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Our Moderator Robert Fowkes passed away last Friday, Sept 30, 2011

Discussion in 'After Hours Lounge (Off Topic)' started by Ronald Epstein, Oct 2, 2011.

  1. TonyD

    TonyD Who do we think I am?

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    I dont know what to say. Just so sad to hear this. I had the benefit of his personal advice when I was building my theater room about five years ago.
    My modest room was somewhat influenced by his even though it looks nothing like his,
    he was a great help.
     
  2. DavidJ

    DavidJ Premium
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    Sad news indeed. RAF will be missed here at the HTF and my thoughts and prayers go out to his family and friends.
     
  3. Parker Clack

    Parker Clack Schizophrenic Man
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    First and foremost I must say that without Dr. Robert Fowkes HTF wouldn't exist. Yes, Ron and I started it. But RAF pushed it to his internet pals and friends. He was from the very beginning the very best of what we all stood for. His actions were never about himself but always about what he could do for the forum. He was a constant promoter. He built up HTF even more so than Ron or I did. He brought people together. He put us all in a wonderful room where we could all talk about our favorite hobby. We were home. And RAF welcomed us all in.

    I remember talking with RAF on CompuServe and Prodigy about our mutual love of Betamax and Laser Disc. I remember his shot by shot photo album of his HT addition and the thrill that Ron and I had when we got to see it in person. Here was a kind, highly educated person with an absolute love of life that just oozed out of every pore. He was a genuine joy to be around. Other than our mutual love of all things electronic we could share our love of chemistry, medicine and cars. When I told how much I wanted to get the 1994 Impala with the Corvette LT1 engine in it he told me he was going to look into it and ended up buying one for himself (I couldn't at the time). On top of it all he was a great listener.

    His real passion was for this family. He loved his kids and his face lit up when talking about his grand kids. He was especially proud of his brother Richard who was a Vice-President at Paramount Pictures (now with Legendary Films) who would pull strings for us at the studio so we were always treated like royalty when we would take a tour. He was also responsible for getting RAF his Laser Disc box set of Star Trek TOS movies serial number 0001 signed by Mr. Roddenberry himself from his personal collection.

    There are few people in this world that I can honestly call my friend. I am and always will be proud to continue to do so with Robert. The world has become more diminished without his presence. I will miss him dearly.

    Packy
     
  4. Chris

    Chris Well-Known Member

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    I saw this today and struggled to put together words to describe my response.
    I rarely post lately but once upon a time, RAF and several others were some of the friends I respected most. Personal illness robbed me of a lot of that time, and I don't contribute nearly as often anymore. But I saw Robert's passing and had to comment.
    More then 15 years ago, I believe it was 1995 or 1996, Robert and I were members in an online forum at Delphi devoted to not Home Theater, but gadgets. Someone in that forum, which at that time could be monitored only through a piece of software called WinD sent a message and asked how many of us were into home theater, and what did we have. I was informed by someone else, and I can't remember who, that there was a forum on Delphi just for that subject.
    If it hadn't been for a few people I knew already who were there, I don't know if I would have stayed. The conversation in those days was lively and at times hilarious. It was a very close bond a lot of us grew to share and we had no problem doing things I would never do today. We'd call each other at home, trade phone numbers, when someone found a deal in the country it was as though a calling tree was updated and everyone knew quickly.
    It's hard thinking back now to how that period went off. Laughter was at the heart of most discussions, even when they were heated. Ron may remember very well RAF arguing about the subtle differences between a CLD-97 and a CLD-99. Who was going to send a Denon into MSB to see if they could alter it to support DTS?
    Robert was more then just a member or a moderator, he was one of those people that made the forum home for some of us. I have had the fortune to meet RAF, many years ago in a raid of laserdiscs. We spoke on the phone several times, mostly during the Delphi days.
    He will be deeply missed.
     
