RL "Bob" Morgan
October 29, 1954 - July 12, 2012
Friend, Colleague, Mentor and a truly awesome guy.
We have all the people to prove his identity.
Personal and Family Tribute Web Site
A Memorial (archived) was held Sunday, July 29, 2012
Obituary in Seattle Times
University of Washington Announcement
Highlights of Bob's Life - by daughter Annika
See the comments below for all those who helped affirm Bob's identity
with the attributes of all the people he touched.
It was a community effort - just as he would have wanted.
If you wish to contribute - contact gettes at cmu.edu
PO Box WSECU
Olympia, WA 98507
or you can mail a check directly to Eve Perara at:
Department of Chemistry
Attention: Eve Perara
University of Washington
Seattle, WA 98195-1700
in the name of RL "Bob" Morgan by checking "This gift is in honor or memory of someone".
In recognition of the many years of Bob's leadership in IT for Higher Education and generally,
the community who loved and respected Bob so much,
attempted to acknowledge his many contributions by presenting him with
the Internet2 President's Leadership Award on April 24, 2012.
David Lambert, President & CEO of Internet2, presenting the award to Bob.
Believed to be the only time Bob was on stage, front and center, and never spoke.
The plaque given to him reads:
Given in gratitude to
RL "Bob" Morgan
For exceptional global leadership
in the evolving world of digital identity.
For keen vision and acuity in enabling
new paradigms and services of enduring benefit
to global research, education and beyond.
For mentorship and personifying the essence of
true collaboration and membership in
Internet2 and InCommon.
His professional life in Information Technology was filled with leadership, design and lots of hard work. Just some of the things he has done in the Identity and Architecture space (in no particular order):
- A founder of the InCommon Federation (involved in nearly every aspect of creating and developing the federation and the concepts of federation)
- Co-Chair of InCommon Technology Advisory Committee
- Chair of MACE (Middleware Architecture Committee for Education)
- Senior Technology Architect, Computing and Communications at University of Washington
- Bread Baker's Guild of America
- Internet2 Middleware Initiative
- National Science Foundation Middleware Initiative (a primary lead, key contributor and definer of new terminology)
- co-creator of Shibboleth
- InCommon CAMP & Advanced CAMP (leader, presenter, contributor)
- IETF (working groups: ldapext, SASL, PKIX, TLS, ASID, KRB-wg), his specific RFC contributions
- Internet Society
- Directories (particularly for use in Higher Education)
- MACE Grouper Project
- MACE Signet Project (deprecated)
- fping, versions 2.x
- Bob's EDUCAUSE Biography and related body of work
- Google Tech Talk, Sept 2007 (Bob and Ken) Internet Scale Identity, Collaboration, and Higher Education
- OASIS Security Services (SAML) Technical Committee member
- SAML (key contributor in developing this standard), co-editor for SAML2IDAssuranceProfile
- Open Identity Exchange (OIX) Advisory Board
- Kantara Initiative, various contributions
- Identity Commons
- OSIDM4HE - Open Source Identity Management 4 Higher Education - now named CIFER
- Common Solutions Group (one of the "usual suspects" of this group)
- NAC - Network Applications Consortium
- TERENA and the First Advanced EuroCAMP in Malaga.
- Towards Kerberizing Web Identity and Services, Jeff Hodges, Josh Howlett, Leif Johansson, RL "Bob" Morgan. MIT Kerberos Consortium whitepaper, 22-Dec-2008.
- Requirements and Approaches for a Publicly Visible Persistent Identifier for Person Entries in the Stanford University Enterprise Directory Service. Jeff Hodges, RL "Bob" Morgan, July 1998 (revised Aug 2006). (.pdf)
- CalConnect - the Calendaring and Scheduling Consortium
We lost Bob on July 12, 2012 to his battle with cancer which he documented, in his own very unique way. We believe the following from his blog demonstrates his humor, insight, ability to explain complex things in simple ways, nature to make you think. It's quintessential Bob.
Just to clear this up, for all you computer people.
Last time was “re-install OS and restore from backup”.
This time is “install a different OS”.
Next time is “migrate to the cloud”.
Yup, we got it!
If you have some you would like to contribute you can add them yourself or email Michael Gettes or Steve Olshansky.
From Kevin Morooney at the Pennsylvania State University comes the story of the Penn State water bottle and the idea from Renee Shuey (also of PSU):
Renee and Bob were having a conversation. Eventually, Bob got a chance to speak. They were talking about what his condition was and what he was going to do to try and get better. Renee, of course, wanted to know what she could do to help. Bob told her that it was going to be a marathon, so perhaps she could provide water. So she got a water bottle with Penn State on it and once she explained what it was for, I asked if I could help by taking some pictures with it. I carried it around with me since that day, and have taken pictures of it all around campus, central PA, and even places where I've traveled while on business and pleasure. My family was quite helpful at times, as have work colleagues been. Everyone came to know what the bottle was for. In fact, I got asked twice the last two days why I was so down and in both cases all I had to say was that my water bottle friend passed away. They knew immediately that it was a big deal to me.
And, here are some of the "Bob-isms"
"Dunno, let's discuss."
"mmmore or less"
"rub shoulders with"
This gem is from Jeff Hodges with some detective work by Terry Gray to find the web page referenced in the following email
Subject: Re: speaking of pix..
From: "RL 'Bob' Morgan" <email@example.com>
Date: Tue, 3 Aug 1999 22:27:08 +0000 ( )
Hmm, so was it you who sent this URL to my boss's boss via anonymous remailer?
- RL "Bob"
What others are saying:
From Nathan Dors, University of Washington and Bob's manager (morning, July 16, 2012):
Subject: RL "Bob" Morgan
[Sent to all of UW-IT]
It is with deep sadness that I share the news that RL "Bob" Morgan passed away last Thursday, July 12, at the UW Medical Center.
RL Bob was receiving treatment related to myelodysplastic syndrome, a form of cancer for which he received a stem cell transplant in June.
Although his title was that of our identity architect, many of us revered him and labeled him "spiritual adviser". He brought wisdom, humor, and clearheadedness to the complex problems presented by online identity, and to the challenges of getting key people in higher education and industry to agree on the mechanics needed to enable it, so that ultimately everyone would trust it. His contributions here were immeasurable, involving the foundations of identity federation, as well as major projects like InCommon, Shibboleth, SAML, and much, much more.
In April, he was honored with the Internet2 President's Leadership Award in recognition of his vision and ability to lead, mentor, and collaborate with others, which he continued to do via email and on conference calls right up to his recent admittance to the hospital.
RL Bob leaves us a rich legacy of ideas and examples to work on and live by. Among the latter: generosity, reciprocity, mumbleocity, and simply knowing when to close the laptop and go enjoy what one loves most: family, friends, baking, soccer, reading, dry wit, and a myriad of other things in his case. For me and many others, he exemplified human flourishing; he will be missed. Immensely.
Now our thoughts, hearts, and sympathies turn to RL Bob's family: his wife Eve and daughters Annika and Julia. They are planning a memorial event for the weekend of July 28, and suggesting that remembrances be made to a college fund for the girls or to Mercy Corps. As soon as details are known, I will share those with the UW-IT community.
Shel Waggener, Sr. VP of Internet2 NET+ Services, spoke about Bob at the Joint Techs workshop at Stanford University on July 16, 2012. Skip to time index 6:45 in the video to see Shel's remarks.
Eve Maler, long time Identity expert, has a nice story involving Bob and his role in the identity realm from 2007.
Kantara Initiative Salute, by Joni Brennan
Jeff Hodges - long time friend and more from Jeff about Bob's Stanford University work.
Twitter Feed it would appear twitter has lost the older tweets of others talking about Bob ever since a twitter failure
the Shibboleth Consortium has a piece remembering Bob
REFEDS (Research & Education Federations) have remembered Bob
A Memorial (archived) was held Sunday, July 29, 2012, 11am Pacific Time
at the Walker-Ames Room (Kane 225) on University of Washington Campus.
