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WebmasterJohn
04-28-2008, 10:56 AM
Hey Gang

Just wanted to give everyone a heads up - this weeks show will be a little late. We are shooting for getting it up later in the day on Tuesday if not Wednesday AM.

Bob isn't feeling well so we can't record today. He thinks he has food poisoning and if anyone has had it you know how bad it can be.

So - get better Bawb!!!!! - and sorry for the delay.

Thanks
John

WebmasterPete
04-28-2008, 05:50 PM
I'm sorry to have to tell everyone, but Bob Varley passed away this afternoon.

We postponed todays show because Bob wasn't feeling well, he thought he had food poisoning. When his wife Diana came home from work, she found him in their bedroom and he had apparently been dead for a few hours.

That's all we know right now - all of us are heading over to their house to be whatever comfort we can to Diana and Brian. I'll update everyone as we find out more, but I ask that you all please keep Diana, Brian and the rest of Bob's family in your thoughts and prayers.

We've all lost a wonderful friend - a friend whose presence can never be replaced, and whose memory I will hold close to my heart for the rest of my life.

Pete

safetymom
04-28-2008, 06:08 PM
We sat next to him at the Animal Kingdom rededication last week. He kidded my daughter about her singing the songs from Nemo.

He will be missed.

Regina
04-28-2008, 06:11 PM
I am heartbroken. Bawb would make me crazy sometimes, but you'd never find a kinder, gentler soul. What a sweet man and what a terrible loss.

I'm comforted knowing that through the DIS he will live on. Whether it's his mangling of certain words or Kaht Kam, he will always be with us.

I just can't believe my friend is gone. Love you Bawb!! May you rest in peace.

WebmasterDoc
04-28-2008, 06:14 PM
Oh my. We've known Bawb for many years now and have spent a little time with he and Diana at WDW over the years.

I'm so sorry to hear this. My prayers and thoughts are with Diana and Brian.

The DIS has lost a great friend.

R.I.P. Wilderness

Kelsie
04-28-2008, 06:43 PM
Bob was one of the first people I met from the DIS many years ago. He was a thoughtful man with a true love for Disney. Through the tears, right now I’m remembering the time we spent in Southern California with him and Diana many years ago and how my daughter who was only about 5 still remembers the fun she had with him at Knots Berry Farm.

Our thoughts and prayers go out to Diana, his family and all those who he touched in his lifetime.

This is truly a sad day.

Rest in Peace my friend……

WebmasterAlex
04-28-2008, 07:57 PM
I am just in shock. Bob was one of the original Dis'ers and the first person from the DIS I ever met in real life. He used to live near me and I went over to his house one day and put some computer wiring in while his son played soccer with my daughter in his yard. That was almost 10 years ago.......
I've never seen him get really angry at anyone and when he did it was funny, he just didn't know how.
He was one of the nicest people I have ever met and I will miss him greatly.
You were much too young my friend.

DisneyKevin
04-28-2008, 09:57 PM
Please understand that none us of know what to say, or how to act, or where to turn.

Words and details of Bob's memorial will be more forthcoming later but for now....

Here is an address to which cards may be sent.

Please understand that it is a post office box, but we will see that the your things get to the right people

DIS Unplugged
4417 13th Street
# 475
St. Cloud, Florida
34769

Kevin

WDWfan,uk
04-29-2008, 06:12 AM
This is such a shock - I even received an e-mail from Bawb on Sunday, in spite of the fact he must have been very unwell.

Going back to the early DIS days, before we had to register, we were a smaller community and his posts as Wilderness e.g. his trip reports were a great read - full of fun but also love of Disney.

Quite simply, he contributed in making the DIS a wonderful place to be.

Bawb was a kindly and fun colleague, and we'll miss him badly, but I cannot imagine the pain and loss his family, and his larger family such as Pete, John, Kevin, Corey & Julie, and other long-time close friends are feeling right now.

