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Robert C. Samels: Guestbook

Dad

June 3, 2017

I spent your birthday cleaning my apartment, but that didn't keep me from thinking about you all day. Miss you, as always.

Dad

April 24, 2017

I spent a very quiet April 20 this year, but yesterday and today, I looked at the pictures from our 2005 trip to Monterey and Carmel.

Morgan

April 20, 2017

Thinking of you, and of your family and other friends today.

Love and miss you.

Dad

April 3, 2017

I went to a Compassionate Friends regional conference in Meadville, PA last weekend. Too bad it was not with you to another music festival with you there, but it did bring back old memories.

Dad

January 3, 2017

For New Year's Eve and New Year's Day, I went back and reread my journals about the First Night Akron gigs we had. I also watched the Channel 5 news story about the First Night which featured us. Good memories. wish you could have made more memories.

Dad

December 25, 2016

Treasuring the Christmas memories when you were with us . . .

mom

June 2, 2016

Loving you and missing you always and forever. Your birth was the beginning of 24 years of joy. It makes the last 10 years all the more devastating.

dad

June 2, 2016

Thinking of you on your birthday. It's a day of quiet reflection.

Aisha

April 20, 2016

Thinking of Robert today and each year on this day. He was a phenomenal musician, and I learned so much from him. Sending all my love to his parents. Thank you for maintaining this site, and for uploading his sheet music.

Eric Farrell

April 20, 2016

Robert,

Thinking and remembering you on this day. The concert that IU gave in your honor was wonderful. Although, I would have preferred to hear "Ingredients". I always treasured our friendship and I miss you greatly. It's hard to think about what amazing things you'd be accomplishing right now if you were only with us. I miss you buddy.

Matthew

April 20, 2016

Thinking of both Robert and his family on this sad day.

Mark Munson

April 20, 2016

Remembering Robert on this day. A fine young man gone from this life, but not forgotten. Also thinking of his parents, others who loved him, and many whom he touched.

Jason

April 19, 2016

Cannot believe it has been 10 years. It seems like last week I was listening to you tell bad jokes or a funny story about Tozzi :) Missing you.

Katie

April 19, 2016

It's been ten years, friend. I think of you often and miss you guys. Please know that you are loved.

dad

April 18, 2016

To mark the tenth anniversary of your death, I am posting a lot of your sheet music for anyone who cares to look through it. It isn't all your compositions, but it is all that I had computer files for. They can download the zip file and open it to see. https://www.dropbox.com/s/sszidplr7zzuibc/Robert%20Sheet%20Music.zip?dl=0

Dad

December 25, 2015

I'm spending another quiet Christmas. I laughed a bit about that first Christmas concert you gave on that little chord organ your Aunt Vicky gave you when you were seven, the one you taught yourself to read music with.

Dad

June 5, 2015

I had sushi for your birthday. I know you liked that stuff.

dad

April 20, 2015

Nine full years since you've been gone - make that nine empty years.

Andrew Crooks

April 18, 2015

I miss you and wish I could hear your booming laughter echoing down the curved hallways of the round building at IU - not just in my imagination. Hoping the music-making and conversation where you are is as good as I suspect it to be... :)

Georgia Peeples

April 8, 2015

As I prepare to retire next month, I have thought back on the many students I've known. You will always stand out as the best, and I will always remember you as April goes by. My best wishes to your parents.

Dad

December 24, 2014

This is the ninth Christmas Eve without you. I remember the last Christmas we spent together. You and I showed each other our new laptops. tonight at 11 on WCLV, they will broadcast a program of music by Anonymous Four. I remember how Jackie, their one singer, wqas one of the soloists with you at the Carmel Bach Festival in 2014. Memories . . . The days go by, one by one.

dad

July 24, 2014

Here is a tribute Vince posted on hiss Facebook page today:


Tribute to Rob Samels

This was an emotional one.

I have no friends with listed birthdays today. Before I began the #BirthdayQuest, I wanted to have a plan for this rare occurrence, and decided to use this opportunity to celebrate important people in my life that are no longer with us. I'll admit that this was a far more difficult task than I was expecting- only in keeping my composure, that is; it has always been an honor to talk about the subject of today's video, and I have told dozens of friends and colleagues about him. So, it is an honor to dedicate today to my buddy, Rob Samels.