A pot-luck open house was held at the Morgan family home following the memorial.
Friends and colleagues @ IETF 84 in Vancouver, BC gathered in Hyatt Regency F
What Terry Gray shared with us at the memorial
Translate please? For the bereaved family?
Keith Hazelton (wisc.edu)
Inspired by the google translation from the Swedish, with help from Leif and with apologies to Per Lagerkvist
At some point you will be one of them,
Those who lived long ago.
The Earth will remember you
As it remembers the grass, the forests,
The decaying leaf,
As the winds are remembered in the soil.
Your peace will be limitless
As the sea.
I regret that I only recently started to get to know you.
You have been a light for me, showing the way with your wisdom, humor and the care that you put into everything you did.
I will miss you greatly.
Keith Hazelton (wisc.edu)
RL'Bob's passing leaves us inconsolable. My compassion for those closer to him than I was. I can hardly imagine what that feels like. Nathan Dors mentioned visinting the family around the backyard fire pit in Seattle. That brought back dear memories. How I wish we were all able to gather there one more time with him.
Et lux perpetua luceat eis.
Such an amazing guy,
with such an amazing career.
Thank you for having led us in your steps.
Your wisdom is here to stay.
RLBob's contributions were immeasurable, and yet somehow exceeded by his warmth, grace, and humanity. His loss is incalculable, but the effects he had on all around him will live on... We were truly blessed to have him in our midst, and for that I am very grateful .
RLBob welcomed me to the community when I was still trying to figure out how the heck higher ed worked. Turns out it works because of people like Bob. Passion, commitment, generosity of spirt and vision, and always at the core someone you were proud to know. Bob was always a welcome addition to any conversation and his sense of humor kept me laughing through tough times on more than one occasion. I will miss you in those discussions very much.
I'm touched by the words in Bob's final blog post: "I'm still alive."
That will continue to be true in many ways for a long time.
Scott Cantor (osu.edu)
RLBob was my first exposure to this MACE and Shibboleth stuff. I don't think he knew what to make of me, but his willingness to firmly guide me in the early days while still letting me run wild on the project was probably the most important professional experience I'll ever have.
I'm proud that I got to share in the work you did and that what we all built is being used right here to record these remembrances. I'll miss you.
When stuck for something to say, I always turn to this Northwest poet.
Bob - you will be a cool memory for me in every sense of the word.
Got up on a cool morning. Leaned out a window.
No cloud, no wind. Air that flowers held
for awhile. Some dove somewhere.
Been on probation most of my life. And
the rest of my life been condemned. So these moments
count for a lot--peace, you know.
Let the bucket of memory down into the well,
bring it up. Cool, cool minutes. No one
stirring, no plans. Just being there.
This is what the whole thing is about.
- William Stafford
I was so positive when I saw Bob last time at the IETF meeting where the picture above was made.Thanks for your contributions to the community.
We will miss you, Bob!
Rest in peace my friend, rest in peace! My prayers follow you and your family.
I met Bob for the first time 8 years ago when I was a fairly clueless young girl floundering in a man's environment. Bob was gracious enough to listen to me then, and was gracious enough to keep listening to me over the years. I'm very glad that I got to work more closely with Bob on the Shibboleth Consortium over the last 2 years. I think the last thing Bob asked me was 'when's the next call?', despite already preparing for his treatment - a dedication and enthusiasm I will remember.
Once upon a time, University of Washington Computing & Communications had the best networking and distributed systems crew in the country - the most capable, the most visionary, the most gracious and humane. RLBob personified all of that.
- Ed Lazowska
Very sad news. Will always remember Bob for his warmth, kindness, wit, and great intellect. Sincere condolences to his family and friends, and not least to the MACE group who I know are heart-broken this day.
curious, patient, engaging, inventive, humorous, eloquent, gracious
A very sad day... Booker C. Bense
When I noticed a message in my inbox today with the subject line of "sad news" I feared what I expected to be the unfortunate announcement that Bob had lost his battle with cancer. I thought it ironic since Bob charged up the hill in so many other battles where many of us followed his lead. His vision and leadership were ever-apparent. Bob had a profound influence in our higher education community and his loss will be felt by all of us. However, he leaves us with an enormous legacy and his life should serve as an inspiration to us all.
John Krienke (internet2.edu)
Without words right now, but full of gratitude for Bob. In his own often heard words, "Well, dunno. Let's discuss."
A few of the last-items-on-the-agenda from Bob over the years:
* your penalty kick here
* your inappropriate IMs here
* your bizarre confession here
* your biggest losing item here
* your trade-deadline megadeal here
And most appropriately as a last item on the agenda:
Thank you, Bob, for convening and leading and inviting us all on the journey together.
Dear Bob, thanks for everything you learned me and the fun time in MACE.
RLBob's in The Cloud, figuring out how to make it work better for everyone else, as he always did. He will be sorely missed.
some further thoughts: http://identitymeme.org/archives/2012/07/13/rlbob-migrates-to-the-cloud/
Got to agree with you Jeff about RLBob being in the cloud. I find it fascinating that this memorial requires me to sign in. I don't think I will, my identity is intact.
I will add a knot on my string tonight.
Keeper of the Quipu.
Chris Bongaarts (umn.edu)
I'll never forgot walking across the Stanford campus, getting to know each other a bit better personally.
And I'll always be grateful for the ideas that you and my late mentor, Frank Grewe, shared that I was able to build.
You'll be missed.
I don't really know what to say. I will miss Bob's humor, guidance and wisdom, and I am honored to have known such a great guy, he has changed my life.
I am sad to learn about RLBob's passing away. Rest in peace my friend. You will be dearly missed.
Oh man. How utterly sad. I was looking forward to visiting with Bob when we're out in Seattle at the end of this month. He was a huge presence in so many ways, to very many people. He will be missed. I miss him already. Fucking cancer.
I cannot say it better, Oren. I have been away from the UW for more than six years now and Bob is one of those voices that still follows me with the occasional advice. I especially agree: Fucking cancer!
Look me up if you have time when you come to town if you can... Debra knows where I am.
One day you fly away, I can still see you in the air,
One day you fly away, higher and higher you go.
One day you fly away, above the clouds and beyond.
One day you fly away, you are gone to the stars.
The day has come.
Rest in peace RL Bob. We will miss you.
Rest in peace Bob. You will be missed.
Sorry to hear this. I first met Bob in the '90's at Stanford, when we were trying to
make sense of DCE & DFS building on AFS. We crossed paths many many times
over the years, in LDAP work, in identity, and related topics. Got many good ideas
and inspiration from him (I hope I helped him too, but don't know). My best wishes
to his many colleagues and his family.
Michael Helm ESnet/LBNL
I agree with Keith - "inconsolable"... Of course Bob was a teacher and leader for me professionally, but he is one I would also happily call a friend. I will miss him dearly. RIPRLB
So sorry to hear about your passing away. May God Bless You and thanks for all you have done for the community during your too-short-a lifetime.
Others will speak to Bob's amazing and lasting middleware contributions. As his part-time officemate for a few years at the University of Washington, the things that I will remember the most are his wickedly dry sense of humor and his quiet kindness
A few months ago I was able to shoot a photo of Bob with his two most recent 'managers' (Terry Gray from the UW and Ken Klingenstein from Internet2). In Bob's memory, I'll offer a link to that image:
-Steve Corbato, University of Utah (and ex-UW and ex-Internet2)
I came to know Bob very recently but was struck by his passion and eagerness to share his knowledge and expertise. It was only after many occasions to discuss his work, that made oblique mention to his health situation and only well thereafter did I learn the exact circumstances. Clearly, Bob was a giant in his field and I only wish we had met earlier.
All the best to his friends and family during this time.
