Announcement – Robert Phelan, WUWT moderator, has died

Robert E. Phelan [REP]

UPDATE: Details on the wake, funeral, and memorial fund are below. Given the circumstances that I’ve just now learned about, I ask WUWT denizens to help the Phelan family with funeral costs in lieu of flowers. See the update below – Anthony

I received this communications a short while ago. It is with the greatest sadness that I must announce this.

Diane Phelan
Message: Dear Anthony and the WUWT moderators:

I am the daughter of Robert Phelan and I unfortunately have some bad news to pass on.  My father passed away suddenly last night from what we believe to be a heart attack.  I know you had a party planned on the 18th.  I would hate to say it’s cancelled because knowing my father, he would want the celebration to continue, but I’m hoping we could have a conversation first.

I’m so sorry to have to bring this news to you.  He spoke of you often and with much respect and admiration.

Bob was the nicest and most helpful individual you could ever want to meet. I had met him twice, at two Heartland conferences, and we spoke over the phone often. He was tireless and dedicated to helping us all here, he was very helpful to me, and we’ve all lost a dear friend. Many of you knew him by his signature [REP]. 

I can tell you this was like a kick in the stomach for me. I loved Bob like a brother. He was always quick with a laugh and easy to talk with. He was fair, and honest, and good. My last communications with him was yesterday morning, and as usual, it was a message to help me with something about WUWT, passing along an important comment that I might otherwise have missed due to the volume.

I spoke with Diane Phelan his daughter, today, and I have conveyed my deepest sympathy to her and to the family. Details on funeral or other arrangements are obviously uncertain right now, and I will pass them along on this thread as I have them. I’ll also post a photo and official obituary when I have them.

As for the WUWT East Coaster’s picnic planned at Bob’s house on the 18th, – I don’t know at this point. One day at a time.

Bob was a lecturer at Eastern Connecticut State University in Sociology, Anthropology & Social Work. He understood people well, which is what made him such a great asset as a lead moderator at WUWT. To say he will be missed here, is an understatement.

The header of WUWT goes to a black band now, to honor and mourn his passing.

###

UPDATE: A site for donations to help cover funeral costs will be made available in a day or two. I’ll announce that here when it is ready. – Anthony

UPDATE2: 8/11/12 6:30PM PST

The wake is this Wed, August 15th from 4-8p at the Cody-White Funeral Home (right off the Milford MetroNorth stop) 107 Broad St., Milford, CT 06460.

The funeral is this Thurs., August 16th at 10:30 am at St. Mary’s Church, 70 Gulf St. Milford, CT. The interment will be at St Mary’s Cemetery immediately following.

Full obituary here

The link to the memorial fund site set up is:

http://www.giveforward.com/therobertphelanmemorialfund

There’s lot of new pictures of Bob there. Please take a moment to look and consider helping.

The Phelan family asked me if I would ask your to donate to the memorial fund in lieu of flowers. I am happy to do so, especially after learning of this below.

I received this update from his daughter Diane Phelan, when I inquired where Bob was when he was stricken:

To answer your question, my father was found at his study desk, where we often found him asleep! He had very likely fallen asleep moderating the blog, or doing some related research.

As I probably mentioned to you, he most likely didn’t feel it and it was quick and peaceful for him, something I am grateful for and it’s what he would have wanted.

Thank you for any considerations you can offer. I have made a significant contribution myself. – Anthony

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364 thoughts on “Announcement – Robert Phelan, WUWT moderator, has died

  1. This is a terrible shock. Bob Phelan was truly one of the good guys. He was fair and honest, and fun to be with. He will be missed by everyone who had the pleasure of knowing him.

    • I should add, that I know Bob would be happy that this announcement appeared here first, ahead of the local newspaper. He was a strong advocate of the value of online forums and the immediacy they brought.

  2. I am sorry for his family and for the loss of your friend and confidant. Life delivers little reminders.

  3. I HATE news like this. Rest in peace, Bob, and thanks for all the time you spent making this place work.

  4. Very sad news and my condolences to his family and friends. Such a shame coming so soon after his very generours offer to host the community event. RIP, REP.

  5. He will be missed, but his work and his legacy will live on. Sincere condolances to his family, friends and colleagues.

  6. I have to say, I’m in a bit of shock. The blogosphere is a unique place where you start counting people you have never met as acquaintances and friends. One never knows how true that is until you lose one of them.

    My sympathies to the family and friends. He made the world a better place.

  7. Oh no!
    News like this really hurts, Anthony my sympathies for your loss of such a tremendous person in your life and contributor to WUWT.
    My condolences for all and especially his family and loved ones.
    Robert Phelan, RIP – a loss that will be felt far and wide I’m sure.

  8. My sincerest condolences to his family. I shall miss seeing his comments and signature on here, and miss his insight and wit. Rest easy, Mr. Phelan.

  9. Diane and Family,

    So very sorry. I did not know REP except via his comments on WUWT and always they showed intellect and wit — someone I would like to know. That was always unlikely as I live in the State of Washington. There are many readers here in WA and worldwide that knew your Father in this same manner. Most of us don’t know what to say at these times. But the list of comments will grow large as the community learns of and shares the loss of his passing. Peace.

    John

  10. Robert,

    I, like others, have been blessed by your contributions all this time. I did not know you were REP, but it doesn’t surprise me at all. A great big “Thank-you!!”, from this big fan.

    Family and friends of Robert,

    You clearly had a very special man in your midst. Thank you for the support you have given him, that he could better help so many. My great condolences to you all for your loss. You will be in my prayers.

    Richard

  11. I only knew him through the REP initials and his straight down the line moderation replies to the disruptive and over enthusiastic, to the point and effective. Our condolences to his family and Diane in particular for letting us know. This Australian appreciates his dedication and calming presence, you can be so pround of him.

  12. Things like that come as a shock. To me, it feels like WUWT has become an extended family and a member’s been lost. My sincere condolences to family and friends.

  13. All condolences to his family. He commented only where comments were due, snipped only where it was appropriate. I will miss his wit.

  14. Rest in Peace and peace to his family and friends. It’s always a shock when someone dies – even if you’re expecting it. Much worse if it’s unexpected.

  15. My heart, prayers, and wishes go out to Mr Phelan, his family and friends.

    He always took time to encourage and joke with me.
    I am sure he will be dearly missed, by many.
    I have lost a friend and true mentor.

    kimmie

  16. My most sincere condolences to his family, and to those who worked so hard with him to shine a light on the truth.

  17. I enjoyed every snip and comment REP made.
    I’ll miss his presence. Condolences to his family and friends.

  18. Occasionally, there is such a soul. May your best memories of him give you strength and consolation.

    My regards to family and others.

  19. My deepest sympathies for his family, friends, and associates. I’ve just returned from my own mother’s funeral and deeply feel the pain of others for there family losses.

  20. Oh my. I met Bob at one of the ICCCs, I think he became a moderator soon after that. I liked the way he kept Eastern US morning under control, he did things like I wanted done, but he did it better than I could.

