in the United States, which he taught at the University of Minnesota in 1963. Bob’s career was notable for numerous lectures, publications, and visiting professorships, which took him to India, Australia, South Africa, Japan, China, Sweden, and Norway, and a host of other countries. He had hoped to attend the IWG meetings in Scotland this fall and then make a trip to Prague, Czechoslovakia, one place he had never visited. Most likely, he would have sought out another chess set to add to his collection. An avid chess player, his last publication My World of Chess, was published in 2013. He is survived by three sons, David, Evan and Regan and grandchildren Julie and Davis. He is also survived by his long-time partner and companion, Meryl Baker, as well as his sister Gwenn and brother Edward. Bob will be remembered fondly by his many friends and colleagues around the world. A memorial celebration of Bob’s life is planned for September 24, 2016 at the University Club in Saint Paul, MN 2:00pm until 5:00pm. Family and friends offer a tremendous thank you to the staff at The Pillars Hospice in Oakdale, MN. The quality of care Bob received there was second to none. In lieu of flowers, donations made to The Pillars would be greatly appreciated. (Published in the Star Tribune on Aug. 5, 2016)