Office of HIV/AIDS Network Coordination (HANC)
I can't even remember when I first met RLBob. But I can remember many conversations with him, chats over meals in this place and that. One lunch at a Vancouver IETF a bunch of years ago stays in my mind -- insights and Vietnamese cuisine.
I can't even tell anyone how sad I am to hear this latest news.
-- Barry Leiba
I remember having a drink with Bob at an I2 meeting. He said "no matter what happens next, it's been a hell of a ride!". God speed Bob.
Bob had a way like no one else I know. He understood things. He saw a way through problems. He accepted that things take time. And that on the network you always have to do the right thing or it will come back to haunt you.
If there is one guy on this Earth that this shouldn't have happened to, it was Bob. So what gives? I think Bob would say it's the way the bits stacked up. But that doesn't mean I accept it. Bob deserved having a lot more bits stacked in his favor.
The worst part about it is that Bob was right here in Seattle and yet I only saw him a few times here in my hometown. I saw him much more in conferences on the road.
Bob, I'm going to work even harder at getting it right because of you. And I will always remember your quarter smile. It always made me smile just to see you. I hope the good Lord does the same.
The world is now a darker and colder place. No one inspired me more. No one was dealt the truth with more gentleness.
Jim Fox (washington.edu)
Here's hoping there is a convection oven somewhere in RLBob's cloud.
It is through his influence that I bake bread many nights a week.
He is present in every loaf.
Only a few months ago I enjoyed RLBob's company at an inspiring IIW session he chaired. Sad to hear such a warm and intelligent person has passed away. I wish I'd had more time to really get to know him, especially now I know we are fellow home-baked-bread fans.
Roland van Rijswijk, SURFnet
I'm writing on this page properly identified thanks to technology RL "Bob" helped build, and he not being on board any more makes me think that this is a sign of a maturing community: we are loosing our elders, although he was not old enough to leave, maybe they needed a good IT architect up there.
I'd like to add an example of that excellent positive attitude and sense of humour this great man had. This is our last e-mail exchange, my original message included a picture of a dessert, and this is his reply with my message quoted (BTW I was really touched being mentioned in that post)
From now on, I will most probably remember RL "Bob" every time I'm enjoying a good meal (and in many other tech related occasions, ...)
I'm remembering Bob giving a patient smile and saying something like 'Well that is certainly one consideration ....' upon hearing some manifestly irrelevant statement in a discussion.
I know I personally saw a few such smiles directed at me. They were balanced by the occasional head nod that told me I might have said something halfway useful.
I hope RL Bob would excuse the corniness of me saying his Level of Affect was off the charts and, without precedent for the other LOA, a global standard.
p.s. Some of Bob's friends will be meeting at an identity conference next week. We'll tell some stories.
Remembering Bob's kindness, candor, humor and his love of his family.
- Emily Eisbruch
Even though I unfortunately cannot say I have worked closely with Bob, I have had the privilege of meeting him many times.
Each time, with no exception, brought with it some sort of HEUREKA experience, always well explained and most often also wraped in his great sense of humor.
Hard questions were dissected with his clear sight of the scientist, the softer ones were dealt with, with the feelings and insight of the inner working of things, also needed to bake a good loaf of bread.
Bob left traces and influenced the way we think today, in my opinion the best we can hope to do.
The best of wishes to your family, courage to all you many colleagues.
David Simonsen (WAYF.dk)
My last personal conversation with Bob was the morning after the Spring I2 celebration of his accomplishments by/with his friends, colleagues and family. He said he was exhausted from outpouring of attention and gratitude. Yet at the same time, he was content, quietly pleased, dare I say at peace with all that had occurred.
I tend to slip out the door at the end of those types of events but that day I made it a point to turn back around and say goodbye and wish him well.
He will be sorely missed
Our paths did not cross all that often (my loss). Over the twelve or so years I have known him, he has been a source of inspiration for me. I was touched by his warmth, challenged to be a better thinker, and left astounded by any number of multi-dimensional plays on language.
I wish courage and peace to his family and friends.
Bob was a very special and unique person but he always behaved like a normal one.
I knew that when he said "well.." I needed to pay attention as he was going to say something important.
I will always remember his modesty, his talent and his witness.
I feel honoured for having met him and enjoyed his company.
I've been struggling to figure out how to say what I think RL 'Bob' did, and I can't get it quite right, but the closest I can come is to say that he was like the Carl Sagan of electronic identity - a teacher in a field with not enough truly gifted teachers. He was a genius who didn't act like one. We stand on the shoulders of all that came before us, and he lifted us to new heights. Thanks for the mental piggyback ride - I'm going to go do some brain squats so I can hope to contribute in some small way to keeping this awesomeness going.
As Chair of the InCommon Technical Advisory Committee, Bob’s presence and stature was (and will continue to be) enormous, profound, and exacting. A difficult technical or policy issue was mere putty in his hands. I don’t know of anyone who can quietly weigh in on a sticky issue with such finality and conviction.
Bob seemed to enjoy statistics and the insight that numbers tend to bring (to those so inclined), so this humble author dedicates to Bob’s memory all future such reports, in hopes that each one meets with his approval.
James Basney (illinois.edu)
I will miss Bob. It was a privilege and pleasure for me to work with him and learn from him.
Bob was not only just a great colleague, but a huge asset to our community. I always found him to be completely receptive to my questions regardless of how naive they might have been. I think the only way to honor him is to keep going down the trail he helped blaze.
Joseph St Sauver
It was always nice to have another Pacific Northwesterner on the conference calls, and to hear Bob's calm, insightful remarks when things threatened to go astray. It won't be the same without you, Bob, and I find myself missing you already, although I know you're at peace and still keeping an eye on us all from a far better place...
We've all been so very lucky to have you as a friend and part of our lives.
Joe St Sauver
I've been out of the business for five years so haven't seen Bob for a while. He was an immensely strong presence in the inter-connected collection of very smart university IT people I was lucky to be involved with via CSG. I remember his knack of stepping in quietly and saying just the right thing, suddenly obvious to us all, at the apex of an argument. A lovely man ..
Gavin Eadie, Ann Arbor, MI
Tom Barton (uchicago.edu)
Like so many others, Bob made a huge impression on me. Sighted far over the horizon, unperturbably persistent, deeply committed, aware of so much, connecting so many. Well-known for the way he'd bring others to see the essence of a thing with precise but plain prose or speech, a glimpse into an amazing mind. But much more I will miss, and will keep trying to become, the kind of friend and colleague he was to me. Always calm, humor at the ready, open, respectful, thoughtful and caring. An amazing soul.
I will really miss Bob, one of the nicest of the "gurus" I've ever known. I'd see him at various meetings talking with others and always learned a lot just standing next to the conversation. I'll always remember Bob many years ago at the Dartmouth CSG meeting when he asked me for directions to the King Arthur baking store/school across the river in Vermont and we had a fascinating extended conversation about flour, in which, I learned a lot! I think he'll be doing some baking in the cloud as well, where everything probably rises better.
-- Larry Levine, Colorado
Bob was a good guy to have on your team- he was smart and knowledgeable, and he was committed to bringing people on the team as far up to his level as possible. And he was a joy to be around- snarky without ever being mean. We didn't have him as long as we might have, but we got more than we gave while we did.
Above all, I'll always remember Bob as a wise man. I always had the opportunity to learn from him. Not only in what relates to identity, Internet services, or whatever other technicalities. I enjoyed our conversations on whatever the matter (from philosophy or literature to soccer or cooking) and appreciated his extraordinary writing: he managed to make any discussion in e-mail a pleasure to follow, no matter how abstruse the matter was. And I learnt to value his final items for the MACE agendas as rare gems of lucid humor.
Digital identity loses one of her strongest champions, and we all who have the pleasure of sharing some time with him lose a great colleague and friend.