Shirley

DisneyKevin
04-29-2008, 11:45 AM
I'm not sure any of this will be considered coherent thought but I decided I should try.

I first met Bob and Diana in the Magic Kingdom on the corner by Casey's...where the tip board is located.

John had been living with Bob and Diana when we met. He told me that these folks were "like family to him" and that it was important that I got to know them. To say I was nervous would be an understatement. These folks had been friends and co-workers with John and Pete and here I was...the new guy.

I dont ever remember any time in my life when I felt so welcome or accepted. Bob said to me that "if John thinks you're ok...then so do we." They became friends that night. That was in the fall of 2001.

Bob and I quickly fell into the routine of him mispronouncing things and me correcting him. It got to the point where he would do things just to make me roll my eyes and suck my teeth. It became a part of who we were. He loved it.

A lot of time transpired between those days and the beginning of the podcast but Bob and Diana, along with Ann and Majk (it's pronounced Mike....and yes....we've used every conceivable line on him because of this) and John and I, well...we became a rather tight knit social group. We had dinner together at least once a week. We spent holidays together. We traveled together. There is no other way to say it then to say we were best friends. These were the folks that we chose to spend our time with.

Bob loved planning our weekly get togethers and outings. We used to rib him about "synchronizing our watches". If we were going someplace new of different, Bob would get there hours early (sometimes the day before) and then call us with the best directions and where to park and what not to miss. And yes....I used to tease him about that...but that was part of who Bob and I were.

One of my very favorite Bob memories is of the Candlelight Processional. Bob's Mom was very old and frail and not in the best health. She had moments of lucidity but they were few and far between. Well, she sat there watching that show and singing her heart out. She knew the words to almost every song. I sat next to Bob and his Mom and watched Bob watch her with tears in his eyes. He was so kind and gentle and loving. I was heartwarming and heartbreaking at the same time.

Bob's Mom passed during that next year and he told me that the Candlelight Processional was going to be really hard this year. I sat next to Bob at the next Candlelight show and the two of us sang along with tears in our eyes. He thanks me for understanding and being ok with it.

Bob was the kind of guy that offered whatever he could do or had. John and I live about an hour away from Bob abd Diana. The airport is in between our two homes. When John and I would travel, Bob would offer to take us to the airport. He would open his home to anyone that needed a place to stay. Bob loved nothing more than a house full of people.

When we started doing the Round Table version of the podcast, it took a while but we all fell into being ourselves. We all agreed that the only way to do this was with sincerity and honesty.

I have been criticized for "picking on" Bob, but we were who we were in real life. I dont know if anyone will understand this, but Bob loved that we picked on him. He would set up situations with glee and warn me..."this is really going to get you". Bob loved nothing more than making me crazy. It was never malicious or hurtful and if I thought it was I would have never done it.

I would never do anything to intentionally hurt Bob. He was one of my best friends and one of the warmest, kindest nicest men I have ever known.

Bob also loved the attention and spotlight that this allowed him. It was part of why he encouraged it. We used to joke that he had "only child syndrome". It's why we used to tease him about only reading emails that had his name in them.

Bob also loved meeting the folks that listened to the podcast. He put Christmas lights on his "kaht" so folks could find him. He loved making people laugh and he loved helping people enjoy their Disney trips. Bob spent more time in the parks then any of us and he'd come to the podcast letting us know that he met so and so and that he posed for pictures. And yes....we'd tease him with him grinning the entire time.

I'm sharing this today out of my need to let you all know that Bob loved that you all cared about him and loved him. It brought him incredible joy. He'd recount meeting listeners with absolute glee.

I dont know any other words to explain this, but I loved Bob. While life will go and we will move ahead, our lives will be a little less full. There will always be a hole that cant be filled. He is truly irreplaceable.

I think the very best way to honor Bob is to make sure that you tell the people in your life that you love them and what they mean to you. Dont miss the opportunity.

I talked to Bob yesterday morning at about 10:15am. I called to ask how he was feeling and if he needed anything. He told me was ok and feeling better.

