Robert James Raterman received a cancer diagnosis on July seventeenth and died twenty-eight days later at age sixty-two on August thirteenth, 2020. Yes, in the middle of a pandemic, he died from cancer. That tracks, doesn't it? Nothing and no one could tell him his business.
He is preceded in death by his father Robert P. Raterman and a good number of pets if you count the hamsters. He is survived by his mother Saint Joyce M. Raterman (canonization pending), his brother Paul A. Raterman, his wild wife Melanie A. Raterman, his feral kids Ryan J. Raterman and Jessica A. Raterman, his daughter-in-law Aubree D. Raterman for whom his pride knew no bounds, his okay son-in-law (just kidding, Christopher C. Bender was his favorite, and we all knew it), and finally, two profoundly perfect grandkids, Laia and Ronen.
Bob's legacy is the impact he had on his many found-family and friends. He provided a home and safe haven for anyone who needed it, and he always had calm, wise words for a troubled ear. Well, almost always. Bob threw hands, too. And besides that one knife fight, he was a kind, gentle soul with a love for stargazing, travel, music, sunsets, sports, animals, tropical settings, and great food and drinks. He taught us compassion, empathy, and humor, but he also taught us to take no BS and to trust your own inner voice above all else.
Bob says to slow down for a minute. Take a drive or open a window, turn up the music or revel in the quiet. Breathe deep. This life is transient and sometimes really hard but achingly beautiful and kind of hilarious. And in the end, if you're careful, all your best kept secrets die with you.
Melanie is currently accepting bids for a share of Bob's ashes, and a memorial service will be held in his honor when it's safe to have large gatherings again.
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