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

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#41 of 134 Richard Gallagher

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Posted October 03 2011 - 08:09 AM

Lots of wonderful and deserving tributes here. I only met RAF twice, at two HTF meets, but his presence was felt long before that. I remember (on Compuserve? Prodigy?) reading him describe his excitement when he bought his Impala and you could almost see him tooling around town in it. My condolences to his family and to his good friends here on HTF. There is an online guest book for him here: Dr. Robert A. Fowkes Jr. Guest Book
Rich Gallagher

#42 of 134 Adam Gregorich

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Posted October 03 2011 - 08:34 AM


Originally Posted by mike caronia 

Hope he's rooting for the Yanks today from above.

Huge Yankees fan.  Had both DirecTV and Dish for a while just so he could have the YES network.  I remember every CEDIA he and Peter Tribeman (huge Red Socks fan/CEO of Atlantic Technologies and Outlaw Audio) having a great time flipping each other crap about each others team.  RAF would make a point of tracking Peter down throughout the show several times.  If Boston was loosing and the Yanks were winning to rub it in, and remarkably if it was the other way around to give Peter a chance to rub it in.  He enjoyed getting as well as giving.

#43 of 134 Adam Gregorich

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Posted October 03 2011 - 08:49 AM

Originally Posted by mheiss 

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


Its so nice of you to post your thoughts.  Seeing you was one of the highlights of CEDIA for Robert every year.  He made sure we not only registered for your Technology Update course, but that we got there early enought to be in the front row (that's why I was sitting in the back this year).  He also loved doing the end of show interview with you when you had time.

Here is part one of the 2009 Michael Heiss/RAF CEDIA wrap up video:

#44 of 134 Patrick_S



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Posted October 03 2011 - 10:35 AM

The news of RAF’s passing is very sad indeed, my condolences to his family. I enjoyed his many contributions to the forum. I also had the good fortune to have met RAF at several of the HTF meets and like so many of the posters here have stated I feel fortunate to have had the opportunity to meet him in person. At the meets our conversations often would be about baseball and while he rooted for the most successful franchise in the sports history I unfortunately am a fan of a team with a long history of futility. I’ll always remember that he was very gracious about that and once remarked that when the day does come and my team wins it all the joy will be all the better because of all the hard times. Rest in peace RAF, you will be remembered fondly.

#45 of 134 RickER



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Posted October 03 2011 - 10:47 AM

RIP. Cancer does indeed suck.

#46 of 134 Steven Simon

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Posted October 03 2011 - 01:12 PM

This is just a fantastic thread about a great person, friend, HTF Mod, GrandFather, Husband, Companion, and so much more. Some of the most fun,The best times I ever had in my life were spent on the HTF Yearly events. RAF truly did own the room... I so looked forward to these events knowing friends like RAF, Crawdaddy, Parker and others would be huddled around the Los Angeles area... He would always ask the smart questions of the studio reps.... Great to be back on HTF on sad circumstances... We love u RAF!!

#47 of 134 Cameron Yee

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Posted October 03 2011 - 01:13 PM

Like many of you, the majority of my interaction with RAF was on this forum, though i did get to meet him at my first HTF Meet in 2004. As a newcomer, it was clear there was a circle of administrators and moderators who went way back, but I never felt like an outsider. Based on the memories shared here by Ron, Parker and others, RAF was a big part of creating and sustaining that sense of community - online and in-person. Even though a part of RAF lives on in this forum - in its standard of conduct and passion for the hobby - his presence here has been and will be missed. Rest in peace, to someone I once dubbed "the coolest grandpa ever."
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#48 of 134 Michael_K_Sr



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Posted October 03 2011 - 05:29 PM

Appreciate reading all of the comments here. F'ing pancreatic cancer...I've seen too many people leave far too early because of it. Always enjoyed RAF's interaction in various threads here. I only got to meet him once, at EMA in Vegas back in 2007. Kinda felt like a fish out of water there, since it was my first HTF event and I hadn't met anyone in person before, but he was great to talk to. Seemed he was everywhere those three days. I was bumping into him all the time whether it was an HTF planned event or not. It's a terrible loss...his wisdom and insight will surely be missed.

#49 of 134 Dheiner



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Posted October 04 2011 - 02:39 AM

All the stories here make me very sad at his passing, and the fact that I never met him.

My deepest sympathy to his family and all his friends.

Rest in Peace, RAF.

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13-Time National Football League Champions: 1929, 1930, 1931, 1936, 1939, 1944, 1961, 1962, 1965, 1966, 1967, 1996, & 2010

#50 of 134 ChrisCook



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Posted October 04 2011 - 06:41 AM

My deepest condolences. I don't believe I've had the privilege, but seeing his name over the years I wanted to pay my respects.

#51 of 134 Kevin Hewell

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Posted October 04 2011 - 07:40 AM

RIP dear Sir.

#52 of 134 brentl



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Posted October 04 2011 - 07:49 AM

Wow, my jaw certainly dropped when I read the post, RAF was one of those people that you feel would always be there, always willing to help. He will be missed! Brent

#53 of 134 Mike Frezon

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Posted October 04 2011 - 09:58 AM

I felt compelled, today, to make a 2 1/2 hour drive from Albany to Ossining to pay my respects to the family of a man whom I had never met in person.

As a benefit of the trip I also got the opportunity to meet, for the first time, HTF owner Ron Epstein.  But, more on that some other time, I suppose.