    Perversely enough, after the picnic was set up, an elderly aunt of mine in Norwalk CT died. Her memorial service is scheduled on the 19th, so my wife and I will be in CT anyway, picnic nor not.

    We have tropical rains out tonight, and I’m about to head home. I think I’ll drive a little slowly tonight.

  21. Why do they always take the good guys away?
    If you ever saw (REP) you knew there was an opportunity to learn.
    Thank you for being, condolences to all

  22. My sincerest condolences to his family and friends. He enriched WUWT with his good judgement and humor.

  23. My condolences to the family

    All that is given is taken
    All but the promise as spoken
    All that are dead will awaken
    All is returned when awoken

    EWRG

  24. “REP” as he was known to me will be greatly missed by his virtual WUWT family as well as his real family and friends. My condolences as well.

  25. Sad to hear of his passing.

    I first met Bob casually in a pub in Taipei called Ploughman’s Pub over 25 years ago although we were not introduced to each other at that time. We became reacquainted several years ago through WUWT and I saw him at this years HI conference in Chicago.

    He will be remembered.

    John

  26. Sad news indeed. My thoughts prayer go out to his family and I send my condolences.

    REP will be missed.

  27. I felt compelled to grep through the recent articles, looking for
    Robert’s last inline post as a moderator.-

    [SNIP: Yes it is OT. Please submit to Tips and Notes or some other more appropriate thread. -REP]

    Thanks, Robert, for keeping it on topic.

    REPLY: thanks for doing that, Anthony

  28. My sincerest condolences to Mr. Phelan’s family and to the crew at WUWT.

    The Internet is something of a two-edged sword; it vastly expands one’s circle of friends and acquaintances, which is a good thing, but along with the good, comes the inevitable bad when members of that expanded circle shuffle off this mortal coil.

  29. I’m very sorry that the real world has lost a really valuable contributor. I too have enjoyed his contributions, and his ability to keep the cats herded.

  30. My sincere condolences to Bob’s family and to his friends.

    It saddened me to here of his passing. I will miss Bob’s fairness, patience and wit.

    My thoughts are with you,

    Bob Tisdale

  31. Oh dear, oh dear, oh dear! I only knew him by his initials, but always appreciated his courteous, yet firm hand moderating. The world is a poorer place without him.

  32. “Each man’s life touches so many other lives. When he isn’t around he leaves an awful hole…”

    God bless you [REP]. Heartfelt condolences to loved ones.

  33. It’s sad to hear of Robert’s passing. My sincere condolences to Diane, Robert’s Family and friends.

    RIP, Bob

  34. I’m so sorry, Anthony. My condolences to his family for their loss – and to you for the loss of a great friend.

  35. Like many others, I never met Bob Phelan. I knew of him only through his moderations on WUWT. His comments were a joy to read, witty, and fair. I will miss him for that.

    My condolences to his family and friends.

  36. Robert (REP) Phelan
    Fair, considerate, witty
    Everything a good moderator needs to be.
    Sadly missed.

  37. Upon recovering from the shock of suddenly losing her father, Diane Phelan worries about inconveniencing others. She is her fathers daughter.

  38. A great loss indeed. I always enjoyed Robert’s short and often amusing moderation comments. Our prayers and sympathy go out to his family and friends. R.I.P., Robert Phelan.

  39. Vale REP, thank you for your contribution towards free speech and the dissemination of truth.

  40. How awful! Though I was not able to attend the party, I was delighted to discover, via his responses in the ‘invitation’ thread, that he was once a brakeman on the old New Haven Railroad, and I was looking forward to meeting with him at some point and learning more about his railroad experiences. Now I just learned we had some anthropology in our backgrounds, as well.

    Sorry as I am to have lost the chance of meeting, I am also dismayed at the loss of his talents on this blog, his always-gentle remonstrances with wayward commenters, always ready with a quip. I can only imagine how devastating this must be for his family. My deepest sympathies to them.

    /Mr Lynn

  41. His work as a moderator here was appreciated by all, and it’s invaluable work which has made this place the one for a courteous exchange of viewpoints, that we all enjoy.

    RIP Robert, condolences to your family, and may they find some comfort even in the shock of his death, in knowing how greatly valued he was, by so many

  42. My Prayers go out to his family; may they be granted “The peace that passeth all understanding”.

  43. Bob Phelan, as REP, was a calm steadying presence here at WUWT. Never snappish, always good-humored. An honorable guy in a heated climate. A rare breed.

  44. This is such sad news to learn of the loss of a key member of the community that has formed here. My most sincere condolences to the Phelan family, his local community as well as to the other mods, readers who Bob has assisted, and Mr Watts. So long, REP, rest easy.

  45. Horrible news. I will miss his polite comments on here, always followed by [REP]. You could tell he was a fair and decent man.

  46. Reblogged this on evilincandescentbulb and commented:
    “He is a great average man; one who, to the best thinking, adds a proportion and equality in his faculties, so that men see in him their own dreams and glimpses made available and made to pass for what they are. A great common-sense is his warrant and qualification to be the world’s interpreter. He has reason, as all the philosophic and poetic class have: but he has also what they have not,- this strong solving sense to reconcile his poetry with the appearances of the world, and build a bridge from the streets of cities to the Atlantis. (Emerson)

  47. Condolences to all of the family – but believe that he lives on in the minds and hearts of us all .. his work and memories will be here forever. [REP] it is time to rest keep our spot open for we will join you over time.

  48. What sad news. Judging by his contributions here, the world has lost an obviously hard working, honourable, patient and good humoured man.

  49. I never knew what REP meant and thought that it was a generic label. Know I know and am sad at the loss. Condolences to family and friends.

  50. I hope we can find out more about him. Ever present though without a face. RIP Robert and thanks for your contribution.

  51. I’m so sad to hear this. I can’t add anything to the above messages, except to second them and know that they are passed unanimously.

  52. I don’t believe in gods or an afterlife, but I believe there are good people. In my experience, REP was one of those. He’ll be sorely missed.

  53. condolences to robert phelan’s family and friends, from all of us who are able to participate at WUWT due to the assistance of such an admirable man.

  54. “Moderation is the silken string running through the pearl chain of all virtues.” Bishop Hall

    Condolences to the family and friends of [REP], Robert Phelan.

  55. Sad news indeed. Even though we never met, many of us hear feel like we knew him well. He will be both missed and remembered. My thoughts and prayers go out to his family.

  56. I had heard a rumour there weren’t enough moderators in heaven. Best wishes to the family and his friends.

  57. With as much time as he spent here with us I hope he made sure to spend time with his family. I want to thank his family for sharing him with us.

  58. Forum Moderators are the unsung heroes of the internet. My sincere condolences to the WUWT community and Mr Watts, and to all those who loved Mr Phelan.

  59. Sad news indeed. I enjoyed reading his invitation to a party at his house, but alas, Vermont was a tad too far away . Now the distance seems close enough, had I the chance again. RIP Robert.