I'd give anything to have that chance again.

Dont wait. Tell them.

Thanks for letting me talk about this.

Kevin

WebmasterJohn
04-29-2008, 01:13 PM
Hey Gang

I have info on the memorial service for Bob.

It will be on Saturday May 3rd at 3PM. Below is the address for the funeral home:

Becker Funeral Home
806 West Minneola Avenue
P.O. Box 120864
Clermont, Florida 34712
PH: (352) 394-7121
http://www.beckerfamilyfuneral.com

In lieu of flowers Diana is requesting donations be made to Hospice of the Comforter in Bob’s name. I told her that several folks here have already started donating to Give Kids the World in his name as well and that is fine if you wish to do that instead.

They are putting together a slideshow of pictures of Bob for the service. If you have any pictures of Bob that you would like included in the slideshow please email them to MaryAnna (a very good friend of Diana’s) at bawstngrl@yahoo.com and she will include them in the slideshow. I think Bob would like as many pictures of him with his PodCast family included – and I know Diana will take great comfort in this as well.

If you wish to send something to Diana directly instead of the Funeral Home you can send that to the podcast email address that Kevin posted earlier.

Now - as far as May 4th goes - obviously, we will not be recording the live show. That would just be too hard on everyone.

We have kept the room at Gaylord Palms and would like to invite every one who is still interested to be please join us. It will be more of a 'meet and greet' and a chance for us to tell Bob stories and remember a wonderful Man. Diana will be there and she is looking forward to every one who was planning on attending the live show to attend.

There will be food and non-alcoholic drinks. The timing is the same - if you want to show up any time after 12:30PM that would be fine. We have the room until 4PM.

We will be in the Emerald Room #2. You will have to cross the lobby and take the evelators down one flight - we will have signs in the lobby to help you find it.

We hope to see as many faces there as possible.

Thanks
John

WebmasterCorey
04-29-2008, 05:52 PM
It’s too tough for me to write in words how I feel right now, so I would like to share some of the photos I have of Bob with everyone instead. Bob is the first true friend that I’ve ever lost and I am going to miss him very much.

http://www.wdwinfo.com/disney-podcast/Photos/Bob/dole-whip-01.jpg

http://www.wdwinfo.com/disney-podcast/Photos/Bob/dole-whip-02.jpg

http://www.wdwinfo.com/disney-podcast/Photos/Bob/dole-whip-03.jpg

http://www.wdwinfo.com/disney-podcast/Photos/Bob/bob-pirate-princess.jpg

Bob's #1 tip - take a nap
http://www.wdwinfo.com/disney-podcast/Photos/Bob/DSC00029.JPG

http://www.wdwinfo.com/disney-podcast/Photos/Bob/DSC00359a.jpg

http://www.wdwinfo.com/disney-podcast/Photos/Bob/DSC01209.JPG

http://www.wdwinfo.com/disney-podcast/Photos/Bob/DSC01258.JPG

http://www.wdwinfo.com/disney-podcast/Photos/Bob/DSC01270.JPG

http://www.wdwinfo.com/disney-podcast/Photos/Bob/DSC04206.JPG

http://www.wdwinfo.com/disney-podcast/Photos/Bob/DSC04231.JPG

http://www.wdwinfo.com/disney-podcast/Photos/Bob/DSC04236.JPG

http://www.wdwinfo.com/disney-podcast/Photos/Bob/DSC04341.JPG

Bob loved sushi as much as me
http://www.wdwinfo.com/disney-podcast/Photos/Bob/IMG_1804.JPG

http://www.wdwinfo.com/disney-podcast/Photos/Bob/IMG_8046.JPG

Bob multi tasking in Laguna Beach - still camera in one hand and video in the other
http://www.wdwinfo.com/disney-podcast/Photos/Bob/IMG_8058.JPG

http://www.wdwinfo.com/disney-podcast/Photos/Bob/kwik-e-mart-01.jpg

http://www.wdwinfo.com/disney-podcast/Photos/Bob/kwik-e-mart-02.jpg

Bob and Brian - photos taken at our wedding by Pete
http://www.wdwinfo.com/disney-podcast/Photos/Bob/CoreyJulieWedding038.JPG

http://www.wdwinfo.com/disney-podcast/Photos/Bob/CoreyJulieWedding047.JPG

Regina
04-30-2008, 08:06 AM
I can barely glimpse at the podcast board, but I'll try to share some memories.