Man, I could easily make an 8-hour video about Rob, who was one of the best people I have ever known. More commonly known by "Robert" to most folks (see the vid for the story), the two of us had a unique relationship. I'm sure most of us in the arts have an older teacher that later became a colleague. For both me and Rob, however, our friendship/relationship was a first for both of us- and today, there's only one other person with whom I share a similar, multi-layered (and amazing!) relationship. The quick summary: we first got to know each other in an Opera, where I was the assistant conductor (half boss, half colleague.) Then, I was his AI for his ear training class, where he was *my* boss! Then, he became my conducting student during my last semester at IU. He actually approached me before the AI duties started, to make sure it wouldn't be weird...but I was PUMPED to teach for him, and it was spectacular to watch him in action. (Side note: I can't stress enough how much he did for IU when he taught that class. The learning curve between his class and the one before it was huge, and a shocking percentage of students used to have to retake that class. Rob single-handedly reduced the failure rate of that class; not by dumbing it down, but by making the class awesome. It was a joy to witness.)

My very first impression of him was through his artistry. Rob was a one-of-a-kind performer, and he went all in, full bore, every time. There was a unique quirkiness to every role, song, or work that he performed, which gave it both a lovely charm, as well as an unmistakable authenticity. If the song was goofy, he went full goof; if he was a villain, he'd sneer and seethe. I did not know him before the first time I saw him sing. It was the dress rehearsal of John Adams' El Nino, where he was planted on the stage of the MAC, unleashing a solo for the ages. Every inch of his body and soul was involved, and it was magnificent. I remember asking Paolo Rossini, my conductor buddy, "holycrap who is this guy??" (If memory serves, David Schneider and Brad Lister were in vicinity of that convo as well.) I didn't want to be a crazy fanboy, but I couldn't help myself, and went right up to him after that rehearsal! Luckily for me, we got to work together shortly afterwards.

In the vid, I also talk a bit about the last time we saw each other in person, just a few months before the tragedy. I got to visit IU for a full week before returning to Juilliard, and I had the chance to reunite with so many folks. It was the 4+ hour chat with Rob at Bear's Place that I am the most grateful for. We covered every topic imaginable, and could have easily continued for another 4 hours if we didn't have appointments to get to. He was at a significant crossroads in his life, on several fronts. He had already made some tough professional decisions, and had several more in front of him- a good problem to have, as he put it! At that point, not only was he was an accomplished singer, teacher, and conductor, but he had just self-produced his own opera, which opened even more possibilities. (The story behind how the opera came together will need to wait for that proverbial book I'll write.) He was so thrilled to be going to Wolf Trap, which was the launching point of a 5-year plan we brainstormed together. We actually constructed several game plans that day: on life, career, relationships...he had so much to look forward to. We had the chance to speak twice more over the phone after that day.

Rob had such a joy and zest for his craft, and it showed in everything that he did. There are hundreds of memories and moments that will stick with me: the time he shared with me his thoughts on the nickname "Rob" (and his insistence that I keep using it!); the way he beamed as he told me he lists me on his resume as his teacher (and the way I beamed even more! He was the first to ever do so); the way he would slip an inside joke into a lecture or rehearsal, just to see if he could make someone laugh.

I feel so privileged to have known Rob for the years that I did, and will never tire of telling people about one of the most kind, brilliant, and amazing people I have ever known. The only time I've played this theme was the evening after the tragedy. It's changed a little since then, and I present it in his memory. I miss ya, bud.

dad

July 20, 2014

I co-presented a workshop at the National TCF Conference this year in Chicago. It reminded me how much time we ut in in front of a class. Luckily, there were no tests to give or papers to grade, so I had a little more time to miss you.

dad

June 2, 2014

I had a piece of chocolate cake for your birthday today.

Mom

April 25, 2014

eight years, I will never believe it.

dad

April 24, 2014

Thought of you when I visited the Met and sat outside by the fountain. I can see why you wanted to sing there. Nice place. Eight long years.