Be up there as goode as you've been to us here,
As you know my brother, Bob, died Thursday morning after a long struggle with cancer. He went out swinging at the bastard disease. He had a stem cell transplant (cells provided by yours truly) on June 21st. Had it been successful he probably would have lived well for many years. The cells actually implanted, but the process took too long and his body, weakened by a previous transplant and years of chemo, could not stand the prolonged exposure to the powerful immunosuppressant drugs and lack of an immune system.
In the end, it was the treatment, not the disease, that killed him. Paradoxically his great love of life gave him the strength to attempt the stem cell transplant which ultimately took his life. He could have settled for a slow decline and may have lasted for months with steadily diminishing capacities. Instead he went for it with the determination (and sense of humor) that marked all of his efforts. He just couldn't beat the odds this time.
We have found the heartfelt tributes to Bob from his colleagues and friends to truly be consoling. Thanks to all of you who have contributed your warm remembrances of RL 'Bob' Morgan.
Deep condolences to you and all of Bob's family. Thanks for sharing your thoughts here with us. I'm so very sorry he's no longer amongst us.
Thank you, my dear friend, for the times of my life.
I have no words, and so lean on the words of others.
A Meeting by Wendell Berry
In a dream I meet
my dead friend. He has,
I know, gone long and far,
and yet he is the same
for the dead are changeless.
They grow no older.
It is I who have changed,
grown strange to what I was.
Yet I, the changed one,
ask: "How you been?"
He grins and looks at me.
"I been eating peaches
off some mighty fine trees."
Enjoy the peaches, Bob.
KEVIN M MOROONEY
Some of you have heard parts of this before but even so, I’d like to repeat it - and add a little something to it.
In June of 2010, an InCommon CAMP was being held. Many months earlier, I was approached (somewhat sheepishly) by Ann West to see if I might be willing to do a presentation. Renee Shuey had put her up to it because I had made it quite clear to Renee that me being anywhere other than in front of a TV during the World Cup round play (the US was in this World Cup) was pretty unlikely. As only Ann can do, she twisted my arm and made me feel guilty and I agreed to present - provided that my presentation times did NOT COINCIDE WITH ANY U.S. MATCHES. I was assured. I relented. In the last couple of weeks leading up to the CAMP, I shared with Ann and Renee the U.S.’ match schedule to help them keep their end of the bargain. You know how last minute all of this stuff is - I was confident that with this much lead time, my soccer viewing was in the bag.
At registration, I was told the bad news. My “big” presentation had to be moved, and it was in one of my “don’t touch” slots. I tried to muster all of the calcium and B-12 I could to move the right muscles on my face, but there was no way I could conceal my devastation. It might have been the first time in our relationship that *I* made *Ann* feel guilty. The next morning, Ann approached me and said they were able to work everything out and that I could have my open slot back. By that time I had resigned myself to missing the US vs. Algeria match and I was OK with it. The back and forth ensued:
Kevin: “Really? Things changed?”
Ann: “Yup, it was easy.”
Kevin: “But I don’t understand - I thought the program was final. I’m OK with it.”
Ann: “It was final, but we worked it out. We moved your slot.”
Kevin: “That’s really odd - what’s behind all this?”
Ann: “Well, I called Bob. When this came up I told him what was going on he got animated and said it would be cruel and unusual to take you away from that game, and that we had to change things around. So we did.”
Ann had to talk to Bob on the phone because he was far away in a - uh - body recalibration moment. So, thanks to Bob, I presented in the morning - swapping places with Ken K. (thanks Ken!).
As soon as the presentation was over (I did have to miss the first minutes) I got down off the stage, and took a seat in the back of the room. I established a VPN back to Penn State in such a way that I looked like I was coming from a PSU IP address, and then I could stream the match to my laptop for free over ESPN3. I “listened” to Ken’s talk with headphones on, listening to Ian Darke and John Harkes’ call of the match. Early in the second half I let out a yelp regarding what looked like a US goal, but it wasn’t to be because of an offsides call. Ken called out and asked if I was OK like the true friend and cool cucumber he is - and at that moment I got some attention from our not U.S. friends in attendance, some of who got closer to my seat to take in the last minutes of the match.
At this point, I need to pause - and you need to pause - to understand what happens next. Go to youtube and search for Landon Donovan Algeria and pick one. If you don’t want to do that, go to this link and read the short text and watch the short video. I mean it - watch it. The punchline isn’t the same unless you really, really understand what was about to happen next.
As you know now, Donovan scored in extra time in a most dramatic fashion. With that goal, the U.S. went from not moving on to the round of 16, to winning their group (in which England also sat) and moving on. This would be big for any nation, but for the always-catching-up-in-football U.S., this was huge. Many call this goal the first or second most important goal in U.S. men’s soccer history.
When the goal went in, I jumped from my chair (it was driven into the floor with a SLAM!), threw my hands in the air and screamed (yes screamed - right in the middle of Ken’s talk), “YESSSSSS!!!!!” It was one of maybe two times in my life that I was so happy, so euphoric that I forgot all that was going on around me and reacted in the purest way I could. I was ecstatic, moved, thrilled, happy and there was nothing distracting me. It only lasted a few seconds, but it was real, and it was complete.
It is beyond perfect that Bob and Ken teamed up to create such an opportunity - isn’t it?
1. Bob gave me that moment. He didn’t only understand what we all do together better than the rest of us, he understood people and life. And he understood football. Have you ever given someone the gift of pure joy, pure euphoria - heck - purity itself? Bob did. He gave that to me, and I know he gave it to others, in other dimensions.
2. Bob was what I want to be. After meeting him, I gave up on that picture of myself. I wanted to be balanced, to dive into things outside of work with lots of passion to round me out. I love music. I love football. I love my family. I love thinking. I love creating. Bob could do all of those things better and in case you hadn’t noticed, he could do the work thing better too. While I couldn’t be the best, I did have an exemplar and a role model to show me how trying to do all of those things makes the world better.
If that doesn’t make sense - think about the poor bastards who were decent at basketball when Michael Jordan was playing.
3. I have spent over 20 years coaching young women in football, and following women’s football collegiately and internationally. Whenever we’d see one another, Bob would always know more about women’s soccer than I did. WTF.
4. Bob let me be me and yet still made me feel included where the cool kids were/are.
At the last Internet2 spring meeting, there was still lots of important European soccer going on. On the last day of the meeting, Renee and I were sitting in the hallway of the second floor of the Crystal City Marriott, me on the phone on a conference call and Renee doing email waiting for me to be done so we could drive back to State College. Bob walked out of his last session to head for the airport and I jumped up to say goodbye and wish him well. I mentioned how great Man City was doing and how poorly my club (Liverpool) was doing recently and that I didn’t think they had much of a chance. I shook his hand, patted him on the shoulder as he restarted his walk towards the escalators and he said what any Liverpool fan would expect to hear, “You’ll never walk alone.” Spoken over his right shoulder, with a smile.
Bob isn’t walking alone. We aren’t walking alone. We’re together, bound by the goodness of RL Bob Morgan.
When you walk through a storm
Hold your head up high
And don't be afraid of the dark
At the end of the storm
There's a golden star (sky)
And the sweet silver song of a lark
Through the rain...
Through the rain
Walk through the wind
And your dreams be tossed and blown...
Walk on... (walk on)
Walk on... (walk on)
With hope (with hope)
In your heart...
And you'll never walk alone
You'll never walk alone.
Walk on... (walk on)
Walk on... (walk on)
With hope (with hope)
In your heart...
And you'll never walk alone
You'll never walk alone.
You'll never walk alone...
Walk on... (walk on)
Walk on... (walk on)
With hope (with hope)
In your heart...
And you'll never walk alone
You'll never walk alone.
You'll never walk...
You'll never walk alone..
Kevin, you completely nailed the essence of Bob. +1,000,000
Those who have worked with Bob know the enormity of his contributions, that he is irreplaceable, and that his expertise just happens to be in the field upon which the future of IT rests.
