All the world before his feet, and yet he chose to take a seat. How would one begin to speak of the person that was Robert Patrick Allton? His family, friends, and acquaintances (anybody who wasn’t a suit) knew him as ‘Bobby’ though I called him ‘Roberto’ after having known him a couple of years. My name is Justin Bauer and I’ve been a friend of Bobby’s for the better part of thirteen years. In that time I came to know him as one would a brother. In that time I came to know and love his brother Aaron, sister Amber, his father Brian, and his mother Robin as my own extended family. Bobby was charitable with his time, always willing to lend an ear to my seemingly irrelevant teenage problems. His attitude was predominately one of uplifting positive energy… He could turn a quiet melancholy room into an occasion with a mischievous word and his laugh, alone. His humor and compassion helped to establish feelings of brotherhood on my end. What’s special is that Bobby had that effect on people in general… it seems to make my experience a little less unique in that I know a great many of you feel in your hearts as though he were family. We’ve indeed lost a brother. The heart in that kid was not of this world. It was a majestic vessel that contained an endless “capacity for wonder” and a loving affection that ran as though it were on tap. Beyond the love of other people was his love of music. I first met Bobby with his brother at a local all ages concert hall on Saturday October the 13th, 2001. The actual music never mattered, Bobby could find a reason to dance… or on this occasion flail about in a mosh pit. Now Bobby and Aaron were big guys… compared to me they might as well have been giants. Taking note of the potential danger I made my way outside to catch my breath, and Bobby (a complete stranger) followed me into the evening air to make sure he hadn’t actually hurt me. That expression of compassion could’ve been viewed as transparent, but it wasn’t… we clicked… Turned out that his love of music extended to his playing of the guitar… a defining passionate trait that he seemingly inherited from Brian would simply be an extension of his gentle personality (though you wouldn’t have thought so had you heard our early attempts at making what we called “music”). A short conversation later over our shared taste for bad aggressive rock, and plans were made to meet again at Westerville South. It was at school that the ice was broken and I learned something else about Bobby that stood out in the form of his mind. He took honors classes, and was without question the smartest peer I had, and possibly the most humble (unless challenged)… he could be witty on the fly, and his grades were high, and yet he could still make time to be attentive to the needs of those for which he cared. He studied as though his memory were photographic (in other words… I don’t remember him studying much at all). As Amanda Moore said of Bobby’s academic abilities, “he made it look so easy.” Once in the setting of high school I learned quickly that he wasn’t a person to judge someone by their appearance… except for Aaron… this made for his diverse circle of friends. He was less than perfect, yet it was this human quality that attracted so many to his presence. His short life was a gift to those who knew him. We spoke once of childhood and I was struck in the subtle differences in the gift giving aspect of Christmas. I always had the kind of Christmas that I considered normal… waking up to unwrap that which your family had spent a good deal of time wrapping… From what Bobby told me his family decided such a step wasn’t necessary. All of the gifts for the children were set out in the open for the sake of reaction. Of that tradition Bobby told me, “there’s something magical about waking up with your family and seeing everything set out for you all at once.” I never really thought much of it, but now his explanation leads me to believe that Bobby lived in such a way; so openly. Once introduced, you knew Bobby. Those of you here now are quite telling of his magnetic qualities. I thank you for allowing me to share this moment with you. Through the circle of his community he will live on… and in the hearts and minds of those who remember such a gentle soul, know that there is peace for him.
2 thoughts on “Robert: A Eulogy”
That was beautiful man
Thank you so much for sharing this wonderful portrait. I hadn’t seen Bobby since he was a teenager and this was a great account of the cool guy he turned out to be.