Robert Karl Wonneberger
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Of Washington, D.C. died unexpectedly on Wednesday, October 16, 2002 in Harrisonburg, VA. Beloved son of Elsie J. W. Schneider and William Karl Wonneberger (deceased). Also survived by stepfather, J. Ernest Schneider; brother, William D. Wonneberger; sister, Linda Benanti her husband, Salvatore, and daughters, Laura and Mariel Benanti, many loving relatives and friends. Visitation at MURPHY'S FALLS CHURCH FUNERAL HOME, 1102 W. Broad St. on Saturday, October 26, from 2 to 5 p.m. Memorial service Sunday, October 27, 2 p.m. at First Trinity Lutheran Church, 4th and E St. N.W., Washington, D.C. Inurnment private. In lieu of flowers memorial contributions may be made to CFLS, note:R. K. Wonneberger Fund, 305 E St. N.W., Washington, D.C.; First Trinity Lutheran Church; or Federal City Performing Arts, 2801 M St. N.W., Washington, D.C. 20007.

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Published in The Washington Post from Oct. 23 to Oct. 25, 2002.
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Memories & Condolences
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10 entries
October 26, 2002
Bob was a good friend for 22 years. It is hard to realize that his beautiful voice and his witty sense of humor are no longer around. He was a friend to all of us in the chorus and a person who always had a smile on his face and a loving heart which he gave generously to all whom he touched.
Fred Boykin
October 25, 2002
We were so sorry to hear of Bobby's passing. We are, however, so grateful to have seen him at Emma Phillips' 90th, where he was a wonderful emcee for her birthday. Our sympathy goes out to the family.

Barbara and Dietmar Buve
Barbara Buve
October 24, 2002
Suzi Snowflake, photo by Steve Ranger, JackArt tinted version
To me, Bob was an Everyman AND a Star.  He was so multi-talented and was blessed with the keenest wit, yet warmest heart. His performances onstage were the stuff of legend; he had the same magic charisma and charm, as any of the best stage presences in the World!  We were spellbound, captivated, and enchanted by his many, diverse roles.  Above all, he was a most wise and caring man, and he cared for GMCW with such energetic focus and grace! From helping us organize our annual Capital Club Auction, to having a principal role in one of our "GMCW Presents" productions, Wanda was the ultimate in a giving man that loved doing all of this for the Gay Men's Chorus of Washington.  Yes, he relished the spotlight, and tried out for many more roles than most of us, yet we LOVED watching you, Wanda...... all along the way! Jack Gerard Capital Club
October 23, 2002
I want to say how much Bob Wonnerberger meant to me. As I travelled from Savannah to Washington in what seemed a tiresome ordeal aboard an airplane, he would meet me with such an encouragement that I knew the journey was worth it.

I met him back in the early days of the Chorus when I was a wannabe and Chorus groupie... he was delightful and sweet.

As the news flooded into my computer and the pressures of my new work here in Savannah with Savannah State University and the Savannah Gay Men's Chorus, I can only say it was the saddest collection of letters and my heart was broken. He was such a good man -- and a wonderful performer. But, most of all, even as Suzy Snowflake and the Wicked Witch, he was a good man. His legacy is great ... and gay singers everywhere know that his contribution to Gay Choruses is everlasting. GMCW is a hallmark chorus around the nation because of his vision.

Will Bellais

Will Bellais
October 23, 2002
He made you laugh, he made you look at the world for all the joy that was in it and not all the hate, he made you just know that all is well in the world if you take to time to see it and let it touch your heart and soul. That is what I will remember about this Fun/Great/Entertaining Man.
Sam Knight
October 23, 2002
I knew Bob for six years as a chorus member, and in that time, as I witnessed his repeated fluorishes as a chorus diva, he never once forgot his humility, his gentle good humor, and his ability to relate to all kinds of people. Bob loved people, and we all loved him in return. I feel very privileged to have had him as a friend and feel that my life has been greatly enriched by having known him. I will miss him very much.
Steve Spar
October 23, 2002
When I lost my father back in August of this year, a lady came up to me and said, The eulogy at your funeral is written by the way you live your life and the people that you effect. Well Bob is one of those people as well. I only knew him for little over a year, but during that time, I could see a man of many talents, not only with his music/theatre but with his heart. Bob, we will miss you deeply but will remember all the good deeds you have given us.
Mike Wynne
October 23, 2002
Following is the message I posted on the GMCW list serve on 10/17 which was innundated with an outpouring of memories and expressions of loss.
I am incredibly saddened by Bob's death. I don't think there are many people who knew him who didn't consider him a "best friend". When ever he talked to you he certainly made you feel like you were his best friend. He always had time for everyone, his heart was as big as his talent. This is a tremendous loss for the chorus. I am struggling to remember all the funny wonderful memories I have and not focus on the saddness. I have been looking through my old photo albums which, from even my first year with the chorus, are full of pictures of Bob.

Eric Johnson
October 23, 2002
Bob was a great man. So few people really ever achieve that title, but he did, in many ways. His theatrical ability was studied, always prepared fully, and polished many times so that his performances shone brightly. As a friend, he was warm, generous, and thoughtful, always with a kind word or quick remark and a laugh. Knowing Bob for almost 13 years, I can say I've learned an awful lot from him. He taught me, without evening knowing it, to prepare as well as I can. He taught me to be who I am and not be afraid of what others think. He taught me that self-respect is more important than reputation, and humor can overcome and carry you a long way.

I am so grateful for having known Bob. I'll miss him, often, and at times when I least expect to be thinking about him. Great people have a way of staying with a person.
Kit Grieder
October 23, 2002
To Bob's birth family -- May Bob's life be remembered forever as a blessing.

To Bob's chorus family -- It was a pleasure and an honor to sing with Bob. Always a gentleman -- even in 4-inch spikes and a snowflake tiara. We'll miss him greatly.
Michael Resnick
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