As others have said, Bob is proof that one person can make a difference. I would say that he is living proof of that. A gentle soul who lives on in this sphere, not only through his work, but everyone he touched: family, friends, and colleagues. It has been my honor to know him and be touched by him.
University of Washington
EDIT: For some additional thoughts, see: http://www.terrygray.org/tributes/rlbob
I have been reading "Wind, Sand and Stars" by Antoine de Saint Exupery at night before bed. The day that it turns out Bob died, that night, I read this, and I marked the page. It felt important, and now I know why.
i am so very sad. i really thought he would beat it.
i have had the extreme privilege of working with Bob over the last 13 years or so on this middleware/architecture/identity journey with a number of other folks with whom i am so honored to be among. But Bob clearly stands out. His intelligence is awesome. He commanded respect by being himself. He had his own way about him and his convictions of how the world should be and the presence of mind and word to help me and others see it and then the prowess to make it happen. Never overbearing. Never raising his voice - other than to present clearly. Never, ever, discounting the idea of another. Always thinking. Always wanting to do the right thing. Not about fame or fortune. Like i said, he commanded respect. This is true leadership, not from rank or royalty, but from deed, goodness and grace.
At the May 2006 meeting of the Common Solutions Group in Madison, WI there was the thursday evening dinner. I don't recall what the item was we were arguing about earlier in the day. Big surprise, i didn't agree with everything Bob said. I know it started in the meeting and then we continued the discussion for a few minutes during one of the breaks. At the dinner, prior to sitting down to eat, the "usual suspects" were chatting it up as we tended to do and i was doing my part at the ill-timed, sometimes inappropriate but usually funny, humor. I had Bob in tears! always fun to do. Again, i have no recall of the details of the day save one. I sat down at a table for dinner and from behind he comes up, bends down to wrap his arm around my neck, holds me still and whispers in my ear, "i want you to know how much i love you. you're a pain in the ass. but i know your heart and i know you only want good things to happen. you don't fool me." He released me and kissed me on the top of my sweaty head and said "Eeeew! why the hell did i do THAT?" and went away. i hope this helps some understand why i have done certain things.
Others have said it before, i have too… RL "Bob" Morgan is living and enduring proof that one person can and does make a difference. One person changes the world. You do it by having knowledge, sharing and expressing that knowledge so others may appreciate the ideas, and to participate in the execution of the work to achieve the ideas. Those are Bob's actions. The identity realm is about attributes and other stuff. It's Bob's human attributes that have had the greatest impact on me. I'm not gonna say goodbye to him. I will do my level best to incorporate him into my everyday being and my work as I have been trying to do for many years now.
I promise to keep Bob alive in me.
To the community of people who knew him, be like RL "Bob" Morgan. In so many ways we are already. Now that's a legacy.
My condolences to Bob's family. As is clear from the previous comments, he was a giant whose presence will be sorely missed. We are diminished by his loss, but inspired to carry on the work. He would have it no other way.
Truly a great man. I felt so privileged when I had the chance to sit next to him and absorb his knowledge and wisdom osmotically. He was a great person that everyone should strive to be.... Principled, unselfish, always wanted to do the right thing... And he was the master of metaphor. I will miss him.
R.I.P. RL Bob
Keith Hazelton (wisc.edu)
I am moved and inspired by all the eloquent, insightful remembrances of RL "Bob" and his contributions, and their impacts on folks' lives and work. He certainly set a high bar for us, and did it in a low-key, often humorous fashion.
I suppose the best we can do now is strive to follow suit -- as many have noted.
Yeah, he's a tough act to follow, but what the heck, it's worth a shot. Though, hm, boning up on soccer, buying pallet-loads of Hawaiian shirts, acquiring a stable of folding bikes, and learning to bake par-excellence won't even getcha to first base.... Ah well, so it goes, I hear tell it's the journey that counts...and when it includes such a fine cast of folks as you all and RLBob's spirit, that's Pretty Darn Cool.
Many thanks to Michael Gettes and everyone involved in Bob's Internet2 President's Award and the dinner earlier this year. It was wonderful to meet folks of his Internet2 / InCommon / MACE cohort and share time and stories together, in company with Bob and his family. Also, I am so pleased that Eve and Julia accompanied Bob to the Paris IETF-83, where we were able to share some fine meals and time together. Such opportunities are far too rare in our geographically dispersed offline meatspace world, and are to be treasured.
We will miss a very friendly man and expert who has done a lot for the identity management community.
So sad the hear of the passing of RL"Bob" :-(
He was a real gentleman, enormously knowledgeable, and a man of conviction. A huge contribution over the years to Identity Federations...
He will be really missed...
Alex Reid, AARNet & AAF.
John Krienke (internet2.edu)
Homemade sourdough -- Bread and butter here in Ann Arbor, come on by. I'm thinkin' Bob would have us keep baking with the yeast we have. Wild yeast from all over combines to make great bread.
I have no eloquent words. The pain of losing you is more than I could ever have imagined and the world was better with you here. Miss you and love you my colleague, my co-chair, my mentor, my friend.
Warren Curry (ufl.edu)
I knew him from the biginning of MACE efforts and actually met him years earlier through my former Leader at UF at a CAUSE meeting in the early 90's. He advised us and so many others. We had many discussions. Agreed, Disagreed, and agredd to Disagree.... I always learned something from engaging Bob. I am better as we all are for knowing him. He will continue to be present through all of us who will carry on the work and vision that he imparted and often forced us to see.
This brings to mind that date July 12, 2012 has no significance really. Rather it is the DASH between his birth and departure from us all that leaves us all better people.
RLBob had a tremendous and substantially impacting DASH. His impact and legacy will be alive for a very long time. We will surely miss you, your wit, your teaching, your patience and your imeasurable conribution to us all in this community.
Peace Be With You!!!
It was an honor and a privilege to know Bob - he was always at the top of my list of people to talk with and learn from. Bob combined technical chops, a broad perspective on what problems we should be trying to solve, a unique style, and a perfect sense of humor in ways that made the whole community better. Working with Bob was interesting and fun - it's hard to ask for much more than that.
I was brought up to believe that the passing of a person was not something to be mourned but instead that their life and continuing journey should be celebrated. Bob and I didn't always see eye to eye but having worked with him for over 10 years I can honestly say that I respected him and that there are many traits of his that I wish I could emulate. While his journey continues, my thoughts are with his family in this difficult time.
This is a tremendous loss for so many people who have come into contact with Bob (“RL”) and learned to cherish the connection. My heartfelt sympathy to his family, and friends and colleagues around the world. We are all the richer for having known him.
I only had the pleasure of knowing Bob for a relatively short time. However, I learned so much from him during that time, and I know he will have a lasting impact on my life and my career. I will miss his words, his wisdom, and his wit. You always knew when Bob was on a call, and you were always glad he was there.
– Eric Westfall
"Lord, St John says he's trying to login to the Seraphim wiki and he needs an account."
"Well, maybe he isn't providing the right credential. What is his persistent public identifier?"
"I'm not sure I understand what you mean, Lord. His name is John."
"Look Aquinas, RL Bob Morgan just arrived. Get him in here and he can explain it to you."
I met Bob only 12 years ago and the time was just too short. I will miss his wisdom, his humor, his insight, and his calm spirit. He was a remarkable man, an oasis in the desert, and it has been a great joy and true blessing to have known him. My prayers for his peace and his family.
Mark Scheible (mcnc.org)
I have spent a good portion of the morning reading comments and remembrances of RL "Bob" and getting to know him better through his friends (as well as chuckling at a few shared remembrances). I will miss him and have greatly appreciated the opportunity to be inspired by him and know him for the little time I did. I send my condolences to his family and his extended family of this community, especially those who had the privilege of knowing him for many years and feel his loss that much more.
