Bob Steck, who began teaching in the Philosophy Department in the early 1970s, lost his battle with cancer March 9 in West Roxbury, Massachusetts.
He is survived by his wife of 36 years, Sarah Bullard Steck; four daughters; Katherine, Ashley Austin, Vanessa, and Nicole; beloved grandson, Langston; and an older brother, Tom.
His activism against the Vietnam War was an important part of his early adulthood and he remained politically engaged throughout his life. He was drafted late in the war and joined Vietnam Veterans Against the War after his return. He remained involved with VVAW throughout his life. In 2014, the Department of Veterans Affairs formally acknowledged the role of Agent Orange in the multiple cancers that recurred throughout his 60s and ultimately led to his death.
Steck returned to CC many times to teach philosophy and in the First-Year Experience program. His longtime colleague, Bob Lee of the Political Science Department, remembers him fondly.
“When Bob came to teach courses at Colorado College, he gave every ounce of his energy and every moment of his time to the project. If he had a batch of student papers to read, he would forego a sightseeing trip or even an invitation to dinner. What he would not pass up was a visit to the exercise machines in the recreation center. Even when struggling with disease and discomfort, he could not survive, he said, without his daily exercise. I suppose that was one reason he was able to hold off one dire health threat after another. He loved teaching, had great respect for his students, and kept contact with several of them beyond graduation,” Lee said.
One Response to In Memoriam: Bob Steck
Thank you for this insightful and touching description of Bob. How he loved CC and the faculty and students he had interacted with over 40 years. The one time he was unable to teach in the last five years was when his chemotherapy had to be given in Washington, DC, and he was devastated. He kept in touch with many students, as well of course with his dear friends such as you and Susan, and Joe and Judy Pickle, to name a few. Bob’s love of thinking, reasoning and following every intellectual pursuit, as well as his exercise, gave him great joy. He liked little better than a good debate. Thanks to all of you at CC who so greatly enriched his life.
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