It seems like only yesterday that we were students on the Stetson campus, welcoming your arrival, enjoying the classes and music groups with Bob, or "Mr. Fort," as he was then. I can still see your family driving around Deland in the little blue Volkswagen bug with Carolyn and Robert in the back seat....see him riding up to the old music annex on his bike, his seersucker slacks and straw hat and new beard. He was "cool."
We were all so young ..... and he was young at heart as well - and such an accomplished musician, teacher and mentor to us all. You both were so secure in your selves, your craft, and your faith, and were committed to Stetson and to living in Deland; all of which made you ultra "neat." You trusted us to babysit your house when you were away, you let us build the one-and- only-ever music school float for the Christmas parade in your garage (remember that it rained and we dragged it thru town anyway, at Bob's suggestion - hoping that its rag-tag appearance would qualify us for a new building)!...and Bob tolerated the silly pranks which our class pulled on him - in retrospect, we did it because we knew that he was such a good sport.
We thrived and learned under his leadership, and grew up to connect with him in so many ways: putting his ideas to use in our lives and careers, connecting with both of you from time to time at Stetson, at Montreat, at FMEA Conventions, in Gainesville, and in the Episcopal Church.
We hope that we can get down for the memorial service during Homecoming and see you. It will be spring break here, and we will try to swing it. In the meantime, know that we send our love and deepest sympathy to all of you, and look forward to seeing you again.
Love and prayers,
David and Jo Benson