I met Bob I recall in 1987 at an Apple conference in which Higher Ed was being seeded with Mac II prototypes to stimulate software development ("640x480x256 colors on a 68020 Mac. Cool!") At the time, I was testing and writing network product reviews for MacWeek of stuff like Centram's FlashTalk, which ran at 768 instead of 256 kbit/s, and Bob and I were exchanging analyses. So we met in person at Appletalk architect G Sidhu's seminar on the just-introduced Ethernet NuBus adapter cards, and I remember a particularly pithy comment by Bob to Sidhu: "One more byte, and Long DDP could have been IP". This perfectly summarized the waste that Apple's culture of always reinventing the wheel their own way caused, and needless to say it was not well received.
I'm extremely saddened by our tremendous loss. I will miss Bob's voice. I will miss knowing that I can ask Bob what he thinks about any number of topics. I will miss Bob's enthusiasm for life. I'm so privileged that I got to work with him and learn from him for so long. The UW benefited greatly by his contributions to both UW and the greater IT community. I benefited from knowing him, full stop. I will miss you Bob.
"For they marry and go, as the world rolls back.
They marry and vanish and die.
But their spirits shall live on the outside track,
As long as the years go by."
I certainly echo all the words of praise that others have written above. I can only add that Bob had a special ability to lend gravitas to any activity (which is why Higgs boson came to mind).
To me personally, Bob was the role model I wish I could emulate. A brilliant, insightful and thoughtful person who is also a 'people person' - egoless, respectful, generous, …
I quickly came to understand that he could listen patiently to my wild ideas and distill from them whatever was actually important, if anything. He was a touchstone for me; an anchor in a churning sea of ideas and possibilities. And a great person.
I will be forever grateful to have been his friend.
I'll miss bumping into you periodically in the U District (mostly at Trabant in the last year or two), and talking about our soccer playing daughters, our (formerly) soccer-coaching wives, and life as Seattle middle school/high school families.
We always covered a a variety of UW computer related gossip, also. The last project we did together was many years ago (shib for Fred Hutch Cancer Research Center), but there was always something interesting to speculate on, and it was good to hear Bob's thoughts on mod_auth_any - which we built as part of gossamer, and which he gave Kim Goldov the chance to present in some I2 meeting.
Now, it seems like we should have talked about more important things.
My condolences to all of us, but especially to Bob's family.
I remember attending a technical brown bag session at work early in my career. It was a well attended session and an interesting set of topics, which I have long since forgotten. However, what stuck out most in my mind was a new person who I had never met. He sat sort of near the back of the room typing away on an IBM Thinkpad laptop with a ricochet modem attached. Two things stood out about him:
After the meeting I asked one of my coworkers who that person was and they told me that he was our new architect RL "Bob" Morgan.
It was not until sometime later that I had the pleasure of working with RL "Bob" Morgan and realized that while my first impression of him was positive and impactful I had severely underestimated what a great man he was. Over the years I had the pleasure of witnessing:
"Father RL "Bob"" - Experiencing his dedication to Eve, Annika, and Julia as he would talk passionately about what was going on in each of their lives whether it was successes, struggles or just day to day business. Rarely did I ever have a lunch time conversation with RL "Bob" where he did not bring up his family.
"Geek RL "Bob"" - RL "Bob" had the ability to choose a passion and follow it to great lengths. From learning where to get a specific type of flour to make the best of a certain type of bread to an in-depth knowledge and experience with folding bikes. When RL "Bob" chose a hobby he pursued it with unprecedented passion and intensity.
"Mentor RL "Bob"" - I personally owe RL "Bob" a huge gratitude for his amazing support and mentorship over my professional career. His ability to be inclussive, supportive, patient, and unbiased was both amazing and also somewhat intimidating. Some of my best work experiences have been working through challenging issues with RL "Bob". Some of my most personally celebrated successes have been gaining RL "Bob" approval after walking through thought processes and decisions made post action during times he was unavailable to weigh in. One of the worst punishments I have experienced in my professional career was RL "Bob"'s subtle disappointment and disapproval when I failed to think through a challenging set of issues thoroughly enough before taking action.
"Architect RL "Bob"" - So many crucial decisions at the UW and in the Higher Education community have the "touch" of RL "Bob". His subtle but extremely powerful influence and willingness to do so with little or no credit are a testiment to his character and his genuinely good motivations. Many times at the UW he has been the sole person with enough influence and cred to take what would have been a train wreck and influence a new positive course that results in success for all involved.
"Friend RL "Bob"" - Perhaps selfishly... and above all else... I will miss most having my friend RL "Bob", his support, and his wisdom. I will miss eating with RL "Bob" and Anne Hopkins at "Than Vi", RL faithfully ordering a number 27 from "Reese". I will miss sharing life challenges and always receiving helpful thoughtful feedback. I will miss his conflict free approach and his passion towards doing things right.
It's very hard to imagine moving forward without the (in)direct influence of RL "Bob". The only consolation I have is when I look around and see all the people he positively influenced while he was here. He has made a significant lasting and positive impression on this earth.
Miki and I were stunned to hear of Bob's passing. Our heart felt sorrow and
sympathy to the family and friends of our dear colleague. Bob contributed much to all of us and I will
miss his quirky, thoughtful, succinct and perfectly timed retorts. I can only hope that the things I have
learned from Bob over the years will one day make him proud. I consider it a great honor to have been able to
work with and around Bob. I fear the void he has left will never be filled but we will always have the memories
he provide. I recall one of the first times I hear Bob speak was at the PKI Summit in Snowmass when Bob
turned the floor over to Ken. As he did so, Ken gestured as Adam touching the hand of God in the creation
scene of St. Peters. He never failed to deliver for us.
Miki and Barry Ribbeck
I have felt so sad over the last few days. RL Bob was such a force at CSG meeting, which is where I encountered him. When the techies sat together and he was there, I would try to sit with them. I understand maybe 40% of what they said, but I learned something each time. Bob was major part of that generous and open sharing. Bob is one of those people you can't imagine the world without. So, I choose to think he is still here in all of us and if we can try to engage with the world as he would have, we and the world will be better for it. I will miss his wry sense of humor and his ability to come up with the best and most apt comments at the right time.
I am very sad to hear about Bob's passing. My thoughts are with his family and closest freinds.
It must have the early 90s when Bob was still working at Stanford ... I remember Bob and I (both sans gray hair) sitting on a table in the back of a packed presentation room at Stanford watching some visiting colleagues talking about a network that would run between universities. Bob whispered to me through the meeting explaining about the idea for Internet2, what it would do, and why it was being proposed. That's brilliant, I told him, and indeed, Bob showed me his brilliance again and again through the years. In the nearly 20 years since that we worked together and crossed paths in various forums, he explained so many futuristic ideas (often more than once, with patience), and came up with so many solutions before I even knew problems existed. What a brilliant mind. What a difference his work has made to our collective success. What a terrific colleague. What a genuinely wonderful person.
Bob was a remarkable man: I’ve not met anyone else like him. His professional work output was astonishing, both in the breadth of material he mastered and in his ability to go from a macro focus to a micro focus in seconds. I’ve seen him spend 2 hours on an international conference call about some global IAM initiative (which he had probably started) and then go across the hall to attend a University of Washington project meeting dealing with the minutiae of UW data management practices, usually making the most telling contributions there.
I once asked him how come he didn’t burn out; he replied – with that twinkling smile that so many of us loved to see – “Oh, I burned out years ago!” If that’s true he was a scintillating cinder.
Bob was unfailingly gracious and almost always in good humor. As many others have said, he was kind and particularly generous with his time. I treasure the years I was privileged to work with him. I will miss him terribly. Waking up each day knowing that Bob is no longer with us is painful. I am glad that before he died I was able to give him his backyard, wood-fired oven, and that I got the chance to tell him then that I loved him.
I had the privilege of working with RL Bob on and off over the last decade, and was always struck by his keen intellect, his unassuming manner, and his ability to see through problems to solutions. He was a real mensch, and I will miss him.
