Published by the Freedom From Religion Foundation, Inc. FFRF.org

In memoriam: Bob Love was founding member of FFRFMCC

Vol. 37 No. 04 May 2020

Tom Cara, FFRF Metropolitan Chicago Chapter’s executive director, wrote the following about FFRF Member Bob Love:

With a deep heart, I am very sorry to announce the death of one of our dedicated chapter members. Bob Love died Feb. 24 at the age of 91 after battling pneumonia for many weeks.

As one of FFRF Metropolitan Chicago Chapter’s founding members, he always looked forward to participating in our events. But, due to his recent need to take care of his ailing wife Lily, Bob could not join in with us as much as he would have liked. He had always been a tremendous financial supporter of the chapter since its inception, and was very much a champion of the mission of the Freedom From Religion Foundation. He had also been very hopeful of having the opportunity to visit Freethought Hall one day, which was something we had talked about doing together. I feel badly this was not something we were ever able to arrange.

Bob was an avid tennis player and was always ready to offer a good joke, particularly those which poked fun at religion.

He served in the military after World War II, and always recounted how servicemen had to provide a declaration of religious faith. At that time, there was no choice for those who had no religious affiliation, so his only option was to indicate “Jewish,” which was the religious identification of his birth family. But identifying as Jewish presented its own problems during his years in the military, as all were compelled to participate in Christian worship services. This was something that always troubled him for the 70 years after he finished his duty, as he had been a staunch atheist for most of his life.

Last spring, he and Lily needed to sell their condominium when it became clear she needed greater assistance in her daily living. They moved to an assisted living community, from where Bob had contacted me last fall with the news that a secular group had formed at their facility. This was something he was very excited about since, prior to that, it was primarily those of religious faith who were provided with activities and services catering to their beliefs. He had invited me to attend their first meeting, which took place in November, and I was pleased to join with the group to provide an FFRF perspective.

My wife Erin and I had the pleasure of having dinner with Bob and Lily on occasion. That became more difficult to do once Lily’s health began to deteriorate. Sadly, Lily is now without him, but Bob left her in good hands when they moved to Sedgebrook Retirement Community, which provides wonderful care.

It is always a sad day when we lose a fellow freethinker. Bob’s devotion to nontheism and state-religion separation will be missed. Let us carry on that work.