  60. RIP, REP.

    Well done with the black banner, Anthony. So few remember appropriate use of the black of mourning.

  61. From time to time a really good person appears among us for a period and then leaves. My condolences on your loss to the family. He will be missed by all.

  62. REP to your family Thank You. It is a sad day when a man dies who has contributed to the world community in such a positive way. Condolences.
    Terry and Hyon

  63. I recognized his moderation signature….and can only comment that He and his family can be proud of what he contributed to: the ‘take-down’ of the fiction of CAGW.

    I’m proud to be able to just watch it in action. Contributing to it? Only in my dreams.

    But Robert Phelan? He did it.

  64. My prayer to the family from Numbers 6:24-26 from the Bible.
    “May the Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make His face shine upon you and be gracious to you; the Lord turn His face toward you and give you peace.” Amen.

  65. Three little letters and yet they carried weight with us faceless readers. Time and effort revealed a passion for knowledge and sharing – it did not go unnoticed. Thank you REP! And my condolences to his family.

  66. I enjoyed his comments and will miss his comments even though I didn’t know him. My condolences to his family.

    Jim

  67. Condolences to everyone in his family and his friends. He will be missed here as well. His sig and his moderation were something I tried to keep from happening and only got nipped once. RIP

  68. Classy moderation makes a classy blog/forum. Robert did that. We all noticed and appreciated his contribution. Like Anthony and all the moderators, a soldier for truth. We honor his memory.

  69. This is sad news. My condolences to Roberts family. I and many others will remember Robert as one of the happy few there on St. Crispins day.

  70. Oh dear, I am very sad to hear this. My best wishes got to his family, especially Diane Phelan who somehow found the strength to notify his online family of this terrible news.

    Rest well Mr. Phelan.

  71. Lyrics come to mind:

    You who dwell in the shelter of the Lord,
    Who abide in His shadow for life,
    Say to the Lord, “My Refuge,
    My Rock in Whom I trust.”

    And He will raise you up on eagle’s wings,
    Bear you on the breath of dawn,
    Make you to shine like the sun,
    And hold you in the palm of His Hand.
    The snare of the fowler will never capture you,
    And famine will bring you no fear;
    Under His Wings your refuge,
    His faithfulness your shield.

    And He will raise you up on eagle’s wings,
    Bear you on the breath of dawn,
    Make you to shine like the sun,
    And hold you in the palm of His Hand.
    You need not fear the terror of the night,
    Nor the arrow that flies by day,
    Though thousands fall about you,
    Near you it shall not come.

    And He will raise you up on eagle’s wings,
    Bear you on the breath of dawn,
    Make you to shine like the sun,
    And hold you in the palm of His Hand.
    For to His angels He’s given a command,
    To guard you in all of your ways,
    Upon their hands they will bear you up,
    Lest you dash your foot against a stone.

    And He will raise you up on eagle’s wings,
    Bear you on the breath of dawn,
    Make you to shine like the sun,
    And hold you in the palm of His Hand.
    And hold you in the palm of His Hand.

    Michael Joncas

  72. RIP Mate, your work was appreciated by this Aussie and so was the help you gave me when I first started posting comments here.
    Hear hear on the use of the black banner Anthony.
    A fitting tribute to a very central figure to our online community.

  73. May your glass be ever full.
    May the roof over your head be always strong.
    And may you be in heaven
    a full half hour before the devil knows you’re dead.

  74. It is always heart-breaking to lose a family member or a close virtual or real-life friend. As a frequent lurker and occasional poster, here, like so many, I have always appreciated [REP]‘s judicious and witty moderation.

    To Anthony and to Robert’s family – and to his friends around the world – I offer my condolences. May the lessons that he has taught us – and his memory – be a blessing that guides us and lives on in our hearts.

  75. “Here’s to the hands and hearts of the men who come with the dust and are gone with the wind”

    Sincerest condolences to his family and Anthony

  76. Condolences to family, and to friends. As a long time reader on this site, I have enjoyed REP’s moderations. He will be missed, RIP. Please pass on a word of thanks for all that he did here.

  77. A great loss. Robert’s initials are very familiar to me from moderated comments over the years. Very sad.

  78. This is a tremendous loss to both his family and this community. You do not always get to know people as well as you would like online but my interactions with him were always professional. Moderation is an unglamorous and tedious job but without it you would have chaos here and I have a deep respect for those who volunteer their time to make a community like this successful. While he would likely want the party to continue, I would suggest it would be easier on his family to have someone else host it at a different location. BTW, Anthony do you know how old he was?

  79. Sorry to hear this sad news.My sincere condolences to the family and his many friends.He will be deeply missed.RIP Mr Phelan.

  80. Phelan is a good Irish name, so here’s a tribute to departed fathers like Robert from my friends The Elders.

  81. Reblogged this on gottadobetterthanthis and commented:
    Reblogging on my site can make no statistical difference, but I can, and I will. I am sorry for this loss. My condolences to all, especially the Phelan family. Thank you Ms. Phelan for letting us know, and thanks to Anthony for posting.

    When I lost my father, a short Charlie Peackock song comforted me. It still brings a tear to my eye when I hear it.

    It just happened again, I wanted to call you up
    I wanted your opinion about something
    It’s funny how I valued it so little before
    And now that I can’t have it, I value it more
    Why didn’t God let me know? I could have had pleaded your case
    With Christmas around the corner
    He’d have seen it was bad timing and in poor taste
    But He didn’t ask me and I didn’t know
    It was your time to go
    Couldn’t cuss, couldn’t cry, couldn’t crawl
    Threw my hands up in the face of it all
    So this is what it’s like to be the child
    Of a man who’s dead and gone
    Well, the next time I see him it will be in a different light
    When we look at each other all we’ll see is what’s right
    And if I am indeed my father’s crown, I will lay my body down
    At the feet of my Savior and I will sing forever
    With the perfection my father so desired
    Every note in tune, every rhythm flawless
    Hallelujah, Hallelujah, Hallelujah!
    [Charlie Peacock]

    RIP REP

  82. I too, while not knowing Robert, will miss his periodic comments. It is a sad day, WUWT will feel a bit empty for a while… I am sorry for his family and wish them strength through the coming days

  83. Robert Phelan – Yes, many around the world now know he has contributed greatly to the health of this world. Borrowing from that dynamo Benjamin Franklin: ‘…now it’s up to you to keep it.’. Let us continue Robert’s efforts promoting civil, yet spirited, debating and developing of revealed obvious through intricately nuanced ‘truths of nature’ so that we, and our progeny, can better appreciate our worlds. My thanks and appreciation to all connected with this WUWT interweb ‘family’ and especially, at this time, to the Phelan family. Our future has been made more hopeful through Robert Phelan.

  84. Diane, in our struggle to find the truth your father was out in front helping to light the path. May we all be together someday when we achieve our final rest. Blessings to you and your family. Doug Sherman, Vallejo Ca.

  85. Thanks Bob.

    We’re winning and part of the reason we are winning is that we’ve stayed out of the mud. REP helped make that happen.

