Sunday, October 28, 2012

Old Bro News & Notes -- October 2012

Old Bro Network is pleased to welcome TWO new Old Bro's to the roster this month ..... first up is Ralph Yack (EpSig 653), currently living down in Newport Beach.  "Stud of the Week" honors go to Bill Schlichter for helping to get Ralph hooked up with the OBN.

Second is another of our "In Memoriam" tributes to a fallen brother, John Henry (EpSig 652).  John passed away in Park City, Utah in September of 2010, read about it HERE.

These two additions bring the total roster count for the Old Bro Network up to 305 and, as always, if anyone has contact info about an Old Bro who is currently NOT on the roster, please send it in and I'll get them added.

Also, on October 13, a dozen Old Bros were among the 500+ in attendance at the Palm Springs Air Museum for the Celebration of Life honoring our recently fallen brother Steve Robbins.  Steve's life and accomplishments were celebrated by family, relatives, friends, co-workers, colleagues, even a Congresswoman spoke warmly about working with Steve and his "S**t-eating grin" while hammering out water rights deals in the Coachella Valley.

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The Board of Directors of the Coachella Valley Water District, where Steve was the General Manager and Chief Engineer for the last decade, chose to honor his memory by naming the CVWD's offices as "The Steve Robbins Administration Building", read the official press release about that HERE

After the official Celebration, the Old Bro's retreated to our local hotel to toast Steve's memory (with, among other things, Steve's favorite beer ..... Coors Light).  The reminiscing and story-telling went WELL into the night (truth be told, it went well into the following morning, a send off that Steve himself would have been proud of).  ZAX, brother Robbins, rest in peace .....

Pauley Pavilion exteriorOn campus, the newly renovated Pauley Pavilion opens to the public this week, with a series of events from 10/28 to 11/4, in advance of the first basketball game of the season on 11/9 against Indiana State.  Read about the various events to be held during "Welcome Back Pauley Week" as well as about some of the details of the renovation HERE.
Pauley Pavilion is definitely sacred ground for all of us Bruins, so get out there and check out the new and improved version of this legendary arena.  I can almost hear the 8-claps ringing out already .....
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Friday, October 5, 2012

Omega ..... Steve Robbins 9/27/12

Steve Robbins
Steve Robbins
The Greek letter Omega is the last letter in the Greek alphabet, and one of its meanings is that it symbolizes an end .....

On Thursday, September 27, brother Steve Robbins (EpSig 678) lost his battle against leukemia.  Old Bro Bill Schlichter (EpSig 647) sent in the following:

My Brothers;

It is with profound sadness that I report the passing of our Brother, Steve Robbins (EP SIG 678) on 27 September at 5:30 pm.  Steve died from complications brought on by the huge doses of Chemo required to fight back the aggressive form of Leukemia he had contracted.

Just 1 week prior, Tuck Meador and I visited Steve in his room at the City of Hope Cancer Treatment Facility in Duarte.  The Chemo had predictably caused him to lose his hair, and a fair amount of weight, but his spirits were high and he was excited for his scheduled transplant to take place the following week.  Tuck and I both agreed he was looking good all things considered, and mentally very much in the fight.  Once the transplant happened, it was going to get him back on track and out of the woods.
On Friday, Steve's second daughter, delivered to Steve his second grandchild.  He was a very happy Grand-pa and all the more motivated to get on with the transplant so he could get on with his life.
Saturday came, and UCLA was playing Oregon State (Steve's College for his first 2 years prior to transferring to UCLA).  Suddenly, and unexpectedly, Steve's blood pressure began to drop, followed by the shutdown of many of his vital organs.  His kidneys stopped working, heart started to mis-fire, and his lungs were failing.  His doctors later explained this was the risk associated with the administration of such high doses of Chemo required to knock down the cancer enough to give the transplant a chance to take hold.  He was admitted to ICU where they hooked him up to several life support machines that were able to stablize his system.
Steve in full Darth Vader mode
Sunday morning came.  I was sitting home getting ready for the day, when a call came in from Steve's cell.  I fully expected it to be him calling to give me crap about how Oregon State once again had slayed "Goliath" as they had done the 2 years he was there and I was at UCLA.  I answered the phone to find his wife Karen on the line, delivering to me the news of Steve's dramatic change in status.  My heart sank.  I immediately jumped in the car and made the 1 hour drive to Duarte.  When I arrived, I went straight to ICU and found, out in the waiting area, 20+ family and friends.  I am sure by this point in our lives, many of us have been there, so I need not go into how awful it was.  Steve's wife Karen came out after discussing the situation with Steve's doctor.  In short, everything that could be done medically had been done, and there was nothing more they could do.  The machines were keeping him alive.
Karen took me back to his room.  He was hooked up to a respirator and a mini-dialysis machine, and he was quite swollen from all of the fluid being retained.  I asked him if he knew I was there, and he moved his fingers.  So I got to spend some time with him.  I told him he looked bad, but I had seen him worse.  I told him we were all pulling for him, and a whole bunch of the Bros were wanting to put on a party in his cottage after he came through the transplant.  I could tell that made him happy to know we were all thinking about him.  I spoke with him a bit longer, but he was pretty out of it, so I said good bye to him, and returned to the waiting room.
Steve remained on life support for Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday.  He was in and out of consciousness but at least it gave time for many of his family and friends to see him once more.
At 5:00 pm on Thursday, with Karen, his daughters, and his grand children at his side, the doctor removed his respirator and stopped the heart medicine that was keeping his heart stable.  He saw his family around him, and slipped off to sleep.  He was pronounced dead at 5:30.
Steve and I met in third grade, and literally grew up together.  It was my greatest pleasure to introduce him to Lambda Chi, and to have been his Big Brother.  The link below is to an article written about Steve in the local Palm Desert news paper.  Even if you did not know Steve personally, you will see from this article that he was a Brother that did a whole lot in furthering the good name of our Fraternity.
A celebration of life gathering with take place on October 13th, 5:00 pm, at the Palm Springs Air Museum, 745 North Gene Autry Trail, Palm Springs, California 92262
Bill-EP SIG 647
Professionally, Steve was the General Manager & Chief Engineer for the Coachella Valley Water District out in the Palm Springs area.  The official press release issued by the CVWD on Steve's passing, as well as his many accomplishments during his tenure in leading that office, can be read HERE.
Also, there is a website that was established for Steve at  At that home page, where it says "enter site name" type in "stevebrobbins", click on the "Visit a Site" button, follow the instructions to register and you'll get to Steve's page where you can sign the guestbook, leave a message, read tributes from others, etc.

The candid photos of Steve in this post were sent in by Old Bro Jim Hester (EpSig 641).  This one is of all the bro's in attendance at Jim's wedding, including Steve in blue in the front row .....
One less star in the skies tonight, one more angel in heaven above ..... rest in peace, our brother forever ..... Steve Robbins.

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