Dad

December 25, 2013

Eighth Christmas without you. Missing you on this day, as on every day.

Mom

October 16, 2013

This time of year brings back bittersweet memories of decorating the house for Halloween and enjoying the Fall days with you. I pull out the picture of you with your head between the pumpkins we decorated and it makes me smile and cry at the same time. Missing you.

Kelli Crawford-Smith

July 5, 2013

I've been thinking about you a lot my friend-- little things that happen continue to keep you with me. I'm having my first baby in a few weeks and can't help but think what a trip you'd think that was :) Br. Ken and I had a great conversation about you right before he retired from Hoban. Amy Merrow from Hoban did my maternity photos and we had a great conversation about you as well-- how much we miss you and all the wonderful music filled times we were fortunate enough to have with you. We haven't forgotten you. I still occasionally listen to "For Good" from the musical Wicked because that is when I can feel you with me... our visits. I miss you, my friend.

Dad

June 2, 2013

Celebrated your 32nd birthday with a candle lighting and balloon release at the local TCF chapter, so there were candles, balloons and a cake.

Thom P.

April 21, 2013

If I live to be 90, I won't have accomplished everything you did in your life. Miss you very much.

Dad

April 20, 2013

Thought of you as I looked around Hale Farm today. Seven long years.

Andrew C.

April 12, 2013

Just listening to your sound clips, and grateful that to 'hear your voice' and your music. :) Wish I could bump into you in a hallway somewhere and we could chat about life and music. Hope you're enjoying the finest company up there: Bach and all the rest of the greats. Peace to you and your family.

Katie

April 8, 2013

Missing you, my friend.

Dad

December 24, 2012

Seventh Christmas without you.

Dawny

September 29, 2012

Tonight there was a concert in BG and I couldn't stop thinking of you. A choir from Weimar, Germany performed with solo bassoon at the Presbyterian church. They also sang the Bach BWV 225 that we sang together during our first year together in Chorale. I miss you.

Theresa Rusnak

June 2, 2012

Thinking of you.

dad

June 2, 2012

Today is your thirty-first birthday. I will do something special in remembrance.

Georgia

May 25, 2012

I finally made it to Vienna and Salzburg, and as I stood outside Mozart's home in Salzburg I thought of you Robert, realizing that I had known a real musical genius in my own lifetime. How I wish you could have had more years with us. Paula and Clayton, I wish you peace.

dad

April 20, 2012

Thought of you today in Erie. Thought of you today in Meadville.

Morgan

April 20, 2012

We all still miss you and wish you were with us. Everyone who ever had the privilege of knowing you, or experiencing one of your creations was made better for it. Your friendship was such a wonderful gift and I will always be grateful for having known you. We're thinking of you and your family always.

-Morgan

Jonathan Stinson

April 19, 2012

Six years and I still miss you. I can only imagine how many operas you would have written by now.

Jon

January 20, 2012

Yesterday, Vincent learned to strum a guitar and tried to play a tune with your cousin Bob. He later bopped to some music that Bob played for him, slammed a keyboard and sing-songed in the sweetly terrible way that only babies can, but with more oompf and style. Music is already his world, and there is no doubt what side of the family he gets this natural passion from. And it's largely because of you that we will encourage him on this path.

Mark Munson

January 10, 2012

Starting a new semester this week, thinking about the students that I enjoy now and favorite ones from the past. Such fond memories of you, Robert. Peace to your mom and dad.

Dad

December 25, 2011

Sixth Christmas without you. Miss you very much.

Mom

December 21, 2011

Another year without you. How can it be? The loss is so fresh.

Dad

June 15, 2011

To honor your 30th birthday, I put together a cd of your hammered dulcimer music. It should be available on cdbaby, amazon, and iTunes shortly. Title: The Water is Wide. Oh, the music you would have made!

Clayton

April 28, 2011

What a rough week this has been. FIVE YEARS! I did get one chuckle by playing Rootin' Tootin' on the C-64 emulator. PacMan with tubas! You really liked that one. Wish you were here.