    REP had the gifts of wit and grace.

    I will miss him.

    To his family: I share your sorrow.

  86. My sincere condolences. WUWT is a community, and one I’ve always felt welcome at. They say in sports that the best ref is one you don’t notice, but clearly that doesn’t apply here, as Mr. Phelan was noticed and appreciated by all. WUWT is richer for having known him, and now poorer for losing him.

  87. “Many of you knew him by his signature [REP]”

    Indeed so. I marvelled often at the self-control and politeness he displayed when dealing with *some* comments. Condolences to his family and eveyone who knew him.

  88. Sunrise, Sunset.
    Sunrise, Sunset.
    Swiftly flow the years…
    One season following another,
    Fading from happiness to tears.
    Sunrise. Sunset.
    Sunrise……Sunset.

    My deepest sympathies to the family of [REP]. I knew him and appreciated him as the voice of reason behind many comment threads here at WUWT.

  89. I and many others will miss him but we never knew him. Such was his greatness.

    Sincere condolences to those who did know him, especially his family. Many care about your pain.

    Richard

  90. Difficult to believe we will no longer see the initials REP moderating on this site.

    I add my condolences to his family and friends.

  91. Robert E Phelan was one of the most interesting commenters on sceptical blogs, often bringing his social science expertise to bear in a thought-provoking manner. I’ve started a thread at

    http://bishophill.squarespace.com/discussion/post/1920076

    where readers are invited to post links or quotes from his contributions, just to show that the “soft” social sciences have something useful and original to offer to the discussion. Anyone who’s more organised than I am and has kept references is invited to contribute to a memorial “best of” compilation of his contributions. Thanks WUWT readers, and thanks Robert.

  92. His legacy, in part, can be found in the fond memories that the people here have of him. To the ancient Egyptians, your afterlife depended on how well you were remembered. Even by their standard, [REP] will do well.

    Godspeed [REP]

  93. The warmists scratch their heads why sceptic blog sites go from strength to strength and the answer is here. When the death of someone you’ve never met, never really exchanged words with makes you cry, you know that that person was someone special. Moderating is a very hard, under appreciated job and Bob was firm, fair and witty. If the World was led by people like that, we’d have few problems. Sceptics are revolutionaries and Bob was a big part of what makes this the gentlest, most reasonable revolution ever. A special thank you to his family for lending him to us. We will remember.

  94. Paul Vaughan gives a fine example of Roberts work. He was a fair minded man and will be much missed.Sympathies goes to his family for whom this has been a great shock

    tonyb

  95. My condolences to Robert’s family.
    Being at the ‘alarmist’ side of many climate change issues, I often disagree with many of WUWT commenters. Still, I have found moderators to be fair, balanced and reasonable. May this long list of supporting posts give some strength to his family, and let me express my gratitude for the important work that WUWT moderators are doing day-in, day-out.
    Robert will be missed dearly.

  96. As someone else commented, REP had the rare ability to keep the cats herded without raising any hackles. Condolences to his family.

  97. Didnt actually know him but I could tell by his replies and comments that he was one of the good ones .With a mind I could have really gotten to know. RIP REP

    • I am shocked. I always appreciated Bob’s frequent and fair moderation notes. I was sorry not to have any possibility to get over the pond for the WUWT picnic he had planned for the 18th – it would have been a great pleasure to finally meet him. He will be sorely missed by the moderation team.

  98. People have already said just about everything I would like to have said.
    I can only add that I wish I had known him as a man and not just by his initials.

  99. This is so sad. I lurk here regularly and post rarely but [REP]‘s moderation was always fair and witty and his remarks usually spot on. My condolences to his family and friends.

  100. Two further thoughts cross my mind.

    Firstly, will Robert’s family be made aware of this page which might provide some small comfort to them, knowing that he was held in such great respect and admiration?.

    Second, is that we don’t show our appreciation enough of people that peform sterling service on our behalf. Yesterday was my Birthday. We spent it going for a long walk on Dartmoor, then had a delicious cream tea at the most delightful country house hotel. I said to the owner how delightful the experience had been and she was visibly pleased. We need to tell people like Robert, like DB Stealey and all those we come into regular contact with in all walks of life, how much their efforts are appreciated

    tonyb

  101. May I offer my deepest condolences to his family, friends, students and colleagues. He will be missed here. :(

  102. Gone, but never to be forgotten. You can’t stop the signal.
    My sincere condolences to his family and friends.

    Ivor Ward

  103. Sad day, I would join the long list of people here offering condolences to Mr Phelan’s Family and Friends.

  104. United we stand, divided we fall

    A fallen trouper who will be greatly missed

    R.I.P. Robert Phelan

  105. Very sad news. My condolences to his family and friends. We will miss him here at WUWT too in this on line family.

  106. Condolences to this family and friend..

    and all those touched by his presence.

    A fair and true soul.

  107. The testament to his skill and professionalism is that he did what is too often a thankless task, while largely remaining invisible to the masses … which is even more true with a topic with many partisan positions and opinions.

    A community such as WUWT cannot survive, let alone thrive, without a steady, reasoned, hand on the tiller – and it is clear Robert was such a man.

    I would hope the many comments here offer some comfort to his friends and family – that he was one who made a difference – a positive influence – in this world.

  108. Gosh, I didn’t even realize “REP” was one individual’s initials. I am glad he was able to contribute so much to a good cause, and thankful as well. I wish the best to everyone who knew him personally. He no doubt had a positive effect on many lives if he was even a fraction as fair and dedicated “out there” as he was here.

  109. I had not met Robert in person but have spoken to him on the phone many times. His concern for doing the right thing and making sure he was meticulous was unending.

    We live in an unusual time of friendships forged via online forums.

    It was the catalyst of online personalities that caused me to take the leap and meet Steve McIntyre, Anthony Watts, Steven Mosher, Willis Eschenbach, and others in person. I have been to South America with people I have met online (not dating services), at other boards. It has definitely been a privilege to have engaged and worked with Robert. I wish I could have added him to the list of those online personas that eventually came to my real life.

  110. Unmoderated shock and sorrow, even though we all die at some point. At least, he died an accomplished man, leaving behind a stunningly beautiful afterlife — a transition not all of us will be lucky to make. Diane, be good to yourself.

  111. We will all miss him.
    I pray for Gods arms to uphold and surround his family and friends at this time.
    Jams Bull

  112. Condolences, like many I hadn’t had an identity to ‘REP’ as only one person till now, he will be missed…

  113. It is foolish and wrong to mourn the men who died. Rather we should thank God that such men lived. – George S, Patton.

    and, imho, totally appropriate here. the world is a better place for him having been here, and we were all lucky to have interacted with him.

    may his family and friends find solace in the knowledge that his life made a difference,

  114. My wife passed similarly less than three weeks ago, she left copies of the following poem for her wake,

    “Death is nothing at all
    I have only slipped away into the next room
    I am I and you are you
    Whatever we were to each other
    That we are still
    Call me by my old familiar name
    Speak to me in the easy way you always used
    Put no difference into your tone
    Wear no forced air of solemnity or sorrow
    Laugh as we always laughed
    At the little jokes we always enjoyed together
    Play, smile, think of me, pray for me
    Let my name be ever the household word that it always was
    Let it be spoken without effort
    Without the ghost of a shadow in it
    Life means all that it ever meant
    It is the same as it ever was
    There is absolute unbroken continuity
    What is death but a negligible accident?
    Why should I be out of mind
    Because I am out of sight?
    I am waiting for you for an interval
    Somewhere very near
    Just around the corner
    All is well.
    Nothing is past; nothing is lost
    One brief moment and all will be as it was before
    How we shall laugh at the trouble of parting when we meet again!

