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Robert London
May 10, 1946 - March 19, 2020

"A perfect combination of intelligence,
friendliness and sincerity"

From his son Daniel DeForest London (reprinted with permission):

When Bob London was 19 years old and in a deep depression, he had a powerful experience in which he saw divine light beaming in a single blade of grass and then saturating everything around him with an explosion of life and meaning. He then began a lifelong journey, searching for the source of this overwhelming experience of brimming, abundant life. Throughout his journey, he became an English teacher, a chemist, a yoga instructor, a rock climber, an owner of an outdoor supply store, a retail manager at the Harvard Coop bookstore, an Education Specialist for the US Department of Defense, a Silicon Valley CTO, an Allagash adventurer, a Stanford PhD alum, a Doctor of Education and Computer Science, a follower of Sri Chinmoy, an admirer of Mary Baker Eddy, and then ultimately a Jewish disciple of Jesus Christ. He was a proud son, brother, friend, uncle, a true mensch, and so much more.

I am in grief because he died early this morning, but I find immense comfort in knowing that he discovered the source of that divine light; and he let it shine through him most purely and powerfully as a husband and as a father.

I feel it is only appropriate that he passed away on this feast day of St. Joseph, the patron saint of fathers; because it was in being a husband and a father that he found his deepest joy and fulfillment.

The last time I saw him in person, I knelt at his feet and asked for a blessing. He proudly placed his hands on my brother and me and said, while beaming, “The LORD bless you and keep you. The LORD make his face to shine upon you and be gracious to you. The LORD turn his countenance upon you and give you peace.” And with that divine light, my father and his blessings will, no doubt, continue to shine forever.

יִתְגַּדַּל וְיִתְקַדַּשׁ שְׁמֵהּ רַבָּא Yitgadal v’yitkadash sh’mei raba. Amen.

Published by Thomas E. Burger Funeral Home, Ithaca, NY:

Robert "Bob" Van London, May 10, 1946 - March 19, 2020 -- Robert “Bob” Van London, 73, of Ithaca NY passed away on March 19, 2020 after a long and courageous battle with acute myeloid leukemia.

View the full obituary and video keepsake.

Remembered by Burt Sussman:

Was just informed of Bob's passing from cancer, a sad day indeed. He was a friend and one of great intelligence. Knowing he’s gone diminishes many great memories.

Remembered by Martin Kaliski:

It's rare to meet someone and know you were going to be good friends within minutes and still be the best of friends almost 60 years later.

I spent most of my senior year living in Bob's bedroom when it wasn't safe to return to my home. Over his mother's vehement objections. We both lived for many years in the SF Bay area and stayed close. In spite of having to drive through about 90 minutes of horrible traffic; anytime I was ill or had a surgery, Bob would just show up at my door asking what did I need, how could he help. He would make sure to include me in his Christmas plans every year, and his family still feels like a second family to me.

In spite of very large differences in theology, we could discuss our differences in religion, abortion, the role of Jesus, or the historical basis of the Bible without it ever affecting our friendship.

I'll tell stories another time. This was very personal. If you are very lucky, you get one friend like Bob in your life. I'll never have another that good, or that close. I miss him all the time.

Remembered by Bruce Hammer:

Bob and I bonded in 10th grade Biology class. We sat at the lab tables at the back of the class and seemed to share common interests and a similar sense of humor. Bob then brought several other guys into our circle. All of us were relatively smart (except Bob who was brilliant), immature and didn’t mind making fools of ourselves. We were proud to be dubbed the S*heads, an anarchic group of guys looking for fun.

Bob never got angry or nasty, always looked at bad situations with optimism and humor. He was creative, mischievous and always loyal to his friends. We pulled our first all-nighter together and met Richard Roundtree that night, thanks to Pete Cowan. We played ball, climbed trees (he fell out of one at Ed Doherty’s house), and generally tried to combine being 16 and 17 with acting 6 and 7.

Unfortunately, we drifted apart during college and after as he left the area. Then, we spent a lot of time together at our 50th Reunion and he and Janet came up to Vermont with Buzzy Irwin, Marty Kaliski and me. He was still the upbeat, funny person that I was so close to over 50 years before. His three-year fight against leukemia exemplified his optimistic attitude and lack of anger.

He married a wonderful woman and raised two fantastic sons. His legacy lives on.

Remembered by Nicki Luca Creatore:

I first knew Bob in first grade at PS 83 in the Bronx, he lived around the corner from me and we would walk home together after school. We reconnected at Davis Elementary in New Rochelle, and then through high school. We last met up at our 50th high school reunion.

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