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Robert Daniel Stout

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Robert Daniel Stout Obituary
STOUT, ROBERT DANIEL, 66, of Shelby County KY, passed away on Friday, May 25, 2012 at the University of Washington Medical Center Hospital in Seattle, WA.

At the time of his death he was a Professor of Microbiology and Immunology at the University of Louisville School of Medicine and was an internationally recognized scientist in the field of leukocyte biology. He will be missed by family, friends, colleagues and students both at home and across the country. Bob was born in Detroit, MI on August 20, 1945, to Joseph and Helen Stout. He was raised in Detroit and was a graduate of the University of Detroit High School which he credits for nurturing his scientific curiosity early in life. He continued his education at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, MI, where he received a bachelor's degree in Zoology and Chemistry followed by a Ph.D. in Microbiology, awarded in 1970. Following a career path focused on research in the field of immunology, Bob was a postdoctoral research fellow at Harvard University Medical School from 1971-1973, and Stanford University from 1973-1976. He was a member of the faculty of Brandeis University and East Tennessee State University's Quillen College of Medicine before joining the faculty of the University of Louisville in 1999 where he served as Chair of the Department of Microbiology and Immunology through 2011. Bob had a long and productive career in research and made significant discoveries regarding the plasticity of leukocyte function relevant to a wide variety of diseases, including autoimmune disorders and cancer. He also had a strong record of service to his profession, as a member of various peer review boards, editorial boards, and as a councilor of the Society for Leukocyte Biology. He was commended for his efforts in building the department of Microbiology and Immunology at the University of Louisville, which he accomplished, in part by the recruitment and support of an outstanding group of faculty of which he was very proud. Bob considered teaching and mentoring of students one of the most rewarding and enjoyable aspects of his professional life. Former students have commented on the strong positive influence Bob's role as teacher and mentor made in their lives. In turn, Bob believed that his interactions with students enriched his life and he was honored to play a role in their education and careers.

Bob was a humble, gentle, and generous person with a wonderful smile and what has been described as a mischievous sense of humor. He had many interests and hobbies, but gardening was his main passion and he worked many hours digging, planting, weeding, then harvesting bountiful crops of vegetables. He loved, and was loved by, the family's cats who followed him everywhere and were his constant companions.

Bob is survived by his wife of 29 years, Jill Suttles, also a professor of Microbiology and Immunology at the University of Louisville, who shared his love of science and was his long-time close collaborator in work as well as in life. Also surviving are his much-loved sister, Gayle Hunter and her husband Jay, of Ellicott City, MD; his brother, Ronald Stout of Troy, MI; and his uncle, Robert Karafa of Denver, CO. In addition, Bob is survived by a large group of loving nieces and nephews that he admired.

Bob was diagnosed with myelofibrosis, a serious disease of the bone marrow, in 2007. He was exceptionally brave in his long and hard battle against this disease. Throughout it all, he maintained his sense of humor and his positive attitude. The family wishes to thank the physicians and staff of the Consultants in Blood Disorders and Cancer, Louisville, KY, and the Seattle Cancer Care Alliance, Seattle, WA. These outstanding teams did everything possible to prolong Bob's life in a careful and caring manner.

Thanks also go out to the many friends that provided support in so many ways.

For those wishing to make charitable donations in memory of Bob, the family suggests gifts to the Seattle Cancer Care Alliance, P.O. Box 19024, Seattle, WA 98109, tel. 206-667-6121. Designation of gifts "In Memory of Robert Stout" will ensure that these funds go specifically towards the SCCA House, an outstanding patient housing facility that provides support for visiting cancer patients and their families. The SCCA House was a safe haven of support for Bob and Jill during the final months of Bob's life.

Published in The Courier-Journal on June 4, 2012
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