    Canon Henry Scott-Holland ”

    The family celebrated her life at the Wake and until 5am. There was more laughter than tears.
    That has supported me, I am sure he is still with you Diane, God Bless.

  115. Not many years ago the word Blog had not entered the English language. The concept of an internet moderator did not exist. It is a new profession, [even though it is often performed for free], with a role similar to that of editors or sub-editors in the printed press. REP was one of those who set the standard for this new profession, a standard that should be aspired to and held up as an example.

    What does a moderator do? He moderates. It is at once a simple word, yet also a skill that does not come easily to many. Moderation is an attribute, a state of mind which speaks to the quality of the [often anonymous] human behind the initials. A human who is not seeking public recognition, reward, or congratulation for their efforts, and has the temper to not become inflamed by the opinions of others. When compared to REP, many moderators across the web appear to not even understand the word, and often appear to know virtually nothing about the subject content of the matter being discussed. They are merely censors, often with the mind of a village provost, destined for the greater obscurity awaiting them.

    Because he worked on Watts Up With That, one of the most frequented web-sites, REP leaves behind a world wide legacy and reputation. Indeed, he was one of those partly responsible for the popularity of WUWT, and the world is better place for having people like him.

  116. Dear Dianne,

    Thank you for writing and sharing the pleasure of knowing your father, a true friend and colleague to many dotted over this globe. It is so sad to hear this news of your father.

    I never knew Bob, other than REP. Now I know know him to be a father, a great brother, scholar and friend cherished by many of the WUWT bloggers. And what teasing we tried of him as we type from all corners of the globe, and admiration for his never ending and always kindly admonishing to our cheekiness as we tried to slip through with a comment or two. REP (Bob) will be greatly missed.

    Vale and the very best wishes to you, your family and friends.
    Jessie, Australia

  117. My heartfelt sympathy to the Phelan family, and to all here who will miss Bob’s witty comments and snips.

  118. Robert,
    Where ever you are now, please accept our appreciation for all you did in getting the word out. With what you and Anthony Watts did, you opened up many of our eyes. We are forever grateful and indebted to you. We thank you for all you have done and hope you are reading this from a better place.

  119. Very sad to hear. My condolences to his family and to those who knew him well. For the rest of us, the reasoned wisdom behind the moderation signed REP…. will be missed.

  120. Thank You REP.

    You’ve gone to the secret world.
    Which way is it?
    You broke the cage and flew.
    You heard the drum that calls you home.
    You left this humiliating shelf,
    This disorienting desert
    Where we’re given wrong directions.
    What use now a crown?
    You’ve become the sun.
    No need for a belt: You’ve slipped out of your waist!
    I have heard that near the end
    You were eyes looking at soul.
    No looking now. You live inside the soul.
    You’re the strange autumn rose
    That led the winter wind in by withering.
    You’re rain soaking everywhere
    From cloud to ground. No bother of talking.
    Flowing silence and sweet sleep beside the friend.
    (Rumi)

    Mitakuye Oyasin

    Volker

  121. Robert’s untimely passing reminds us all, and especially those of us who are past, long past, the invulnerability of youth, that every day is a blessing and a wonder, to be embraced with all of the enthusiasm and magnanimity that one can muster; there may not be another.

    We live most of our lives planning for later, often forgetting that life is now, not tonight, not tomorrow, not next week or next year. For those who have not yet reached the age of seniority, this is a life lesson best learned young, options limit as you get to the age where you understand you face the Gates.

    But what distinguishes Robert Phelan from so many, is that he voluntarily surrendered much of his now to a greater service, a service on behalf of others, and most poignantly, to the service of those he would never meet, for which his only satisfaction could be that of a gentleman, responding to a need, without recompense, or even notoriety. Blessed be those who simply give of themselves. Blessed be Robert E Phelan, and blessed be Diane and the family in knowing the measure of her father. May they all find comfort in the magnanimity of his life.

  122. My condolences to the friends and family.
    I would like you all to know that, as a former resident of Connecticut, I always enjoyed Robert’s replies to my comments about Pepe’s and Sally’s pizza wars. It was a minor thing and even though I know all other readers really didn’t care, he understood and was gracious enough to take the time to comment. It says so much about the man, that he was able to bring a little joy to someone he did not know just by doing that. Thanks Robert, may you rest in peace.

  123. Robert Phalen was a terrific moderator. I enjoyed his comments and his occasional private e-mails, and he made me feel like a friend. What a wonderful guy, and what a terrible loss. My condolences to his family, to you, Anthony, and fellow moderators.

  124. My condolences to his family and friends. To me the [REP] tag meant ‘good bloke’ and I never even blinked when he snipped a post.

  125. Condolences to all who loved him. May Peace and Strength find you.

    While I still have a chance to say it to all remaining contributors to this blog: Thank you!

  126. My deepest sympathy to [REP]‘s family.
    I hope they can read this page, and see from the many comments that friendship in the virtual community is as real as that in ‘real life’.

    As so many have said before, I shall miss seeing [REP] …

  127. “A human life is a story told by God.”
    ~Hans Christian Andersen

    He told a fine one here… We all feel this tremendous loss… My condolences to family and friends.

  128. He clearly had infinitely greater abilities as a moderator than my past efforts at a very different site. I wouldn’t have the patience to deal with some of the more “trying” contributors here. I don’t think he ever had to give me a ticking off, but if there was an occasion I can’t recall, it would doubtless have put me in my place, without leaving me feeling angry.

    My thoughts are with his family, and the rest of the team behind this blog, at a sad loss.

  129. I am shocked and saddened to hear this news. He was a terrific moderator, and even though he was known to many only as “Rep”, his sudden passing is no less poignant for that.

  130. Robert Phelan’s distinguished contributions to moderating the always interesting discussions on this excellent website were outstanding. Many prayers for him and his family.

    REP: RIP. – M of B

  131. REP was a fine moderator on this blog…I will miss his fair comments. My condolences to his family and friends. RIP.

  132. I, too, am shocked and saddened by this news. I knew Robert Phelan as a commenter at Bishop Hill, who attracted my attention through the wisdom and humor that I perceived from his comments. Like Mr. Lynn, I also noted his mention of anthropology and especially looked forward to his take on things – all too seldom – I also have an anthropological background. I never knew he was REP here!

    geoffchambers, before I saw your comment, I had done a search for him at Bishop Hill to go back to when I’d finished reading this thread, thanks for opening a discussion thread.

