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Robert A. Brookshire, 72, died in peace at his home from brain cancer on January 19, 2014, with his partner of 14 years, Kristopher Floyd, by his side. He left this life as he lived it, with grace, dignity, and compassion for everyone around him.
Bob was born on December 11, 1941, in Greencastle, Indiana, to John “Delmas” and “Beulah” Mary (Sheets) Brookshire, who preceded him in death. Bob always joked that his parents could have been John and Mary, but no, they chose to be Delmas and Beulah, neither of which anyone could spell.
After graduation from Greencastle High School in 1960, Bob attended Indiana University where he obtained bachelor's and master's degrees in Secondary Education with a major concentration in biological science.
Bob spent his teaching career at Columbus North High School; the first five years as a biology teacher and, after completion of an endorsement in Instructional Technology, he transitioned to the position of the “AV Guy” in 1971. For the next 26 years Bob’s Audio Visual fiefdom grew in size and reputation. He provided support and creativity to the teachers and staff bringing projects to him, always exceeding their expectations with the latest cutting-edge technology. To the students who were drawn to Bob and welcomed into his circle, the AV office became school of a different sort. It was a place where lessons on the role of an adult were learned, self-motivation was realized, and exposure to Bob’s many interests inspired curiosity.
Bob was a botanist at heart and plants were a lifelong passion. Being the consummate educator, a trip through the woods was always an enlightening experience. He would stop to point out this plant or that and provide a lesson on the plant’s growth habits or reproductive cycle. Bob will be remembered for his lush garden filled with the biggest and most spectacular daylilies, a wide variety of hosta, and his collection of native plants.
Bob lived in Brown County for 31 years where his property, his cabins, his storage buildings, his pond and his gardens were typically works in progress. Bob always knew he would move to Bloomington upon retirement and also the neighborhood he would live in. In 1996 he wrote a letter to homeowners expressing his interest in what would become his home. The letter is still proudly displayed on the wall in the house where Bob created a warm, cozy and welcoming place for all who visited.
The memories created with Bob, whether in Brown County or Bloomington, will be fondly cherished by the many who shared in the laughter, the delightful conversation, and the incredible meals. Bob is survived by his partner, Kristopher Floyd, whom he married in Chester, Vermont on October 24, 2012. Also surviving are his brother, Phillip (Kathy) Brookshire of Cincinnati, Ohio; his nephews, Christopher (Shirley) Brookshire and children Dylan and Natalie of Van Nuys, California; Timothy Brookshire and son Arizona of Columbus, Indiana; and Matthew Brookshire of Bloomington, Indiana; and a goddaughter, Kelsey Ruth Stockton of Fort Collins, Colorado.
Bob cultivated deep and lasting friendships with unwavering loyalty. He leaves behind a vast and diverse network of friends, including his first partner (1964-1975) Bill Barton, and his married partner, Carlos Carranza of Brownsville, Texas, and his second partner (1975-1982) Bruce Mundt and his married partner David Ebony of Columbia County, New York.
We wish to express the warmest gratitude to everyone who gave of themselves during Bob’s care, who shared memories and love of a life well lived, and provided delicious meals. Special appreciation goes to Nowana Schroeder, Bernard Waldheir and all of the nurses and staff at IU Health Hospice whose compassion made Bob’s end of life journey so peaceful and dignified.
There will be a celebration of Bob’s life on Saturday, March 29, 2014, with the time and location to be announced.
Memorial contributions may be made to Freedom Indiana at www.freedomindiana.org in support of the battle to defeat HJR-3 (formerly HJR-6) that would enshrine marriage discrimination into the Indiana Constitution, or IU Health Hospice at iuhealth.org/hospice/giving.