Cousin Janet

April 19, 2011

Robert: I was drawn to this site tonight without even thinking of the date. Thinking of you and remembering how you shared your music through the oboe, dulcimer, your song, and your very being. Thank you:)

Dad

April 15, 2011

Robert, I am playing Bruce Lee on a Commodore +5 emulator on my pc. I remember how we always loved to do that! Thinking of you, as always.

Paul Pisano

January 28, 2011

Hi Robert, just stopped in to say you're still remembered and missed by everyone who knew you.

Cousin Janet

September 11, 2010

Robert,
It has been awhile since I've "visited" and am glad the web site is still up...I needed some inspiration:) Thinking of you.

Alicia (Compton) Kennedy

August 25, 2010

My heart broke when I heard about Robert's passing. I have found myself several times in my life bragging about "this guy I knew in highschool". I am blessed to have been in his presence for even a short time in my life. I remember him joyfully shouting "Compton" when I saw him early in the morning before band practice. He made me feel wanted when no one else did. He continually tried to help me improve my chess playing and his patience and charm was very refreshing. I also was able to witness his talent on stage and was so impressed to see such talent come from someone so young still. He will always be on my mind and in my heart. His amazingness is a legacy that will never be met.

August 24, 2010

Dear Robert,

I didn't know you well, which I'll always regret, but it's amazing how frequently I think of you after all this time.

Thanks for being a patient ear training teacher -- I will always be appreciative of the extra time you took to meet with me to help me with my singing. I'm still not very good, but I think of you whenever I do attempt to sing anything.

I also fondly remember going to the premiere of your opera, Pilatus. You were so very gifted, and I can't help but think what amazing things you'd be doing if you were still with us.

Thank you for always brightening my day and for being an all-around wonderful person. You'll always be missed.

Nicole Sasser

August 21, 2010

I'll never forget your wonderful performance in Don Giovanni. You are missed and you were my favorite ear training teacher!

Mom

July 5, 2010

The world moves on, but I still keep your memory alive in my heart and I always will. It's impossible not to feel the impact of your loss in every minute of every day. I am forever changed.

Chris Moreau

July 1, 2010

I'm not sure what made me think of you today but I just wanted to say that I miss your friendship and am keeping your family in my thoughts.

Jessica Ferri

April 29, 2010

I was just remembering Robert as my conductor at Indiana - he was an incredible person who inspired me on almost a daily basis. I admired him and looked up to him and I wish I could have known him better. My thoughts are with his family, and I wish them all the best.

Becky

April 20, 2010

My dear Robert, how I miss you...

Katie L.

December 31, 2009

Hey Robert - I'm having a New Years of remembering... I miss you tons and send you my love!!!! xxx

Dad

December 25, 2009

I watched "It's a Wonderful Life" last night and can't help but remember your corny imitation of Jimmie Stewart, saying, "Merry Christmas, Savings and Loan." Merry Christmas!

Carol Bright

July 26, 2009

Paula: This morning I had such a feeling to contact you and when I googled you -this is where i landed. My heart cries for you and Clayton today. I still cannot imagine your grief and sorrow. I looked through all of Robert's photos and remembered well seeing him at Hoban. What a star - He still is.

Jeff Leinen

May 13, 2009

Becky and I think of you often and rely on your guidance in our daily music-related tribulations! Remind us all of your presence!

Jeff

Jeff Leinen

May 13, 2009

Thank you for posting the great photos! My last photos of Robert would have been from the Huron Playhouse's 2000 Season... these help me see a small piece of what he accomplished after that point in time!

Dana

April 20, 2009

We are all thinking about you today and every day. You are safe in our hearts forever.

Daniel

March 9, 2009

Hey Robert-
Today at church we sang "Pilgrim's Hymn", which I will always remember from your memorial service. And wouldn't you know there was a hammered dulcimer player there too! I really felt your presence. I thought a lot today about how you complimented my performing once - I can't explain to you how much that meant to me. I am so lucky to have had you as a friend, even for a short, short time.

Katie

February 23, 2009

Hey Robert - I've been thinking about you tons recently and remembering... I miss you! xoxox, katie

taylor

December 28, 2008

Robert,
I think about you all the time, i wish you were still here. I just wanted to tell you that I am applying for a job at your alma mater and you are a big reason why. I know that you are one of a kind, but if there are more like you, I hope to meet them.