I first met Bawb at a DIS meet in Disney Quest around 10 years ago. He was such a character in the early DIS chats. He'd wear 'virtual' green tights, slap on some wings and pretend to be Tinker Bell flying around the chat room. I'm from NY so I'm pretty accustomed to strange people. Still, Bawb was up there in my top 10, LOL.

When Dreams began about 8 years ago, we did an "Around the World" tour with agents taking turns spending a night at each Disney resort. Our headquarters was a Fairways Villa. There was Bawb, always multi-tasking, always making sure everything was in place and always mangling the English language. I guess this is where the friendship started to really take shape.

Bawb always seemed to be juggling cameras and tripods wherever he went. If you got within 10 feet of him, you'd find yourself holding wires and bags.

One time we were all at a Disney Press Event which ended with a Barenaked Ladies concert. He scoped out the stage, parked his kaht at the perfect spot and I became his wingman. I stood behind him and was bopping along to the song when he turned and barked at me "you're shaking the kaht', knock it off." Whoops!! :lmao:

Our team went to California together. Bawb was the pilot and navigator and I swear he not only plotted which roads to take, but which lane to be in. Much to the annoyance of the drivers behind us, that was often the far left lane. Let's just say, Bawb wasn't known for speed. ;)

Wherever we went, Bawb became the "Dad" of the group while I became the "Mom" you wish you never had. We were the senior members of the team and well, that's just how it was. He'd keep "the kids" in line while I made sure tissues, gum, pens, paper, wetwipes, Advil, lotion and snacks were always handy.

I can't keep track of how many times we all got together in Florida. I'm heading down next month and was planning to say to Bawb "you get a break. They can pick on me today." Teasing each other is what we do best. I often wondered if Bawb thought my name was "shut up" since he said it to me so often. ;)

I just spoke to him a week ago and said "I'll see you soon." Who would ever think that will never happen.

Little did I know how much I'd miss this quirky guy. He'd make me crazy, he'd make me roll my eyes until I thought they'd get stuck in the back of my head, but he had a heart of gold. At the end of the day, that's what really matters.

Zarr aka Joe
04-30-2008, 09:22 AM
Wow, I'm in shock. I've been a bit out touch on the DIS lately...and thankfully someone was good enough to email me about this.

As I read these posts, I smile when I think of WAY back when DAK opened, Bob and the Varleys still lived in Massachusetts, as we all met up in Boston/Cambridge to visit the Animal Kingdom "on tour".

It was the first time I met Harold :)

I will also never forget his fantastic dancing moves on the Disney Wonder, just before Dreams was launched. It should have been YMCA....but I think Bob wanted to go MACY's ;)

God bless you Bob...you drove me crazy at times, but I am going to miss you.

Stroller Boy
04-30-2008, 10:37 AM
Not sure if someone else has already posted this link, if so, apologies for the duplication!

http://www.legacy.com/orlandosentinel/DeathNotices.asp?Page=Lifestory&PersonId=108677979

WebmasterJohn
04-30-2008, 03:09 PM
I encourage anyone who wants to, to please sign the guest book.

I know Bob would have wanted it and I'm sure Diana, Brian and their entire family will get great comfort out of it.

John

WebmasterPete
05-01-2008, 12:29 AM
Hi everyone;

Thanks for your concern - I really appreciate it. I'm holding up pretty good. I decided to decend into the pits of hell and completely re-wire my A/V system in my office. This is no small task - I have A LOT of electronics in this office. I will confess that I did a LITTLE retail therapy yesterday, so I've been trying to keep myself busy.

