Musings —12.03.2011 08:38 AM—
Robert Spiegel of Kensington, CT was born in Brooklyn, NY on May 2, 1934, lived and subsequently died. Most of his noteworthy accomplishments happened in said middle part. A Professor Emeritus in the English department at Central Connecticut State University, Robert had the rare distinction in his career of receiving five grants from the National Endowment for the Humanities. Over the course of 43 years of teaching, he introduced countless neophytes to the wonders of the well-written word, passionately teaching the likes of Dostoyevsky, Vonnegut, Gogol, Gibson and virtually everyone in between. The final, and an immensely popular course he taught, was that of the literature of baseball. This was thinly veiled therapy to alleviate the trauma he sustained from coaching arguably the worst little league team in recorded (or unrecorded) history and from the sufferings he endured from 40 years as a devout Mets fan.
HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — Robert Spiegel’s passion for Russian literature, the New York Mets, ethnic cooking and beagles endeared him to generations of students and colleagues at Central Connecticut State University. Now, through the power of social media, the 77-year-old former English professor’s obituary is charming strangers, as well. Spiegel, a resident of the Hartford suburb of Berlin and a native of New York City, died Wednesday after a struggle with cardiac disease and dementia. He was eulogized in a quirky obituary written by his son that appeared Friday in central Connecticut newspapers. It quickly started spreading on strangers’ Facebook pages and Twitter feeds, usually accompanied by the readers’ admissions they did not know him — but wished they had, based on the richly detailed obituary.