Robert Herbert Shikes
1937 - 2020
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Shikes, Robert Herbert

Robert "Bob" Herbert Shikes passed away September 7, 2020. He is survived by his marvelous and loving wife, Patricia, children Sarah and Jonathan, grandchildren Abbie and Ben, along with cousins, nieces, nephew, extended family, colleagues and friends. Born in Brooklyn, N.Y. July 1, 1937, Bob attended Brooklyn College and NYU's medical school. There, he helped pay his way through school by routinely beating his roommate and future brother-in-law Robert Gordon at Gin Rummy. Bob and Patty were married in Pittsburgh in 1963, shortly before Bob was conscripted into the U.S. Army as a physician. In 1965, they moved to Denver, Colorado, where Bob became a pathologist and professor at the University of Colorado School of Medicine. He remained there until retirement in 2007, leaving behind a stellar academic career and a legion of charmed students. An author and historian, Bob was a sought after lecturer and published two histories of CU's medical school, and his own project, "Rocky Mountain Medicine." He was a voracious collector of western history books and medical history artifacts which he donated to libraries and museums in Denver. He loved Chinese food, water coloring, Agatha Christie novels, National Parks, Colorado hiking, persimmons, wildflowers, opera, silly jokes, and holidays with his family. His love, support and sense of humor will be sorely missed.

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Published in Denver Post on Sep. 13, 2020.
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17 entries
September 19, 2020
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Nancy-Jean Daniels
September 17, 2020
What a delightful man, Bob Shikes. We shared not only pathology as a career, but writing , as an ancillary interest as well. This gentle man and Steve Silverberg where the first two faculty I met when I took my first academic job at CU in 1974 as a newbie Assistant Professor of Pathology . He was always a voice of reason and personal support.
Robert Greer
September 17, 2020
Mrs. Shikes, Jonathan and Sarah, It has been a very long time since we have connected. I wish it was under different circumstances that we do. My parents told me of the sad news. I'm sorry for your loss. My thoughts and prayers are with you.
Trent Wylde
September 17, 2020
Dear Patty, Jonathan and Sarah,
We send our deepest condolences for your family's loss.
The Wyldes
Jackie Wylde
September 16, 2020
We’ll miss you Bob, but be assured that your memory will not fade, as long as we keep you in our hearts and prayers.
Francisco La Rosa
September 16, 2020
2004 Commencement Ceremony
September 15, 2020
I have many wonderful memories of Bob when he and my husband Henry Claman were writing the books on the history of the Medical School. I the remember a celebratory dinner that the four of us had when it was finally done! Henry and Bob shared many interests. They were two giants at the school and they liked and respected each other. When I think of Bob I think of Henry and how they are missed. Janet claman
Janet Claman
September 15, 2020
While Bob was widely respected as an authoritative pediatric pathologist and medical historian, first and foremost, he was a very gifted educator. He ran the Pathology course for the UCHSC School of Medicine for decades and under his guidance, it was not only the highest rated course in the school but also played an integral role in the education of thousands of physicians.
Ken Shroyer
September 15, 2020
I have known Shikes since 1958, when he was a first year medical student. Even back then his dream was to be an academic physician, to teach, to live in the West, and to explore and write about the history of the West and the history of medicine, to eat good food, to listen to good music, especially opera, and to marry a woman who would be supportive and compatable with all of this.
I always felt that Shikes was the perfect example of person who achieved his dream, and lived the fulfilling life that he created for himself.
He leaves his wife, my sister, Pat, who helped him live his dream, while she achieved her own successes.. He leaves Jonathan, Sarah, Abbie and Ben, whose lives he enriched, and of whom he was proud, and he leaves countless colleagues and students, whom he inspired.
Finally, he leaves me, his admirer, fellow physician, fellow bibliophile, brother-in-law and gin rummy victim.
Bob Gordon
Bob Gordon
September 14, 2020
I was saddened to hear of Bob's passing. His warm smiling presence will be missed.
Heidi Miller
September 13, 2020
I am very sad to hear of Bob's passing. I remember him fondly, very much enjoyed the times we were together, and send my love to the family.
Patti Shank
September 13, 2020
A wonderful, warm teacher. My condolences to you.
Meg Lemon
September 12, 2020
We loved our times together from 1967 on. So many wonderful times together in Denver and even in Crested Butte. And our daughters accidentally met and became close friends! We will miss you, Bob! And love to Patty.
Deanna and John Warren
September 12, 2020
A true gentleman of a doctor and an inspiration to me personally.
Scott Lucia
September 12, 2020
Wonderful teacher, warm caring colleague. You will be remembered my friend
David Orlicky
September 12, 2020
So man from the department of Pathology remember Bob and were sad to hear about his passing. These include, but are not limited to, Drs. Steve Anderson, David Orlicky, Carlene Cool, Scott Lucia, Ruben Tuder, Bette DeMasters, Steve Nordeen, as do former members Bob Low and John Lehman. The latter notes that

"He was an integral component of the department during my tenure (1970-1985) in the department and school. He was the pediatric pathologist and head of the path course for many years and was responsible for many of the innovations in the path course. He was also an accomplished historian, responsible for 2 editions of the history of the University of Colorado School of Medicine (Centennial & Millennial) with Henry Claman and a book entitled “Rocky Mountain Medicine”. I enjoyed many discussions with Bob an NYU graduate regarding his and my interest in the early science of medicine and pathology." Others also recall his book on the history of the School and his teaching contributions to residents.
Bette DeMasters
September 11, 2020
Dearest Patty, Jonathan and Sarah, we just read Bob’s obituary and the only addition we would make is his how sweet and kind he was.
Les and Maureen Shapiro
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