I have Bob's last show half edited on my machine -the Disneyland show. It was so weird - I edited the show Thursday night and it corrupted during the mixdown. That happens once in a blue moon, and basically means I have to go back and re-edit the show. However, it happened three times over the weekend and on two different machines. I don't know...I'm just sayin'....

I will eventually put that show up, but I'm not sure when at this point.

As for the show, I've decided that when all five of us individually feel ready to come back to the table, we'll resume our schedule. No idea when that will be.

I really want to thank all of you for your outpouring of support. You have no idea how much it means to all of us. I look forward to seeing some of you on Sunday.

Thx
Pete

WebmasterPete
05-01-2008, 04:22 PM
Hi everyone,

I'm going to take a little liberty here and speak on behalf of the entire podcast team - I hope they won't mind as I'm sure they share my feelings.

I've had this site for 11 years now and I really thought it was impossible for me to be surprised by these boards. Honestly, I was pretty sure I'd seen it all - then this happened.

I don't know that I could put into words the incredible comfort you have all been to Diana, Brian and the podcast crew these past few days. The overwhelming outpouring of love and support for the loss of our friend is staggering and such a wonderful testament to the man he was.

As I'm sure you will all understand, we're going to need some time before we get back to the show. This was a great loss to each one of us, so I think it's important that it be a team decision as to when we return to the show.

I won't lie - this has been pretty devastating to all of us. But we take great solace in knowing how fortunate we were to have had the time with Bob that we did, and that we have two years worth of shows we can revisit whenever we want, whenever we feel like hearing a comforting and friendly voice.

It will not be the same without him - his character, his personality were so unique - he was a true original that can never be replaced. But soon enough our grief will give way to a more positive and creative energy. The kind Bob always seem to have in great abundance.

Thanks again for all your prayers, condolances and well wishes. You'll never know how much we all appreciate it.

Pete

WayfastWill
05-01-2008, 10:35 PM
http://i255.photobucket.com/albums/hh141/klassic82/BobsWhip.jpg

Bawb sure loved them Dole Whips. This ones for YOU BAWB!!!!!

Let me start by saying I really enjoyed doing this. It just felt right and I can't say this will be the last time I do this. Like I said before, I 've never had me a Dole Whip so yet again Bawb has introduced me to something else I will enjoy for years to come.

So me and Brian are sitting there enjoying our drinks talking stories about Bawb when I look over and see a small souviner booth right next to us, not even 30ft away. It took me a second to realize it said "Bwana Bob's". I knew just then that Bawb was looking over us and was happy for that moment. I nudged Brian and did a head nod, he looked over and back and you could tell he felt the same. I think this is definately something that Bawb would love, so please continue this if you think it would help you to connect with our friend.

spinmom
05-01-2008, 10:51 PM
I must have started this over, about a hundred times already...not knowing how to say what I want to convey to you. Over the years, "Bawb and Dianer" bacame two of our dearest friends. It was because of "the Dis" and "Dreams" that we met, and for that, we will be eternally grateful.

There wasn't a time when we came to Orlando when he didn't mention you, all of you, even before the podcast became such a sensation. I felt like I knew all you, even though we had never met some of you. His phone calls would leave me in and Joel in stitches, as he would relate incidents like "Do you have Protective Footwear" as he told the stories of a series of foot related mishaps that was plaguing your "family" and he managed to escape the curse because of the sandals he kept by his bed. "You gotta get somethin' '"..he told me. He was always watching out for those he cared about. He told me of adventures from your cruises you took together, the many holidays you shared...including the processionals at Christmas, especially the one that Kevin wrote about. You were his family.

