by Earlene Hughes

William Robert "Rob" Hubbard died on March 15, 2006, near Springfield, Mo. He was born Dec. 18, 1961, in Russellville, Ark. Survivors include his wife Nany Ann Hubbard; daughter Josie Hubbard; mother and stepfather Mona and Roy Ross; father Rob Hubbard; three brothers, Mark Ross, Ray Ross, Jeff Hubbard; and two sisters, Linda Brandon and Alice Weissman.

Rob was the newly elected president of Blind Information Technology Specialists and a certified trainer with the state of Texas. He also did private contract work all over the United States. He liked radio, reading fiction and non-fiction, sports and politics. He was a Christian and lived life to the fullest.

When I joined BITS in 1999, I honestly couldn't figure out which Rob was which. There was Robert Jones, who many of you know as Bob Jones. Then there was Robert Rogers, and there was Rob Hubbard. I think it took me a year to figure out who was who! I finally figured out that Robert Jones and Bob Jones are the same person, and that Robert Rogers was the vice president. And then there was this other Rob, who was quiet and shy if you didn't know him yet.

I really got to know Rob Hubbard when I became secretary in 2001. He was the newsletter editor and he had the recording of the convention session from the previous year which I needed in order to write the minutes. We spent hours talking on the phone debating about sports, politics, technology, and our plans for BITS. It was fun!

I will truly miss him. I pray for Nany and Josie. They have lost a wonderful person. The only way I know of to honor my friend is to keep working. I also know that when the sun shines each day, Rob is looking down at us. I do not want to disappoint him. I will do my best to carry on with the things that we were working on.

I hope he knows how much we will miss him, and that we will do our very best to continue the work that was so much a part of his life. Rob Hubbard, you will always be with us.

Memories from BITS members and others

Oh, no, no, no, it cannot be. I am sitting here in total shock. I just talked to Rob a couple of days ago!! He was truly one of the really wonderful guys!!

-- Ron Milliman, Bowling Green, Ky.

Oh, this can't be true!!! I feel so sad and sorry for Rob's wife and little girl. Why do things like this happen to such nice people? I can hardly believe this. Sorry, Earlene, that you had to bring us this absolutely terrible news.

-- Ray Campbell, Glen Ellyn, Ill.

Oh, I can't imagine this! He was so dedicated and oh my -- his poor wife and baby, oh my -- I am just shocked beyond belief! This is so terrible.

-- Barbara Lombardi, Shelton, Ct.

My condolences to Rob's wife and daughter. I am still in shock over this one. He was too young and had everything going for him. Oh, God, what a shock! I couldn't believe it when I read it.

-- Karyn Campbell, Glen Ellyn, Ill.

My recollections of ACB conventions for most of the last decade are filled with memories of shared meals, shared meetings, social activities and almost constant laughs shared with my friend, Rob Hubbard. He has been my roommate at nearly every ACB convention since 1997. I believe the only exception during that span of years was in 2003 when his wife came to the Pittsburgh convention. Rob has been a great friend to me, and he has also been an inspiration. As most of you know, he is a man of great religious faith who not only talked the talk, but he also walked the walk. Rob is the kind of person who has always been willing to share his many gifts with others, whether that meant providing sound computer training and support, serving BITS during conventions or as newsletter editor and finally as BITS president, or by being that listening ear and provider of wise counsel to a troubled friend.

He has set an example, both in his contributions to BITS and in his personal life, and we can best honor his memory by continuing his fine work with BITS and by developing the character traits in ourselves that he modeled so well for all of us.

I share in our collective shock at his sudden departure and in our sympathy and concern for his family.

-- Frank Welte, San Carlos, Calif.

Yes, this is such a loss! I got him interested in this organization when it was called VIDPI. He will be missed for a long time.

He has done a wonderful job with the newsletter. I was editor before him and could never hold a candle in the production with all of Rob's technology experience. We'll all have to work harder and now is the time to band together and stride forward.

-- Dick Cannon, Alpharetta, Ga.

This is such sad news! It makes me so sad and angry that his family has to endure such a loss. I can't imagine the shock but I am all too familiar with the experience of loss. I've had a number of wonderful conversations with Rob over the last year and looked forward to getting to know him better. This is so unfair ... And none of us know why it has to happen. I know Rob was a man of great faith ... And probably his wife as well ... but still, this will be a tremendously difficult time for her and all his family, and, of course, friends.

I send my heartfelt condolences and prayers. My heart just aches for all of them, knowing how awful the loss is to endure.

I hope that Rob has found John and they are talking techie stuff.

-- Laurie Mattioli, Arlington, Mass.

I was shocked and very saddened to learn of Rob Hubbard's tragic death. I met him at the ACB meeting in Louisville in 2000. He was a hard worker and did a marvelous job on the newsletter, as well as everything else he took on in BITS. He will be remembered in all our prayers.

-- Tom Lutes, Bardstown, Ky.

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