I miss you and Chris and think about you every time I hit the links. You are missed.

Joyce Holod, N. Ridgeville, OH

November 25, 2008

I met Paula last fall during a temporary work assignment. We talked occasionally but did not really get to know each other. Last week a co-worker informed me that Paula lost her son, Robert, in an airplane crash. As a parent who also lost a son in 2006, I approached Paula to express my concern and see how she was doing. No one can truly understand how much grief a parent endures in losing a child. We get by. We have good days and some really tough ones that can be triggered by any little thing..a special thought, a special date, looking at a photo, someone just mentioning your precious child's name, etc. I can't imagine what it is like for Robert's parents and friends to be able to listen to him sing, but I'm glad his music is available to be enjoyed and to help his memory to live on. I'm sure Robert is with the Choir of Angels now!

Obviously, I never met Robert. It is so apparent that he was so special and talented and that his future would have been absolutely amazing had his life not ended so suddenly. My condolences to all who knew and loved Robert.

Brad Rowe

November 18, 2008

Samel Family,

I just learned of Robert's death. How devastating. I was in Sweeney Todd with him at BG. I was in the chorus. Even though I wasn't a student, he was very gracious and friendly to me. His portrayal of Turpin remains my favorite of the many productions of Sweeney I have been affiliated with. A true class act. I am so very saddened for your loss. I wish your family well and may God give you peace.

Georgia

September 13, 2008

Hello, Paula and Clayton,

I very much enjoyed seeing the new pictures of Robert. I continue to think of him and visit his page. Like so many of us, I'll always miss him and send you my love.

Georgia

Mom

September 2, 2008

Request--Robert loved Halloween! As he got older he got crazier in his Halloween costumes. We've only heard about him dressing up as a woman (and saw the clothes when we cleaned out the apartment!) and that one year he dressed as how he would look in ten years. If anyone has pictures of him from Halloween we would greatly cherish copies. My email is psamels@zoominternet.net
Thank you and love to you all for remembering Robert!

Jessica Plaspohl

August 23, 2008

Robert,
School started this week, and as I was walking through the halls and listening to the students talk and yell their nicknames for each other. I started thinking about the time your freshman year Jared had a piece of mail for you and yelled "Robert Smells!" across the band room. You just smiled, laughed and said thank you. We called you "smelly" from that day on. I saw you after high School, I ran up to you and gave you a hug and I called you "smelly." You said you were so happy to see me because no one called you that any more. You always had such a wonderful sense of humor!

The Hoban group has talked about you a bit these past few months, trying to find the words to describe your talent, your brilliance, your modesty. I think that is why I have been thinking about you. I just want to make sure people know you still. You were such a light in the world.

I know, I am babbling1 But we miss you, we all do. I will continue to pray for your family!

Mom

August 8, 2008

The olympics start today. You would have been counting down the days. You loved the olympics. You read every book about the olympics and all the events and the history. You would watch as much of it as you could with your schedule. How I wish you could be here to watch this one.

nick heinzen

August 1, 2008

still thinking of you.
i will never forget.

June 30, 2008

Robert comes to visit me often. Sometimes I close my eyes at night and hear his infectious deep belly laugh in my hallway. We mostly sit around, we drink beer and imitate other singers to each other and laugh. He loves when I scoop into the high note ala Renne. He laughs at me when I tell him how much I love tall guys with funky long hair, but I can see that he is growing his hair out. For some reason he comes so often to visit. Nothing has changed, really. He laughs a lot. He is very happy.

June 30, 2008

Robert, you are well and alive in my heart always.

Mom

June 2, 2008

Today would have been your 27th birthday. I still wait for you to call. You've been away at school too long... My heart aches

Dr. Raymond R. Brown

May 28, 2008

Robert's voice is amazing. This loss is more than I can imagine.

Gwen

May 5, 2008

Robert, you somehow always knew when I needed to be cheered up. I heard Don GIovanni last year, and the catalogue aria was a shadow of yours.