Once the Podcast was up and running, there were times when he would call and say "Did you listen to the Podcast? You gotta listen to the Podcast"...and you could hear the excitement in his voice. He was proud of the work that you all did to put the show together, and he was tickled that your audience grew to be what it was. He alerted us that the "send Bawb to the Parks" segment was going to happen, and he was insistant that I "stay tuned", (as if I hadn't been already). Who knew it would morph into "Kaht Cam". All I can tell you is tht when he was with us in the parks, he was always doing research, and he enjoyed it.

I can also honestly say he loved what he did for the DIS. Like Regina said, if you ventured with Bawb to the parks, you had better be ready to be his "grip" and cord tender. With Bawb, evry trip to the park was a "fact finding mission". It wasn't unusual to have him hand you a camera, to warn you "Don't touch it" and then get busy with yet another camera. I think one time he actually had three cameras going at once, but most of the time it was just two. He had lens caps and cords and tripods and remote thing-a-ma jigs...and he always needed whatever was the hardest to give him at the time. (It became a little less chaotic when he switched from film to digital.)And all the while he was doing that, he was either telling some stranger next to him about the DIS or interviewing a cast member. There was always "this one thing he had to get done". The last photo shoot we did with him was of the Block Party Parade. He and Diana were coming from somewhere else, and he knew where he wanted to be for the shot, and he sent us there ahead of time saying "sit big!" (Huh?)

Disney has this thing that they call on-stage/off stage. In all my years of knowing Bawb, he was never that way. The few times I heard him grumble, he got over it really quick. I know he loved the work he did with and for you, and your Sunday meals were very important to him. He looked forward to being with you guys, even after all of the ribbing he received...which means that he loved you a lot. I'm sure inyour hearts you know this, but I just thought tht you may want to hear it from an "outsiders" perspective.

Joel and I owe all of you a lot. I will never be able to fully express just what his friendship meant to us...and you made it all possible. He was one in a million..from his abuse of the English language to his incredible generous spirit. I know God got himself an extra special angel on Monday, and Joel and I consider ourselves blessed to have known him.

Thank you, for sharing the magic of Bob Varley.

DisneyKevin
05-02-2008, 02:07 PM
We are not being intentionally vague or withholding information.

The truth is that we just dont have the information as of yet.

We have shared the details as we know them.

Bob called us early Monday morning to let us know that he didnt think he would make the podcast as he felt he had food poisoning.

Diana had come home from work earl in the day to bring him Gatorade.

I spoke with him at 10:07 (according to my cell phone record) to check on him. He said he was feeling better and that he had had some Gatorade and toast.

I tried calling again at 12:00 but there was no answer. We assumed he was napping.

We got a call at 5:15 with a very garbled version of the bad news and called Diana to see what was going on. We found out that it was terribly true.

These are the details as we know them.

When new information is available, and Diana and Brian feel comfortable with us sharing that information, we will certainly let you know.

Other than the above facts, anything else is speculation and I'm not sure I'm comfortable with that at this point.

Thanks,
Kevin

DisneyKevin
05-02-2008, 04:41 PM
The feeling of friendship and love is evident.....and greatly appreciated.

We are all looking for answers...or at the very least...a reason.

I believe that understanding what happened to Bob will allow us all to process the information and move ahead.

We have always chosen to be upfront and honest and I believe Bob would want us to continue.

My reason for posting was to let you all know that we currently dont know anymore than we have already shared.

I didnt want you to think that we had "closed the loop" for any reason.

Thanks again,
Kevin

DisneyKevin
05-03-2008, 08:04 PM
Bob's memorial was beautiful and moving.

It was a wonderful and heartfelt testament to an amazing guy.

The gentleman officiating the memorial mentioned that while he had never been to this website, he visited after being told of Bob's involvement.

I believe he said he was in "awe" of the heartfelt wishes and good will and sheer number of people posting. He described us as a "world wide phenomenon."

So even though you may not have been able to be there in body, you were all certainly there in spirit and energy.

I am and always will be proud to name Bob my friend.

I am also proud to be a member of this community.

Thank you from the bottom of my heart.