On the drive I was a bit overwhelmed by the feeling that I felt so moved to visit the family of a man who had meant so much to this on-line community--in his sharing of his knowledge and his giving of his time...yet I hadn't made a similar trip to visit RAF while he was alive even though Ossining was only 2 1/2 hours south of Albany down the Hudson River valley.  As I said in an earlier post, it was my loss to have not met RAF in person.  Nothing compared, of course, to the loss Sandy and his children and grandchildren are experiencing now.  But, I believe I will try to remember that sense of loss of not having taken the chance to meet up with such a larger-than-life individual while I still had the time.  I envy you folks who got to meet RAF.

But one of the things I told Sandy and his kids (and kids-in-law, too!) was that I wanted to tell them about all the people here who were impacted by RAF and how so many of them were reporting in with their stories about having met RAF or about how RAF had helped them on the forum and that I hoped I--in some small way--could represent to them some of these people who were spread across the country (and some of them from outside the country!) and could let them know how much Robert was thought of by so many people--even if they had never met in person.  The family was indeed gracious as Ron and I shared some of our stories and thoughts with them.

The HTF was well-represented on some pictorial displays at the funeral home.  Some pictures from various HTF studio tours and events were posted and featured RAF with some of his HTF buddies (such as Raul Marquez, MD) and fellow administrators and reviewers.  His position as HTF moderator was even listed side-by-side with various other stations RAF held throughout the years (friend, father, grandfather, teacher). It was clear how much he enjoyed his role with the forum and I hoped that I was able to help the family understand how much we enjoyed having him be such a huge part of our cyber community.

There's Jessie the yodeling cowgirl. Bullseye, he's Woody's horse. Pete the old prospector. And, Woody, the man himself.Of course, it's time for Woody's RoundUp. He's the very best! He's the rootinest, tootinest cowboy in the wild, wild west!

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#54 of 134 Mike Frezon

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Posted October 04 2011 - 10:58 AM

One thing I've forgotten to mention is that Sandy and RAF's children told Ron & I that they had seen this thread and were delighting in it (yet, as you might imagine, in a sad way).

There's Jessie the yodeling cowgirl. Bullseye, he's Woody's horse. Pete the old prospector. And, Woody, the man himself.Of course, it's time for Woody's RoundUp. He's the very best! He's the rootinest, tootinest cowboy in the wild, wild west!

HTF Rules | HTF Mission Statement | Father of the Bride

Dieting with my Dog & Heart to Heart/Hand in Paw by Peggy Frezon

#55 of 134 Charles Smith

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Posted October 04 2011 - 11:17 AM

Good to hear this.  I'd felt compelled to go (45 minutes for me) and I feel bad for not making it.  I didn't know RAF at all, but I was hoping HTF would be well represented, though I couldn't imagine it wouldn't be.  Indeed it was.

#56 of 134 Adam Gregorich

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Posted October 04 2011 - 11:45 AM

I called Ron this afternoon and he said that you happened to be there at the same time.  It means a lot to me that you went Mike, and I can't tell you how pleased, maybe even relieved it made me feel to know that you went as a representative of the members and were able to express what RAF meant to HTF members.  In no way am I trying to take away from Ron's visit, but I think the member perspective that you brought as someone unknown to the family was important and appreciated probably in a different way than Ron's "official" visit which was also appriciated.  I feel bad that I wasn't able to arrange things on my end to be able to go.  You remind me a lot of RAF in the way you extend yourself to the membership here: the way you welcome new members, running the Weekly RoundUp (a huge task) and the way you make your presence felt on the forum.  Thanks again for going.

#57 of 134 Cees Alons

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Posted October 04 2011 - 12:26 PM

Thanks Ron and Mike.

It's absolutely great you could do this - on behalf of the forum (and, I'm sure, of yourselves).


#58 of 134 Sam Posten

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Posted October 04 2011 - 01:19 PM

I wish I could have been there myself, but I'm in FL this week =( Thanks for representing us guys and for expressing to his family how much he meant to so many of us.

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#59 of 134 Raul Marquez,MD

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Posted October 04 2011 - 02:13 PM

The greatness of men is measured by the legacy you leave behind. RAF inspired many of his fellow human beings in many fields from home theater to chemistry. I'm honored to have been counted as one of his friends. He'll always be remembered by us.

#60 of 134 Tina_H_V


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Posted October 04 2011 - 03:36 PM

My condolences to the Fowkes family on the loss of Mr. Robert. :( It was through an e-mail discussion with Mr. Fowkes where I began to curiously delve into the wonders of DTS in early 2000. I had received my first-ever DTS LD, Last Man Standing, and immediately became intrigued. In the ensuing month, I added a Millennium 2.4.6. DTS Decoder, a Pioneer CLD-D406 player and an old Pioneer DPL A/V receiver w/5.1-channel analog inputs. Once I put it all together, I fed my Last Man Standing DTS LD to the 406 and from there...I was merely blown away!!!!!! :jawdrop: Ever since that day, I have been a DTS phile, picking up all the DTS LD's, DVD's, CVD's. D-VHS tapes, HD DVD's and Blu-ray Discs I can afford whenever possible. Mr. Fowkes had a lot to do with that. Thank you, Mr. Fowkes, for all that you gave of yourself to us at HTF...and beyond. R.I.P.
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