--Bill Jordan, UW Libraries
Like many others, I first met Bob more than 20 years ago while he was at Stanford. Our paths diverged until recently. A lot can change over that length of time, but Bob's wit, humanity, and insight remained intact. It was a joy and privilege to be able to reunite, even if only briefly. I will miss him.
- Jon Saperia
I heard Bob had passed from my old boss at KU. I've been out of higher ed for awhile. Somehow you just assume that everyone is still there, until they aren't. This was awful news.
Bob was one of the first Internet2 people I met. I remember his unfailing good humor, and he was good company at a number of dining outings at conferences over the years. He always had good insights into work others were doing.
He will be missed.
I have struggled for days to come up with the right words, and I can't find them. I only met Bob three years ago, but in that short time I found in him a wealth of knowledge, wisdom, and humor, a kind and gentle soul that will be deeply missed.
We all benefited from Bob's labors, whether we knew it or not. And while I didn't work with him directly too many times... He touched even those of use who knew him only briefly with the efforts of his optimism blended with a keen insight and wisdom of bringing forth good in a real and imperfect world. You'll be missed, Bob. Rest in peace.
- Jason Alferness
It seems impossible that Bob is gone because it is so easy to call to mind his smile, voice, the intelligence in his face, and his soulfulness. As a co-worker I may have only spoken to him once or twice a month over the past seven years, but I always walked away feeling enlightened, enriched, or deeply amused. I miss him. Condolences to all who were fortunate to work with him and know him, and especially to his family and close friends for your great loss.
So sorry to hear this. Bob was someone you'd always cross the room to chat with at IETF meetings. There aren't too many people where that's the case all of the time, but Bob was one, and for lots of people I reckon. He'll be missed.
No man is an island, entire of itself; every man is a piece of the continent, a part of the main. If a clod be washed away by the sea, Europe is the less, as well as if a promontory were, as well as if a manor of thy friend's or of thine own were: any man's death diminishes me, because I am involved in mankind, and therefore never send to know for whom the bells tolls; it tolls for thee.
John Donne (1572-1631)
Devotions Upon Emergent Occasions, Meditation XVII
Bob, I will miss you. A lot.
Patrik Fältström - "paf"
A month or so ago, Bob had asked me to speak at an IAM Online event that was held today. I'm still in disbelief that he couldn't be there for it. In Bob's memory, host Tom Barton held a moment of silence, and in my presentation, I included the photo from this old blog entry, and related how Bob was willing to tackle all the implications of technology upheaval. He was one of a kind.
My thoughts go to the family left behind. Thank you for sharing Bob with us and letting him travel or get on phone calls at all hours.
The identity community is poorer now: Who will explain stuff now? Who will be gentle about explaining? How will we walk the road to shared understanding of difficult technical questions? Who will wear cool shirts? Who will pare away the chaff in our discussions?
Vi lyser fred over RL Bobs minne
(translation from Norwegian: may the light of peace shine upon his memory)
I will miss your wisdom and "adult supervision" in these many technical meetings (IETF, Oasis, etc).
Since I'm never good at dealing with departures, I'll borrow the words of one of the Haiku masters:
Thank you Bob for all your kind help.
Bob was one of the more reasonable and insightful technologists I have had the opportunity to spend time with. I will miss him. So will the internet.
-- Dick Hardt
I first met Bob over a decade ago. Though a trained computer scientist I was a newbie in the identity world and Bob was one of the first identity experts I encountered. He was welcoming and kind, while at the same time challenged me to explain what it was I wanted to achieve. Thereafter, I had the privilege of working closely with him on several projects. Later, when our paths diverged and we met only infrequently at professional events, I benefited from his enthusiasm and expertise, always expressed in his light and inclusive style.
Over the last two years I was aware of his illness and read his blog. I cannot even imagine the challenge and strain on Bob and his family. Yet just this past May, I was happy to see him at the IIW meeting, and we had a great conversation about his health and technology and many other things.
I am grateful for having met him and I am going to miss him.
- Prateek Mishra
Bob's Online Guest Book
Bob will always be remembered for all his help, kindness and the person to turn to when a difficult question was asked. He was one of the champions of H.350. May he rest in peace. He is, as well as his family are in my prayers.
Nadim Elias El-Khoury
I am still in shock even though I hadn't spoken to Bob in years. But I will never forget the passion that took to get the early Shib implementations going (how did I convince myself to write my own SAML client for WebCT (there's still scars... :))? Through Bob). The patience and "end-user" first mentality permeated everything he was involved in. I am both richer in the fact that I knew him and poorer for the fact we will never meet again.
I wrote a short non-fiction piece called "Bobs I Have Not Known" about two "Bob"s who have meant a lot to me. One of them is RL "Bob."
I will always remember our weekly get-togethers to hash out what we could do between the UW and UW Medicine. He was a visionary and I'll always wish that we could have accomplished more.
I loved talking with him about his overseas adventures and Internet2 issues. He really tried.
I'll miss Bob, what a good guy.
On Sunday, July 22, 2012 I stopped by State College, PA to visit Renee Shuey, Kevin Morooney, Mairead Martin, Max (the one and only Max), Michael Pelikan and Jim Leous. They all work at the always great Penn State University. We gathered at Renee's house for the express purpose of paying tribute to Bob. As Kevin noted while we raised our glasses, it takes a special individual to bring together people who work together on a sunday and pay tribute not only to all Bob has done but, more importantly, how he did it. Of course, I am paraphrasing what Kevin said but this is what I took away from it. The photo below of those of us attending was taken by Kevin's soon to be 8 year old daughter (65 days if I recall), Mackenzie. You will note Kevin is wearing the Liverpool jersey referenced in his story about "You'll Never Walk Alone".
Kevin and Renee are responsible for the travels of the Penn State Water Bottle (see photo); sitting on the porch of Renee's beautiful home and Renee's sweet dog Lilly is vying for attention. We all decided the bottle needs to continue its trek for a little while longer making its way to various meetings in the coming months where tributes to Bob will surely take place.
Renee and I also shared some very fine Tequila as we expressed our sadness and gratitude to Bob.
While I've moved on in my career, I've stalked the old mailing lists to keep up on what was going on in this space. I was surprised to hear about Bob's passing today when doing a pass over my lists.
Bob fostered a great sense of community -- I've missed the enlightened debates & camaraderie with those around him.
Shel Waggener, Sr. VP of Internet2 NET+ Services, spoke about Bob at the recent Joint Techs workshop at Stanford University on July 16, 2012. Skip to time index 6:45 in the video to see Shel's remarks.
We had our first InCommon TAC con call (every 2 weeks) today since Bob passed. No "hee-ello". There was forced good-spiritedness and banter as we gathered on the con call and then we began the call with a moment of silence. We got some work done. It's not the same. Even for me - looking for some item to probe at to see where Bob would take us. Can't do it any more. It was not as fun today. I still get to work with really smart people... I am honored to be among them. But it's just not the same as I grew to enjoy it over the last many years. I got spoiled with having Bob to poke and his poking back. Maybe this feeling will change over time. Maybe not.
Alan Crosswell (columbia.edu)
Always patient and willing to answer even the simplest questions. Totally approachable. Unusual in our field. Bob will be missed.
I only met Bob 3 or 4 years ago, as he offered his sage advice on our local SAML challenges.
My immediate impression (and I remember it was in a Kantara meeting in Las Vegas that I know Scott will remember) was...'what a great guy'.
But his reputation was global way before then - even way down under - so of course I knew of him, and admit to being a bit apprehensive as to how this first engagement might go.
I needn't have been. As Nicole relates above, he was very easy on the newbies - always inclusive, polite and generous with his time and knowledge.
And I never knew him any other way in all the times since, that we met or emailed.
We sure have lost a good'un.
Rest now Bob..