Kevin

WebmasterAlex
05-03-2008, 08:09 PM
One of the recurrent themes was how people from all over the world were touched by Bawb.
Pete gave a lovely, heartfelt eulogy that just blew everone away.
There were a lot of laughs too though as we celebrated Bob's life and that is how he would have wanted it.
I've known Bob for 10 years and even I learned a lot about him. He was an incredible person.

safetymom
05-03-2008, 08:16 PM
It was a beautiful celebration of Bob's life. He has a great family.

There wasn't a dry eye in the room when they were telling stories about Bob. They also played some very meaningful Disney songs to complement the memorial for Bob.

Kelsie
05-03-2008, 08:28 PM
Thank you Kevin and Alex

I really wanted to be there but it just wasn't physically possible for me right now.

You have all been in my thoughts today.......

DisneyKevin
05-03-2008, 10:05 PM
A Dream Is a Wish Your Heart Makes
Best of Friends
Circle of Life
You'll Be In My Heart
We Go On (from Illuminations)

There was another one and try as I might, I can not think of it.

It will come to me...propbably at 3:00am. If I think of it, I will let you know.

I'm not sure who picked the music, but they did an awesome job.

Kevin

DisneyKevin
05-03-2008, 10:25 PM
Kevin, those are great songs. Who picked the song to go with the memorial on the website? It's beautiful.

I believe that was Corey and Will.

We had all just seen Wicked Sunday night and while I had no part in picking the music, I think it was an inspired and awesome choice.

I just saw this after getting home this evening and I will tell them tomorrow how great I think it is.

The name of the song is "For Good"

I've heard it said
That people come into our lives for a reason
Bringing something we must learn
And we are led
To those who help us most to grow
If we let them
And we help them in return
Well, I don't know if I believe that's true
But I know I'm who I am today
Because I knew you:

Like a comet pulled from orbit
As it passes a sun
Like a stream that meets a boulder
Halfway through the wood
Who can say if I've been changed for the better?
But because I knew you
I have been changed for good

It well may be
That we will never meet again
In this lifetime
So let me say before we part
So much of me
Is made of what I learned from you
You'll be with me
Like a handprint on my heart
And now whatever way our stories end
I know you have re-written mine
By being my friend:
Like a ship blown from its mooring
By a wind off the sea
Like a seed dropped by a skybird
In a distant wood
Who can say if I've been changed for the better?
But because I knew you:

I have been changed for good


I cant think of a song that states it better.

WebmasterCorey
05-03-2008, 11:48 PM
You can read the eulogy Pete wrote on the most recent blog post. http://www.disunplugged.com/2008/05/03/goodbye-friend/

bawstngrl
05-04-2008, 09:11 AM
My husband, Robert, wanted me to share some words with you because he regretfully couldn’t be here today.

“My introduction to Bob wasn't exactly what you would call smooth. I had to call Florida and speak with someone to explain that Erin (his daughter) was in a car accident, but was ok. Seems noble enough, however when a man picked up the phone instead of Erin's mom I sort of panicked and simply said, "Who's this?" to which the voice answered back, "You called me, who's this?"
Then I got on with my story and explained that I was Erin's NEW boyfriend, and she flipped her car six times, but she's ok.

From that start, however, I got to know more of Bob through Erin's stories of him being very strict, but very encouraging, and how he was always there for her and her brothers. When we met face to face, it was another rocky start. Erin and I had to explain that we were starting a family. Bob was sure to let me know he was less than thrilled. But as we all know he loved my boys, and my boys loved Puppa.

From these beginnings, a new bond was forming. It started as he and I just busting on each other. But after a short while we were taking little adventures whenever we were around each other. A few that come to mind are: in NJ, near my home, and he had to have the Arizona Stress Tea. We went to every store I could think of until we found it, making sure to harass every store employee without Stress Tea along the way. When we finally found some, Bob bought every bottle in sight stating, "I don't want to go through that again."

When we moved to Florida for a short time, he and I spent 20 hours straight, unshowered in the truck together. I won't really go into detail on that, but he knows what I mean.

