I am so sorry to inform the members of Chicago Science Field Trips Club (CSFTC) that the original organizer and founder of this group, Robb Murray, has passed away. The Chicago Tribune on-line obituary
is below.ROBB MARK MURRAY
Robb Mark Murray, devoted son, loving brother and cousin, doting uncle, and faithful friend to all, died of natural causes on Feb. 10, 2010 in Chicago, IL. He was 56. Robb was born and raised in Lima, OH, and the second of four children. From the very start, it was clear that he was a remarkable, multi-talented person. He embraced life fully, without holding back, actively pursuing any course on which his passionate curiosity led him. His creative imagination, encyclopedic memory, and acutely accurate perfect-pitch hearing made him a constantly entertaining and thought-provoking companion. He was musically gifted and played musical pieces skillfully without reading the music. His love of music led him to write his own music and, more recently, he even composed musical theater. An early fascination with his brother's chemistry set augured his penchant for the sciences and for learning. After graduating as valedictorian of his class at Lima Senior High School in 1971, he spent a year at Kalamazoo College before earning his baccalaureate degree at Bob Jones University. He went on to the University of Chicago for a masters degree in library science, with the avowed ambition of making information accessible to everyone. Leaving the Chicago Public Library after working there for a year, he dived into working with a relatively new phenomenon, computers, combining his love of science and knowledge and his passion for giving others easier access to them. Programming for a commercial firm for a few years convinced him that he'd be a far better boss of himself than anyone else and he embarked on a long, fruitful entrepreneurial career, providing computer training to individuals and organizations as well as performing voice-overs for radio and television commercials. his accurate hearing gave him a capacity for mimicry that, combined with his unique sense of humor, delighted family and friends and made him a successful vocal "talent" on the airwaves. He made use of his talent as a writer, editor and promoter, helping his father "Duke" publish two volumes of his memoirs. He lived in Chicago for almost 35 years, but he still maintained close ties with his friends in Lima and all over the country. He is survived by his father, Emmett Murray, MD; his brother Scott (Nancy Winters); his two sisters Cynthia Hamblen (Steve) and Betsy Fowler (Steve); his niece Kimberly Fowler and his nephews Jeffrey Fowler, Andrew Hamblen and Christopher Hamblen; and aunts, uncles, cousins and hundreds of adoring friends. Sadly, his mother, Pauline Murray, died four days after his death. A celebration of his life will be held on Saturday, Feb. 27, at 5 p.m. at Chiles-Layman Funeral Home at 1170 Shawnee Road in Lima. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Lima Senior High Vocal Music Department in care of the Lima City Schools. Attention Sally Wendell, P.O. Box 2000, Lima, OH 45802.
Published in Chicago Tribune on February 25, 2010
Robb was such a special guy. His boyish enthusiasm and curiosity were infectious. Those qualities and Robb?s outgoing people-loving personality drove him to start this science meetup group. I met Robb shortly after he started the group and suggested that the focus should be on going out to Chicago?s scientific venues to learn from experts. Robb liked the idea and changed the name of the meetup to its present name. After getting the CSFTC humming along, Robb asked if I would be willing to take over as organizer of the group, and I?ve been doing that ever since. Robb remained active as an assistant organizer. I hadn?t heard from him in a while and was going to call him soon. Never did I expect that ageless Robb would leave us so soon.
Robb had so many talents. He could charm your pants off with his writing. People would come to the meetup event largely because of the prose he would post about it. Chief among Robb?s talents was his wonderful sense of humor. But even bigger than his sense of humor was his heart. Robb was a beautiful human being. The world is a better place because Robb was in it. I will miss him greatly.