  5. Adam Gregorich

    Owner

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    Good to hear from you Parker. Its great to hear some of these "before my time" stories. I didn't know you got him interested in the Impala. I remember him driving that out from NY to LA for the meets. He was very proud of that car and kept it even after switching to a MDX for is regular driver. He was like that though. If you mentioned something interesting that he wasn't aware of he went into "research mode" trying to find out everything he could about it. If it was interesting or worth having, a week after you told him he had it. I forgot all about the Star Trek LD story. It was actually set 0000 which was the personal set made for Roddenberry. RAF asked his brother Richard for a copy and his brother not having any left sent a note to Gene asking if he could have one since he was sent 11 copies (0-10). Gene pulled the first one he saw off the shelf and that was then sent to RAF. He later tried to find out why his didn't have a "real" number and was ultimately told it was reserved for Gene Roddenberry.

    For anyone interested in seeing the theater pictures everyone keeps talking about they are on his website: http://www.rfowkes.com/html/construction.html The equipment list is a bit out of date. He upgraded to a Panasonic 300 (or 310?) BD player and a Mits DLP RP that replaced his HP.
     
  6. I first met Robert in the HD DVD truck with it's debut appearance at CEDIA in Denver during the format wars. I distinctly remember Robert from the four HTF folks that piled into the truck (the other three were Ron, Parker and Adam). It was the first time that I had met those four and I can remember the conversation going so long (with Robert) that our PR person was signaling me that the next interview was going to be starting. I know we could have easily gone the rest of the day discussing topics around the HD DVD. (Little did I know that I would in subsequent meetings... :))

    As I continued to meet with the HTF crew in other locations on that the HD DVD truck was visiting and at subsequent CEDIA's, Robert was ALWAYS there. I soon found we had a common love outside of home theater and high def optical discs to computers and software, but most importantly high quality steak! Yes, I remember many times at Morton's or Sullivan's with Robert, enjoying high quality steak and musing about the latest in average bit rates for VC-1 for H.264 and Dolby True HD vs DTS HD Master Audio difference between the two HD formats.

    Adam, Ron, Robert and I all had plans for Morton's at CEDIA this year. Ron was organizing the colors of HTF shirts for us all to wear on each day of CEDIA and Robert even sent some of his shirts to me as he had lost so much weight.

    The three of us were all so looking forward to seeing RAF and CEDIA and engaging on endless conversation about what was on the show floor and enjoying great steak. Unfortunately, as Ron has already posted, about a week before CEDIA, Robert's health was such that he couldn't attend. When I found out, I was saddened about the loss of the great company and conversation that I knew would have happened.

    RIP Robert, the world needs more humans like you.
     
  7. Alfonso_M

    Alfonso_M Well-Known Member

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    I'm so sorry to hear the bad news..
    When I first joined here-- probably even before when I was lurking--, I remember reading all of RAH's postings, and especially followed the construction of his new HT room.
    I really enjoyed watching the pictures of his HT room with his vast Media collection, so much so that I used to forward the link to his HT to many friends and co-workers, also learned a lot about new technology and the HT hobby by reading the reviews of his Top of the line equipment.
    By the way, that picture above of his grandchildren sitting in their own mini 'director chairs' still one of my all time favorite..
    My condolences to his family
    RIP Mr Robert A Fowkes,
     
  8. ManW_TheUncool

    ManW_TheUncool Well-Known Member

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    So very sorry and sad to hear of this news.

    Like some, despite being a fairly long time HTF member (though w/ various periods of inactivity), I've only crossed paths w/ RAF on occasion here and have never actually met him in person nor can claim to know him well. Still, I could definitely see and/or experience much of the great warmth, knowledge and openness and generosity that many speak so fondly of RAF w/ much cherishing regards. And I am fairly certain that my own overall experience in this hobby has been greatly enriched (whether directly or indirectly) by RAF and his very fine presence and contributions in the HT community. And as such, I am certain he will be deeply missed both here in HTF and in the greater community (beyond HT and HTF) that has been so blessed by his presence, not to mention his own family and personal friends...