Our last adventure was to Kennedy Space Center last summer. Like his grown obsession for Disney, his childhood obsession was rockets and the space program. Once again, a kid in a candy store.

Bob Varley was more than a father-in-law, more than a mentor, even more than a friend. I was honored to be a part of his life and honored to have earned the designation of his "favorite son-in-law" (by default, but who's counting?). Bob will always be a part of me, and forever in my heart and mind as the first thing I think of when I see anything having to do with Disney.
You're the famous one, Bob.
Love you always,
Your Favorite Son-In-Law
Rob Shirhall”

Some of you may only have known Bob from recent years in Florida. I wanted to take a minute to share with you the Bob that I knew, the Bob that became a father to me when I was four, and influenced me to become much of the woman I am now.

1. He was a phenomenal athlete before he hurt his ankle. He helped his high school cross country team to 2 state titles. He could hit a softball like Papi hits baseballs. He coached Matt in midget football. He was a former Little League baseball president.
2. In Mansfield, he was the president of local cable access for several years.
3. He taught Matt, Brian, and I to build and launch model rockets. He and I made a rocket R2D2. Sadly R2D2 exploded into tiny pieces at about 10 feet in the air.
4. He made the best Boston baked beans.
5. He took us camping every summer since I met him.
6. He could cook a rotisserie turkey over a campfire… if you could wait until midnight to eat it.
7. He and mom never took a vacation without us… until we were grown ups.
8. He got the chicken pox at age 30-something. They were not nice to him. If you haven’t had them, get vaccinated!
9. He made us clean up our messes… but never cleaned up his.
10. Orange was his favorite color.
11. Golden Grahams and Cinnamon Toast Crunch were his favorite cereals. If he caught you eating them, you’d be sorry.
12. He loved hot air balloons.
13. He had no trouble hollering at people (speeding cars, bullies, litterers, boyfriends who beeped the horn out front instead of coming to the door) to stand up for justice.
14. He sneezed upwards of three times to signal to his dinner party that he was full… finally.
15. He never called “his boys” (Brian, Rob, Gavin, or Mason) by their names unless they were in trouble. He called them all “Buddy”.
16. He regularly drag-raced the kahts with Matt, Brian, and Rob up and down the neighborhood.
17. He could engineer a discount on a discount on a discount on any item he wanted to buy… if he couldn’t just get it free altogether.
18. He taught us to reach for the moon, knowing we could reach it (not just hit the stars if we missed, like the saying goes).

I want to leave you with one more message. If you are here today, you undoubtedly have been wrestling with grief, shock, maybe even anger. For me, the stress of this week’s events have had me on a roller coaster… not exactly the happy kind you’d find at DisneyWorld.

Believe it or not, over the years, Bob struggled to manage his tightly-wound personality. He stressed out easily, usually because he had to deal with a drama-queen of a teenage daughter. It took me 18 years to learn not to battle head-to-head with Bob because the exchange of words back and forth only made the situation worse. Since Bob was usually right about things, I did eventually learn to nod my head, and say, “Ok, Dad.”

As I poured through the drawers of my house, looking for pictures of Bob to share with friends and family this weekend, I came across that Bob had given to me after one of these confrontations. I have no idea what the problem was about, but I think you’ll agree that he found exactly the right words for handling how we are all feeling right now.

The card states:
“All stressed out?
Sometimes it helps to think of happy scenes.
Maybe a pastoral field…
A field with a babbling brook.
You’re there on a lovely summer day…
Holding someone’s head under the water…
Now you’re letting them up for a second…
Then BLAM!
Back into the freezing water
Over and over again…

There,
Feel better?”
Bob had written, “I do. Sorry about last night. Love O.T.” ( edited:his old CB handle, Orange Tornado)

I hope you all remember to laugh with the happy memories of Bob as you deal with his sudden departure.

I will always love him as a daughter loves her father, and I know he will always be with me. Afterall, he is a huge part of who I am.