Georgia

April 19, 2008

I will never pass this sad anniversary without missing Robert, or without thinking of you, Paula and Clayton. And yet I will always thank you, and Life itself, for giving me the opportunity to know Robert.

Janet

April 14, 2008

ROBERT:

JUST TAKING A FEW MINUTES TO LISTEN TO YOUR RICH VOICE AND TO LET YOU KNOW THAT I AM THINKING OF YOU, YOUR MOM AND DAD AND SAYING A PRAYER FOR YOU. I HOPE YOU SAY A PRAYER FOR ALL OF US TOO.

Greg Samels

February 27, 2008

I am the third son of Lawrence and Shirley Samels from Munster, IN. I presently reside in Fort Wayne, IN. I do remember having relatives in Akron. Regardless, I have enjoyed reading the passages in this guestbook, and am very sorry not to have known Robert. Please accept my very tardy condolences, and please have peace knowing how many lives were obviously touched by Robert.

Jasmine Beams

February 21, 2008

Still thinking of you Robert.

Katie

January 1, 2008

Dearest Robert... I miss you! Happy New Year. I can't believe how long it's already been. But more than that, I can't believe this other plane crash. Unbelievable how sickeningly ironic this world can be huh? Anyway, happy new year and I send you my love!!!

Dad

December 31, 2007

We miss you so much. Mom and I were talking about how you always used to do that bad imitation of Jimmie Stewart from It's a Wonderful Life, saying, "Merry Christmas, Savings and Loan." This is our second Christmas without you and now, another horrible plane crash. It is all so unbelievable!

December 26, 2007

Dear Robert, we were just acquaintances at IU and you keep haunting my thoughts time and time again. I think of you today and light a candle in your memory. I hope that some day we meet again in heaven and you recognize me. I hope we can sing a duet or two together. I hope that you're happy and in company of your friends, making music, laughing.
I know you are :-)
We all miss you down here ya' know? Hugs. Merry Christmas.

Mom

November 1, 2007

Well, we finally said goodbye to your little green car last night. I will miss seeing it in the garage. You were so proud of that car. Your first car and your last car. How sorry I am for you and for us. I miss our talks, I need your strength and laughter in my life. You are forever locked in my heart. People want me to act like you never were--to never mention your name. I play along, but in my heart and mind you are always and forever with me.

John

September 27, 2007

hey there Robert. had a dream about us and we were playing this card game with a bunch of people. then i told them the story of when you and Greg brooks got into that huge argument about how he didnt think that choir was important and how you thought it was, and you ended uo getting so mad you stormed out of Crazy Horse, Vera and I and Greg were laughing so hard when that happened. Oh man I still cant believe you arent here.

Maija

August 30, 2007

Hi Robert. Like a lot of people at that big school who are always coming and going, we weren't very close, just friendly acquaintances who said hello with eye twinkles and grins at each other. I always felt like we were sharing some secret inside joke - that was the power of your smile. You were a presence, both physically (so tall!) in the hallways and rehearsals, and spiritually/vocally on WFIU, a presence that is missed. I miss hearing your voice warming the airways. I'm in loud and impersonal NYC now, and I listen absentmindedly to the NYC NPR station daily, but it isn't at all the same as those Bloomington days at IU listening to your gorgeous voice on the radio, making things as mundane as the daily news or weather report feel so personal, and knowing I'd see you in the halls of the music school. I saw the Our Town workshop the last summer I was there, and you were, as always, a presence. I miss you.

June 17, 2007

Dear Mr. and Mrs. Samels,

Until now I've held back from contributing to this or any other page about Robert and our other departed friends, rationalizing that I should defer to others who knew them better. Today for some reason I've lost that reticence.

I knew Robert well enough to say hello in the halls (I was also a theory AI and involved in the voice and choral departments), but never had the opportunity to socialize with him one on one. Even so, I did have a memorable personal experience with him one evening during an Ether Game broadcast. I phoned in to answer a quiz question (which I seldom do), and as he read off the list of people who had answered correctly, when he came to my pseudonym he added "good to hear from you," presumably acknowledging that he knew or had figured out that I was the "Little Guy from Pisa." At his passing, the loss for me was not the loss of a good friend, but the missed opportunity to establish a solid friendship with someone whom I admired so much from afar. And such an easy opportunity at that, since he was a friend to everyone he knew.