    My best regards and condolences to all his family and friends, and my prayers and thoughts go out on their behalves as well as for RAF. May he rest in peace indeed...

    _Man_
     
  9. Scott Merryfield

    Supporter

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    I would like to thank the members who personally knew Robert for sharing these stories about him. Like some others here, I was not fortunate enough to have ever met RAF in person, but have enjoyed and benefited from his presence at HTF for many years.
    RIP, Robert.
     
  10. Radioman970

    Radioman970 Well-Known Member

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    That's nice that the forum was mentioned in his obit.
    RIP
     
  11. Gregg Loewen

    Gregg Loewen Video Standards Instructor, THX Ltd.
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    RAF, you will be greatly missed.
    Rest In Peace my friend.
    I too was thinking of this story but another beat me to it. I will repost:
    To Sandy and RAF's surviving family, my thoughts are with you all.
    Gregg and Heather
     
  12. Dave Hahn

    Dave Hahn Well-Known Member

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    Sad news indeed; Rest in Peace RAF
    I had the privilege and pleasure to meet and talk with him at the East Coast Meets at Scooters'. He was even more erudite and impressive in person then he was online. His knowledge and advice on all things home theater were always a "must read" for me. He could put the technical aspects of home theater equipment into easy-to-read layman's terms. When someone posted a question, whether a 'newbie' or an older member, there was no need for anyone else to respond if RAF had posted his advice.
    Home Theater Forum, hell, the internet just got smaller.
     
  13. Marko Berg

    Marko Berg Well-Known Member

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    I can't believe what I'm reading :(
    Mr. Fowkes' long, insightful, and detailed posts on various topics here on the HTF were an absolute delight to read, and his genial, breezy style of writing always appealed to me.
    May you rest in peace, Mr. Fowkes.
     
  14. Todd H

    Todd H Go Dawgs!

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    Sad news indeed. R.I,P. Robert. :(
     
  15. mike caronia

    mike caronia Well-Known Member

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    I never come down to the After Hours lounge, but saw this post on the FB page.
    Awfully sad news :(
    Rest in Peace Robert.
    Never met RAF, but felt like I knew him.
    He had great passions and was always friendly.
    Hope he's rooting for the Yanks today from above.
     
  16. Steve Christou

    Steve Christou Long Member

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    Rest in peace, Robert.
    Condolences to his family.
     
  17. mheiss

    mheiss New Member

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    My deepest sympathies to the HTF community and, of course, to Dr. Fowkes' family. I knew that not seeing him this year at CEDIA was not a good sign, but had hoped that he would rally back; unfortunately, that was not to be.
    I'll miss speaking wtih one of the calmest, most rational observers of the Home Theater scene. The patience of a saint -- somethign all high school teachers must posess -- was always evident as he would try to wrangle me to an end-of -show conversation at CEDIA or CES. Fine if we could, and always understanding if I couldn't do it. Always pleasant no matter what ills surrounded him, you couldn't have met a nicer fellow.
    They don't make 'em like Dr. Fowkes anymore. He will be missed, but always remembered.
    Michael Heiss
     
  18. Aaron Silverman

    Aaron Silverman Well-Known Member

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    We hadn't seen RAF in many years, but Lucy and I feel blessed to have known him and have kept in touch online. We'll miss him terribly. I wish my son had gotten to meet him.
    He was truly one of the Good Ones.
     
  19. Todd Erwin

    Todd Erwin Well-Known Member
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    This is very sad news. I've only been to two HTF meets (EMA and Hollywood in 2008), and was more or less a wallflower at these events, so never got the chance to have a conversation with RAF (at least to the best of my knowledge).

    His postings were always informative, and he will be missed here at HTF.
     
  20. Walter C

    Walter C Well-Known Member

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    Rest in peace, RAF.

    Just so sad to hear the news.
     

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