    I will miss him.

  133. This brought tears to my eyes this morning. I had leave my response this afternoon. I couldn’t do it this morning.

    My heartfelt wishes go to his family because it is the living who suffer at event like this. REP, you WILL be gretly missed. à votre Dieu.

  134. A sad loss. It is telling that one of his last acts was organising a festivity – clearly a man who lived life to the full. REP’s steady hand on even the most rumbuctuous debates here will be sorely missed, along with his wit and style.

    Condolences to his family and friends.

  135. Aw man I feel so bad to have to say these words belatedly, I am a man who was around before the internet had pictures, and have known moderators almost endless.
    VERY FEW did I admire for even handedness.

    I never knew who [REP] was but figured I’d find out, some day. I’ve found out, and now I see the picture associated with who [REP] is and feel like I maybe could have slipped in a thanks for such a decent fellow to be helping out here.

    God bless [REP]s family and may they always, ALWAYS, be on the RIGHT SIDE, of right & wrong.

    God bless, again. Thank you Robert for contributing such flawless tact.

    Digitap

  136. While participating in a sequence of comments recently at WUWT – the one and only time I have ever done that – the aspect of those exchanges that impressed me the most was the moderation done by someone who called himself REP. [snip] His reasoned and stabilizing influence made me look forward to reading more treads at WUWT. He will not be easily replaced, I suspect. Wish I had gotten to know him better. Regrets to his family.

    • @ericgrimsrud The last telephone conversation I had with Bob was on Wednesday. He called me because he was concerned about an attack website setup by NASA GISS employee and WUWT protagonist Jan P. Perlwitz.

      REP had fairly and rightfully admonished Perlwitz here for some comments he made that were over the top, and in response, Perlwitz decided to setup the attack website. Bob told me to look at it, but also said prophetically “you should take your blood pressure medicine before you look at it”.

      I told Bob that I appreciated his concern, but that I wouldn’t even bother to look at it, as WUWT has spawned a number of hateful blog children sites like this. I told him to simply ignore it, and that I won’t even bother to visit it. True to that, I still haven’t and have no idea what the URL is or what the blog says.

      Bob was even handed with Perlwitz’s comments, in one exchange here at WUWT I pointed out to Mr. Perlwitz that I’m not even allowed to comment at the GISS website RealClimate and that my comments are serially deleted, yet we allow Mr. Perlwitz to comment at WUWT, provided he sticks to policy. That incongruity was ignored.

      Shortly after that, Mr. Perlwitz responds with an attack site. REP told me that he left a comment there, I don’t know whether it was approved or not or what conversation came after that. Like I said to REP that day, I’ll continue to ignore his website just like I ignore the other petulant child blogs WUWT has spawned.

      I hope for Mr. Perlwitz’s sake, he can learn from the tolerance, even handedness, and good nature of Robert Phelan, who was a better man than I in that regard.

      - Anthony Watts

  137. Thank you for adding the photograph. Sometimes a photograph tells a great deal about a person. This photograph reflects the hundreds of comments and a great deal about the man … just looking at the twinkle in his eyes and his smile will cause me to remember him whenever I look back on bookmarked pages and see his initials – REP

  138. Mr Phelan will sadly be missed by many of whom he never met but knew their views. He was certainly engaged with WUWT and worked to maintain the civil discourse exhibited here. He will rest in peace as his legacy will live on.

  139. We are experiencing “unprecedented” warmth!

    I add my small contribution to the warmth generated by those hundreds of people of all faiths (and none) who, with me, mourn [REP].

    I never met him. I never even suffered his moderatory lash. But I saw what he did on WUWT to promote free and peaceful discourse. He was a good man, an honest man. A “Feyn” man, if I may be excused the pun.

    Robert’s fellows in the sociological world would do well to look at this phenomenon. How the Internet has drawn together people who have values in common, such as honest science, and is making us into extended families.

    But back to the present. Let’s celebrate his life and his achievements!

    Neil

  140. A sad day and I agree with the sentiments of so many here who have valued his contribution to wuwt.

  141. A wonderful moderator. Sometimes his comments were the most interesting part of a comment. My sincere condolences to his family and those that knew him.

  142. Puts things into perspective for both skeptics and AGWers. Hoping God wraps his arms around Bob and says “well done, thy good and faithful servant”

  143. To Bob’s family, I offer my condolences and sympathies.
    To Bob, I offer my thanks for your contribution. RIP.

  144. Such a loss…. I only knew Robert as “REP” here on WUWT, but his learned, rational, steady hand at moderation here was so much appreciated. I could tell from his comments there was a wise soul behind those initials. RIP sir and condolences to all of your family and friends. You will be missed, indeed.

  145. Wow what a surprise I get when I come to your blog to read of sad news of a nice person sudden death. It is a sobering realization that life is a precious thing to have and when it goes away suddenly the shock comes afterwards.

    Anthony tells of his feeling being kicked in the stomach at the shocking news. Similar for me when I arrive at John Daly’s blog in January 2004 and find a sad message posted that stated that he died suddenly. I was in shock for a time and still even to this day have these momentary feelings of missing him deeply. Yes even after 8 years have passed,I still feel the shock of that day.

    Rest in Peace Robert and may your many positive contributions in your life be remembered.

  146. Whoever here said (I don’t remember his name) :
    I don’t believe in gods or an afterlife

    Henry says
    what a horrible depressing thought;
    indeed it is sad to note that life on earth has come to a point of which Jesus asked: when I come back (= when the world ends), will I still find faith? Faith is also the belief in truth and the belief in truth as a final destination: Jesus is the Truth
    Henry@REP
    don’t RIP!!! live and carry on living, in those that admired you, in a dimension that not too many people know much about, yet, ……..we will meet up with you soon …..

  147. Sad news indeed Condolences to his family and to you Anthony on the loss of a friend and colleague.

  148. Let the continuing quest of this site be a testament and memorial to his integrity and vision.

  149. Michael Jennings says:
    August 11, 2012 at 12:31 pm

    Puts things into perspective for both skeptics and AGWers. Hoping God wraps his arms around Bob and says “well done, thy good and faithful servant”

    With all the sincere condolences and well wishing for his family that’s been expressed here, that is a given.

  150. My condolences to Diane and the rest of Roberts family and friends.
    I think he was a bit severe in his moderating sometimes but that may just mean I was a bit lax in my moderating of a family IRC channel.
    Very sad to hear of this. :-(

    Definitely one of the good guys.

    DaveE.

  151. My condolences to REP’s family. Let me offer the following that we used for my father’s memorial many years ago:

    I am standing upon the seashore. A ship at my side spreads her white sails to the morning breeze and starts for the blue ocean. She is an object of beauty and strength. I stand and watch her until at length she hangs like a speck of white cloud just where the sea and sky come to mingle with each other.

    Then someone at my side says: “There, she is gone!”

    “Gone where?”