I have benefited from Bob's work though I did not know him well personally. He has done so much for the common good. There are few folks like him in the world. May he rest in peace. He is, as well as his family are in my prayers.
F. Meena Lakhavani
Ann West (internet2.edu)
I’ve resisted posting because I can’t seem to put my thoughts and emotions into words. Bob would probably say something like get on with it, already and he’d be right. (BTW, this write up is a bit long and I’m hoping I can out post Kevin. Bob would have liked that.)
I started working with Bob in 2004 when he assumed the role of chair of Internet2’s annual Advance CAMP (ACAMP) workshop. Before that, my interaction consisted of bugging him to send along his slide decks (like Authorization: Welcome to the Funhouse) and expenses. I was the rat terrier of the CAMP and ACAMP program committees and charged with getting the group to develop abstracts, invite speakers, decide on rooms and AV needs, etc.
I remember that first ACAMP planning season with Bob as chair. Several days in advance, I would send him a note with a draft meeting agenda. An hour or so before the meeting, Bob would send out the agenda, usually with major tweaks. On the call, he’d bring up some new interesting thing that was now at the top of the agenda, and the program committee would discuss this topic, its nuances and related threads at great length. Long pauses would ensue for contemplation, during which I would assume that the conversation had worn its path thin. Often without an um, Bob would finish his thought, and colliding with his comment would be me bringing up something banal like the quantity of seats needed for the presenter head table. Mortified about my interruption, I’d stop and wait. And again, this cycle would happen. And again, it was crash-up derby.
Over the years, our collaboration became a waltz due to his patience, understanding, and appreciation of the details involved in hosting meetings. I tried to minimize the non-subject matter work, and in return he would check with me on critical deadlines. More importantly, he was a strong supporter of community and the community process. He cared about who was coming to our meetings and whether we had the right diversity in attendance to ensure that the richness of perspective was heard. He talked to the new people and would uncover some interesting thing that he would bring up later on some call. It was like hosting a family gathering and inviting a bunch of people new to the neighborhood.
And he cared about words…
I think Ken came up with our meeting name Campus Architecture and Middleware Planning or CAMP (everything is acronym-ed), but Bob went farther with Advanced CAMP. Let me back up. Bob originally wanted the name to be Advance CAMP, but our meeting planning machinery got it wrong. It took Bob years to remove a simple d. Well, you say, does it make that much difference? Yes. ACAMP isn’t an in depth version of CAMP as some attendees have assumed. I would describe it as a workshop where people attend with a steady gaze, their flags unfurled. A meeting that climbs the mountain to look long, across the valleys and ranges, to see the coming identity terrain. And Bob was the host, the father, the sherpa and the Socrates of that gathering.
I have learned many things from Bob by just sitting at his virtual feet and listening to his analysis and clarity of thought. I often hear his voice in my head and still expect to hear it on our conference calls.
My heart goes out to his family, friends and all the people whose life he has touched. We are many.
You have touched so many of us. Thank you for your insight on ideas that I shared with you.
I am very saddened to hear that Bob has now finished that "migration to the cloud" he spoke of. Not too much can be said that hasn't already been shared in the wonderful tributes above. I was so impressed by Bob from the moment I met him in the SAML TC about a decade ago. Like many others, I remember his warmth and friendly nature and his patience above all else. My heart also goes out to his family and everyone else who's lives he's touched. Best wishes to everyone.
Bob was one of the first people I met when I started getting involved with Internet2. He was the consummate identity management professional - knowledgable, kind, humorous, humble, a true visionary. He had an enormous impact in IdM, higher education, and many peoples' lives.
I remember when Bob spoke, he would sometimes pause to collect his thoughts (which was not often as he could brainstorm and solve problems in real time while discussing them without missing a beat, almost faster than many of us could keep up) and look up for a second. The running joke was that he was connecting to the mothership and getting more ideas. The mothership has finally recalled him from his time with us mortals who struggled to keep up with him :)
Thank you for sharing the memorial service so that even those of us in the opposite corner of the country (Maine) could attend.
Eve, Anika, Julia:
I remember the kayak paddle the strange things you said to each other at you wedding, and yet, it is clear,
... with two tigers above and two tigers below,
and a mouse chewing through the branch to which Bob clung,
you were the sweetest strawberry he ever tasted.
Rev. Kit & Bonnie Butler (Parmelee) Wilke
Thank you Bob.
The trust you gave to this world will never be forgotten.
Rest in peace now.
The memorial was today. I wasn't physically there. I wanted to be, I think, but it didn't happen. It's been a few hours since the memorial ended. I'm still thinking about it. I experienced something, from a far, a little quirky. It was simple. Informal. Funny. I mean parts were LOL type of funny. I learned stuff about Bob and his family. His daughters are really great. Everyone spoke so eloquently, even if it was difficult for most to express their sadness. Yet they all persevered and got their ideas expressed. These were difficult ideas to express. Ideas of how one person touched the rest of us. There was some stammering. But it was all good. From the heart.
And as I realize it has been hours since the memorial and I am still thinking about what was said and expressed and felt... I realize the essence of the memorial was, in fact, completely Bob. Ideas were clearly expressed. It was honest. Funny. Ever the teacher. And just like one of his presentations, or a conference call, or even his emails... days later i am still thinking about what Bob was expressing.
And he wasn't even there.
Innaresting. He's still with us.
KEVIN M MOROONEY
you captured well, what i've been thinking. It was a wonderful moment.
I was able to attend the memorial services virtually. This was a wonderful gift for those of us who could not attend personally, thanks to everyone who set this up and made it possible. The memorial was very moving and it was nice to be able to hear all of the wonderful expressions of love from friends and family. Hopefully the outpouring of support from all of us is of some comfort. He lives on in our hearts.
The following submitted on behalf of:
I first met RLBob as Bob Morgan at Stanford. A networking expert told
me an even more expert expert was coming out to check out a
long-problematic network fault of which we thought we'd finally found
the source. Nervous doesn't cover it: I double-checked our findings
into the early morning.
That morning Bob showed up, set up his equipment, quickly confirmed
what we'd found. Then, unbelievably, stayed on to explain the fault:
it was one of the most lucid, valuable tutorials I'd had on
multiprotocol, hybrid network environments.
Who was that guy? It certainly wasn't one of the reputed horribilis
whose shadow we'd come to fear ... nice, sharing, attentive. I still
picture the scene; I have often relied on that memory.
Years later I meandered into the identity space, and there was RLBob,
among the other gods. My last memory of him was in a packed small
conference room at a Mountain View IIW meeting. As one grandee
attempted to convince the other grandees of, let's say, the existence
of some tenth planet, through my confusion I became aware that the
pros were too long silent.
On the verge of leaving, I heard RLBob, from behind, speak. I forgot
what he said. Yet I vividly remember that he artfully helped the
speaker to ground ... and the audience up out of skepticism and
confusion. RLBob had a knack for referring to a higher context.
Yes, whether certain or uncertain, he was a gentle, prodding guide to
newcomers, strugglers, and his fellow-experts. What I found
extraordinary, and more than once personally appreciated, was this: he
could work this art in full view of the meeting/listserve/community.
My thanks to his family for sharing him with us.
Unbelievably, it's been a year.
While he is still with us in memory and deed, it's not enough.
KEVIN M MOROONEY
John Krienke (internet2.edu)
When I look at the photo of Bob above, a very deep smile stirs the silence of a year. Thank you, Bob. Thank you.
This has been a year of much change - I suspect the pace will just continue to quicken. I miss the solid foundation that Bob provided.
It is indeed hard to process. A year seems like a long time, but it is really just a blink of the cosmic eye. The inspiration he provided hasn't diminished, and won't. We were so fortunate to have him among us, and I think of him often...
Today is Bob's birthday. It would be his 60th.
With colleagues having meetings in Indianapolis and his name and spirit still among us.
You are still missed.
KEVIN M MOROONEY
+ a million.