Bob Warr – The Gift That Keeps On Giving

On September 7, 2013 several hundred friends, family and Brothers will attend a Memorial for Robert Oscar Warr — a great Sigma Chi who died quietly in his sleep late last month. Bob was too short to hit his head on a low-hanging branch and didn’t weigh enough to box as a flyweight.

But Bob’s lifetime history makes him one of the biggest men ever to come out of the Beta Iota Chapter at Oregon…which says a lot given that the Chapter began in 1920.  That’s a ton of Brothers, a whole lot whom were outstanding young men who prove their metal years into the future.  Bob was one of those men.

All honor to his name!

You can get good feel for Bob in the Beta Pi Ten documentary  — how ten determined undergraduates from Oregon State University transferred to the University of Oregon for purposes of re-establishing a Chapter which had been banished from the University.  In the film, Bob begins with the words   “I’m a Sigma Chi — back when dinosaurs roamed the earth“.  (See video to confirm!)) Here in seven minutes is one of the great miracles in Fraternal collegiate history. That miracle would never have happened without Bob.

In 2007 Bob was inducted in The Order of the Constantine, Sigma Chi’s Hall of Fame.  His humongous effort to publish “You Will Find It Here”, a History of Beta Iota 1910-1989″ would have, all alone, gotten him the Constantine.

In addition to publishing You Will Find It Here, Bob spearheaded countless GO DUCKS! campaigns; attended every Duck tail-gater known to man. In spite of being about as athletic as a fence post,  the Duck Athletic Club gave him prime seats at every  Duck Hall-of-Fame gathering. (I was lucky enough to be his seat mate three times.) He also got prime seats at Mac Court, Hayward Field and Autzen Stadium. He had an encyclopedic memory for names — good thing too because he was continuously approached from kickoff to game end.

For forty years  Bob was the driving force behind virtually every major Beta Iota Festivity and Celebration;every month or so delighted us with snail-mailed Bull Sheets that made us laugh, made us cry, made us remember kept us all knitted together. Somehow, Bob regularly got bunches of Old Farts, walkers and all, to Old Fart Lunches in Portland.  From 1910 onward  — or so it seemed – Bob wrote every obit for every Brother badged at Oregon.

What he gave us was the Full Monty of Brotherhood.

At the Memorial we will come to celebrate and mourn, laugh and tell stories, do our best to console Patty, his daughters and ourselves. We will hug and kiss, slip the grip and (hopelessly) try to hold back the tears. A small army of Brothers will make the claim that he was Bob’s best friend.

The honest truth is that all of us were the chief beneficiaries of Bob’s energy, talent, passion, humor and very quick with.

The Memorial is supposed to be a “fun” event.  For sure it will be just that, which is what Bob would have wanted.  But I wouldn’t bet a slug nickel there will be a dry eye anywhere in sight.

THE ONE BIG QUESTION WE SHOULD ADDRESS

None of this addresses the One Big Question we should all be asking of ourselves:

How to ensure that Bob’s memory remains as cherished

during the next 50 years as it was in the last 50?

Here’s what I say.

I say we have an obligation to be as fierce and unflinching about keeping his Legacy vibrant and on high-display as was Bob’s determination to enrich our own lives.

Let’s use the Memorial as an opportunity to take the First Step on a path to where Bob will be well-remembered for as long as there is a Sigma Chi House at the University of Oregon. Surely we owe that much! This is also an exceptionally important First Step certain to add benefit to Bob’s legacy, to the Chapter, to the Fraternity. And, in a big time way, to all of us as well.

This is NOT a hard undertaking —. I promise.

The good news is that Bob has already done the heavy lifting. What’s left for us is child’s play.

Here’s how to make that First Step……

We organize an effort that permanently dedicates an upstairs bedroom as The  Bob Warr Room. Here’s how — at least a sketch of it (ten years in the making.)

  • At minimum — and we MUST do more than that! – the physical door to the Warr Room would be of heavy oak. The memory of a giant lives inside. So too should be the look and feel of the door that leads to it.
  • On the door would be a first-class bronze plaque, with all the care and attention deserving of the man who made a good living by being a good writer.

Inside the room?

That’s a question for a later day, but I envision one whole wall would be wall-papered with editions from the Bull Sheet. Elsewhere would be photographs, framed in the best protection money can buy. Also to be included would be a Declaration that so long as there was a Beta Iota Chapter at the University of Oregon, there would be a Specially Dedicated Bob Warr Room in it.

All of it Dutifully recorded in books kept in the Chapter Room; dutifully recorded at the Headquarters of Sigma Chi.

But that is not the best part. Not by a long-country mile.

The best part is that this is the first step to what has been obvious to me for a very long time: That every single Chapter House should be a “living museum”  – where what is on high display was the Legacy of  the extraordinary members badged at the Chapter House.

To that end, every upstairs room should be Specially Designated to men in the mold of Robert Oscar Warr. That the two hallways at Beta Iota should  become ‘Halls of Fame. ‘{From there on it all gets easier, (as per a film I made while House Dad for Theta Chi.}

Other Brothers should have Specially Dedicated Rooms

 In my own pledge class (of just 16 men), I can think of two Sigs deserving of consideration Special Room consideration:   Jerry Tarr, (better known as the Tarr Baby) and Stephen J. Cannell, best-selling author and member of television’s Hall of Fame.

Additionally, who can overlook Coach Bill Dilinger — who I see often in Eugene and am reminded of how much fun it was to sit with Bob and Bill at a can you at a Prefontaine.

The contention is simple.  We owe it to Robert Oscar Warr to take this concrete, highly visible step to elevate those who have brought so much luster to the White Cross………promoted in all the ways that any good advertising man would cause. One more lesson from the Robert Oscar Warr Book of Life.

That too is part of our obligation.

In hoc,

Hibbsy

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About oregonhibbs

I'm passionate about improving access to education, worldwide, sailing, Duck football (I live in the shadow of the University of Oregon in Eugene) and connecting with people with ideas and work that "can change the world". With this in mind, I am the "Skipper" for Global Learn Day, which you can find out more about at bfranklin.edu.

Posted on August 23, 2013, in Flipped Fraternities & Restoration. Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.

  1. Great! I love this idea. I’ve tried to email you through my dad’s email, but I’m not sure if the email for you in his contacts is correct. Can you call or email me? (Dad’s phone number, and either mine or his email)

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