My heart goes out to you, especially as I see the posts from Mom. I hope and pray that one day you will feel healing, though of course there will always be scars. I have two beautiful children, and I've experienced sudden unnatural loss in my family, but I haven't lost a child. I do always have that fear in the back of my mind, as any parent worthy of the title does, and if it ever happened I'm sure I would comprehend more fully the sense of injustice people feel about outliving a child. I'm even more afraid, however, of the possibility that either of them should go missing, and/or come in contact with someone who, rather than take away their lives, would seek through abusive or corruptive influence to rob them of their inner beauty, self-esteem, self-determination, character, talents, intelligence, ability to live a happy and productive life, etc. I hope these fears will always remain groundless.

While Robert greatly impressed me when I knew him, as I've learned more about him since his passing he has become a much greater inspiration to me, both as a musician and as a human being. He has awakened in me a sense of my own potential for achievement in both of those spheres, if only I will also emulate his drive, his discipline, and his enthusiasm for music, life, and his fellow travelers. I'm sure this is true for many, many people, and we are all grateful for it.

Thoughts and prayers with you,
Paul Pisano

andrew henry

June 13, 2007

I was thinking of Robert today and remembering months ago when I was walking through the Annex and i thought I heard his voice, echoing around the circle. I always looked forward to seeing him. I remember sitting on the floor of a Dave's hotel room in Upland, IN after a performance of Cosi that Robert had come to see and drinking cranberry and vodka and talking about music, life, everything and nothing. I miss you Robert.

Sandy Ridenour

June 10, 2007

I just now discovered Robert's website and I appreciate the opportunity to express how much he is mourned and missed. My husband and I were big fans of his. We often spoke with him after his concerts and he was always so gracious. Since our radio is always on and tuned to WFIU we loved hearing his voice. I still think of him especially at those times when he would have been on the air. Such a great talent and such a great loss to all of us.

Brian Mungo

June 7, 2007

Rob,
Just happened to check out the webpage, and cant believe it had been over a year.I find you popping into my mind occasionally, or being mentioned in a conversation amongst your friends. You are missed. I am sorry we didnt stay in touch after high school. Look forward to seeing you again someday.

Jeff Leinen

June 4, 2007

To the Samels Family-
Those of us who shared even a little time on this earth with Robert were enlightened by his passion, spirit, talent, height, big eyes, big voice, big laugh, big personality, and big heart. I buddied up with your son at the BGSU Huron Playhouse in the summer of 2000 and had the absolute best summer of my life. His quirky jokes and intellect were unmatched and nonstop. His stage time was always inspirational, and he continues to appear in my dreams and those of my wife. Both he and Chris were lights that even death cannot extinguish. Every time my wife or I wake after having a dream with Robert or Chris in it, we relive our memories of them. It is as if that is their way of making sure that we don't forget about them. And how could we? Nothing can really ease the pain that we all feel about the loss of Robert. That pain reminds us of how truly special he was. May he always make his presence to us known whether in dreams, music he composed, recordings, pictures, and other legacies he was so proud of.

We miss both of our BGSU friends and hope that everyone keeps their legacies alive in whatever way they can.

Jeff and Becky

Mom

June 2, 2007

You would be 26 years old today. I can't believe I've missed 2 birthdays with you. My heart crys out for you always. I am forever changed from loosing you. You had so much more life to live.

James B

May 9, 2007

I can't believe it has been so long. Just came by to look at the web site, and remember the good high school times. Will says some prayers....

Kelli Crawford

May 4, 2007

It's been over a year and my heart is still crying... I was so lucky to have known you. I am better because of it...

April 22, 2007

Our love is with Robert's family. We all miss him so much.

Eileen Bora

April 20, 2007

My thoughts are with you and our friends today Samels! I miss our jovial hellos in the halls of Indiana and was thinking about how many people you have touched. Hope you have formed an amazing choir where ever you may be and sing loudly, and with much joy. Miss you kiddo! My thoughts are with your family on this very difficult day, one year later.
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