    Gone from my sight. That is all. She is just as large in mast and hull and spar as she was when she left my side and she is just as able to bear her load of living freight to her destined port.

    Her diminished size is in me, not in her. And just at the moment when someone at my side says: “There, she is gone!” there are other eyes watching her coming, and other voices ready to take up the glad shout: “Here she comes!”

    And that is dying.

    Anonymous.

  152. “michael hart says:
    August 11, 2012 at 3:59 am

    Because he worked on Watts Up With That, one of the most frequented web-sites, REP leaves behind a world wide legacy and reputation. Indeed, he was one of those partly responsible for the popularity of WUWT, and the world is better place for having people like him.”

    Hear, hear, Michael.

    So very sad. All condolences to Robert’s family.

  153. Anthony,

    My condolences to you for the loss of your friend and to Robert’s family for the loss of their loved one.

  154. As an addendum to my condolences, Posting as Robert E. Phelan, I always thought his posts considered and generally well thought out. Robert will be sorely missed.

    DaveE.

  155. I’m truly shocked. His comments and moderation showed him to be a gracious and fair man. The WUWT comments are very important and his absence is a great loss to us all. I’m so sorry for his family.

  156. Condolences to Mr. Phelan’s family and friends. Bob did a great job as moderator and provided a valuable service to the entire scientific community with his efforts here at WUWT.

  157. OH NO.
    The world has lost one of the good ones. May he rest and peace. My heart goes out to his family, biological and world wide.

  158. As time is a relative reference within an era perhaps a reference to his time here at WUWT could be expressed in blog views and total comments moderated throughout his moderation efforts and would express his commitment to the ideals set forth at/of WUWT. At his passing the blog view count was in excess of 122 million and an uncertain (to me) number of posts that were moderated which required reading and evaluating. This is no small feat regardless of the number of moderators that have been working 24/7.

    Mr Phelan was a valuable gift to all of us who read and engage here at WUWT. I’m sure that he gained from his time here at WUWT as we have all gained from his example that has carried into our personal and private lives.

  159. I don’t know if Robert’s family value prayers to the God that raised Jesus Christ from the dead. But they’ve got some anyway.
    To his family: Do what you need to handle this sudden loss. (Been there. Done that.) If you can and want to have the get together he’d plan, in honor of him, then do it. But you have enough pressures to deal with at the moment. You may think he’d have wanted it to go on, but do you think he’d have wanted to add the extra burden to you at this particular time? Don’t decide from shock and emotion.
    You do what it takes to heal your family.
    If you cancel or postpone, well, those who were coming may be disappointed but if they don’t understand, what kind of guest would they have been anyway?
    Psalm 94:19 In the multitude of my thoughts within me thy comforts delight my soul.
    Shawn Kelly

  160. Someone who gives their time to pursue the truth for a better world walks with the greats. REP will be amongst good company – “The ideals which have lighted my way, and time after time have given me new courage to face life cheerfully, have been Kindness, Beauty, and Truth…” Albert Einstein.
    From an Australian who sends condolences to REP’s family and friends.

  161. One of the attributes that keep bringing me back to WUWT is the fair and thoughtful moderation of the comments. I knew that there were a group helping Anthony with this momentous task but did not know who the initials belonged to in most cases. It is really sad for me to learn more about this helpful fair minded person having passed away. I am thankful that he contributed as he did. I am sure that history will applaud the contribution that this blog has had to rational debate on the internet – long may it continue!

    Robert Phelan will be listed up there with those that made it possible.

  162. Just sent my donation. On June 13th, I lost my father to lung cancer, which metastasized to his bones and eventually his brain. It was incredibly difficult to go through. I fondly remember the kindness of others in that time of my life, so it is the least I can do to donate. I wish I could help more.

  163. I notice none of the prominent warmist denizens have offered anything on this thread. On another thread, “LazyTeenager” just called us all “schizophrenic” so I’ve given him a week time out to think about his humanity. If the situation were reversed, I think Bob would do the same, but maybe not have been so curt. I’m pretty upset right now, so let this be a warning to anyone who wants to act like children and hurl insults this week. My tolerance level for this sort of stuff is subzero right now. When things settle down, I’ll do my best to be more tolerant.

  164. Anthony Watts says:
    August 11, 2012 at 7:02 pm
    I notice none of the prominent warmist denizens have offered anything on this thread. On another thread, “LazyTeenager” just called us all “schizophrenic” so I’ve given him a week time out to think about his humanity. If the situation were reversed, I think Bob would do the same, but maybe not have been so curt. I’m pretty upset right now, so let this be a warning to anyone who wants to act like children and hurl insults this week. My tolerance level for this sort of stuff is subzero right now.

    ==========================================================================
    A good example is never bad to follow.

  165. Wherever we go when we go, none of us will be the first to get there. I’m sure he’s in good company. Meanwhile here in the physical realm, REPs interactions have definitely influenced me and he will echo through me to others and through all of us to the end of time. Rest in piece Robert Phelan and thank you for each and every instance of your contributions to our universe.

  166. @ Diane Phelan: I am so sorry for your loss. Thanks for notifying us at WUWT.

    It is said that the best legacy a man can leave his children is a good name. You are blessed. :-)

  167. Add me to the list of people who didn’t realize REP was a single entity. My condolences to his family and friends.

  168. In my view there is no greater honour than to die in battle!! This is what I feel Robert Phelan was doing. We must be vigilante for the truth as corruption is always at the ready.

  169. REP chided me once- oh, so gently and with a dash of good humor- because I was being rough on trolls. With those knowing words of his, I became less of a flamethrower, (usually) remembering that REP was setting a very high standard and was a living example of a true gentleman, even in anonymity.

  170. Very sad news. Condolences to his family.

    I hope it’s not out of place to note that it is “interment”, not “internment”.

    IanM

  171. My condolences to the family of REP, as well as to his colleagues in this fair and very valuable blog.

    As I am older than he was I will share my perspective with the young ones following the blog:

    A professor of mine and a good friend, who now at 80 is getting ready to leave this reality in a drawn out and painful way, about 20 years ago said something that has remained vivid in my mind:

    When I was young, I would hear of people dying and it was as if I was hearing the sound of battle far ahead. Now they have started falling left and right of me, and I know I am in the front lines.

    It is a wide and long front and we, the over sixties, are there.

  172. Very very sad, but his family should be able to feel some comfort in knowing that he not only passed away peacefully, but seems to have done so while doing the work and fighting for the kind of cause he was committed to in his life. We can only hope that when our times come, they come as well.

    - Michael

  173. I am sorry to hear this.I often thought how nice he seemed.Condolences to his family,and to you Anthony,you have lost years of friendship with a good man.

  174. Anthony Watts says:
    August 11, 2012 at 7:02 pm

    How could you think you were intolerant? A month ban for Lazy Teenager would have been appropriate. You owe him nothing. Commenting is a privilege. A very long ban from commenting would have sent a signal that decency matters.

  175. Do tell us how you came to choose Bob to moderate. It would seem that he had disposition you admired. Anything you can share will help us know him better. When time allows, perhaps a post of some of REP’s posts would illustrate what we’ll miss most.

  176. We all appreciate the contributions of the REP family – those must be remembered too for Robert gave freely of time he could have spent with them.

    Robert gave us a good example of the higher nature we all possess but may not exercise as much. A volunteer in the service of honest engagement, he ensured there was a space for anyone willing to be reasonably civil to hold forth their views.

    Moderation of a blog is largely thankless but Dianne, I want you to know that we are acutely aware of the nature of the father you have lost and to whom you must soon bid your final farewell. We raise our pens in salute to one who was wise with words and a professional judge of robust debate.

    It is in times like these that, as one of our front ranks has fallen, another must step into the breach, take up that same sword and wield it with as much finesse. So high was the standard he set to even try will require us to envision him in his celestial glory calling us to action, leading by example.

    Let not grief overcome you. May your hearts be serene and calm in the coming days as we celebrate a life dedicated to the upliftment of the human family. Long may his memory linger on our lips.

    Sincerely
    Crispin

  177. anna v says:
    August 11, 2012 at 9:04 pm

    > It is a wide and long front and we, the over sixties, are there.

    Some of the deaths that bother me the most happen to people my age. It’s a very harsh reminder that overall, only a 50% chance left me alive. So far, there haven’t been too many. Singer Karen Carpenter was one of the first, at age 32. The most recent was astronaut Sally Ride, someone who was high on my list of people I’d like to meet.

    Bob was two years older than me, so not only is there the void here, there’s also a new void only an uncomfortably close couple ranks ahead of me.

  178. A fine man doing fine work when he passed. Who could ask for more of a heritage? “May flights of angels guide thee to thy rest.”

  179. May I suggest a time of silence on the blog in REP’s memory?

    I am speaking out of turn, perhaps, since I never met Mr. Phelan personally. But what I saw of [REP] on this blog, he was not in favor of silence. Civility seemed to be what he sought, not silence.

    Google “whattsupwiththat REP]” to appreciate a fine man leaving a lasting contribution to our lives.

  180. :(

    I know it’s lame, but it’s what I got.

    Robert will be missed, possibly by more than even he knew.

  181. Didn’t know him. Never met him. But it was plain to see he was a good and honest man from his even handed moderation. He gave all sides the chance to disagree with civility, and that was a precious thing. RIP REP.

  182. Obviously, it’s difficult to ‘know’ someone when we only see them in an online moderator sense – but he seems to have been a 100% sound guy. I would anticipate he will be sorely missed by friends and family and I offer my sincere condolences to all of them.

  183. Too young, too soon, sadly. I have never met Bob nor conversed with him, but I feel
    some of the atmosphere, flavour, and good will of WUWT is his contribution. And
    that is a precious thing, indeed.
    My sincere condolences and best wishes to his family, and to those who knew him.

  184. My condolences goes out to the family and friends of Mr. Phelan, I feel for your loss as you would for me.

  185. That he worked as a volunteer, in a noble form of altruism, to contribute to the spread of knowledge and truth for indirectly the well-being of civilization, speaks highly of him and makes his death only all the more a tragedy.

  186. It’s the moderation that sets the tone of a site – from the heavy-handed version, that doesn’t allow any dissent; to ones that have only snark for any visitors or ridicule for any other site; and those that change a comment to make themselves look good.

    We saw none of that here.

    If [REP] leaves us a legacy, his moderation gave us a site that allowed free and open discussion of both sides, where all visitors and regulars were allowed their say – within reason.

  187. My sympathies to the Phelan family and Anthony, may your future work honour your friend; your past work with him has.

  188. WUWT is still an outstanding leader and always I am aware that though Anthony is a ferocious worker second to none, he has also depended on members of our own “team” who are paid, what, about one thousandth or less that what the warmists earn. Or probably less. REP worked from retirement, like many of us do, because we care, and because this work is important. Yet I also want to see our expertise, as grandparents with serious work to do, passed on before it is lost to death.

    I have put up the prayer and request that Robert Phelan’s memorial fund might be used to train others to do what he did with such grace – only, of course, if that seems right to his family. But I have the sneaky suspicion that this is what REP himself – from the other side – might want to see happening.

  189. My sincere and heartfelt condolences to Robert’s family, friends,and the entire WUWT staff. [RIP REP]

  190. My condolences. Robert’s moderation of this forum and, I suspect, his whole life, was, to quote a better writer than me, “eloquent, insightful and worthy of consideration.”

  191. My condolences as well. I did not know many of the moderators well but I am certain he has responded to my posts in the past.

  192. Poor Uncle REP, very saddened by this. He was good. Very sorry for your loss.

    I will try to find time to make a contribution to his fund. Running me into the ground, or trying to lately. Not as large as I would like, unfortunately, as I am feeding and sheltering several un/under employed people having a tough time. Despite those ‘lack of sleep’ posts of mine REP occasionally snipped, I not only talk the talk but walk the politico-economic walks. I didn’t even have any kids of my own. Fires blanks, fortunately. Wife had a couple from previous marriage I helped her with.

    Sorry if I made his job more difficult.

  193. Deepest sympathies to all those impacted by REP’s sad and premature loss.

    He will be missed, even by many who never knew him personally.

  194. Gee that is too bad. That he was a nice guy willing to listen to both sides of an issue even came through in his moderating — and moderating is a tough job to do well.

    My condolences to his family and friends. It must be a big loss, and it also must have been a big gift to have known Robert in person.

  195. My prayers and thoughts are with Mr. Phelan’s family. I wish that I had had the opportunity to meet him in person instead of simply via his moderation notes and comments. RIP.

  196. I’ve just returned from a long weekend away to learn of this sad news.

    My deepest condolences to Bob’s family and friends both online and offline. Bob and I exchanged a number of emails and his concern for truth, fairness and balance, especially in the education of the young came across strongly in our conversations.

    His tireless effort to educate and inform via all means and media stand as a lasting testament to a man who gave of himself generously and performed his self chosen duties with honour and integrity. He earned and gained our respect and love.

    RIP: REP

  197. Sincerest condolences. He was a great sight to see, every day. A terrible loss, and my prayers go out to his family and friends.

  198. Sorry to hear this, another 1949-er dies way too young! Get regular physicals guys, you never know what’s lurking.

  199. Very sad news. Bob was definitely one of the good guys and left a wonderful example to us all in the wisdom and humour of his moderation. He will be much missed.

  200. Robert Phelan’s family, Mr. Anthony Watts, WUWT and friends, Please accept our sincerest deepest condolences on the occasion of Robert Phelan passing away.

  201. To Each of you, I have been deeply touched by your words of condolence and kind expression of comradeship. I will forever hold them in my heart. I can see Bob’s smile even now, he too would have been touched. Thank you all.
    Bob’s Mother, Claire Phelan

    • Thank you Claire. It was our honor to know Bob, and I express my deepest sympathy for your loss – Anthony

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