Friends and colleagues of Robert Emmit DeSpain, 57, gathered to remember and honor him during a memorial service Friday, June 7, at the Chapel of the Lord's Prayer at The University of Texas-Pan American. DeSpain, of Harlingen, died at his home June 3.
"I heard someone say that what we all have in common is that we all breathe the same air, we all love our children and our parents, and we are all mortal. What happened to Bob will happen to all of us," said Roland S. Arriola, UTPA vice president for External Affairs, who gave the eulogy.
"Bob was always cheerful. Whenever I saw him, he had a smile on his face. We know that he is still with us, and we will always remember him as a joyful person."
During the memorial service, numerous friends and colleagues spoke about DeSpain. Many portrayed him as a man with a joyful spirit devoted to helping others.
"I met Bob many years ago when he joined the University, and the first impression I had of him was that this man was enjoying life," said Carol Raush-Braden, assistant to UTPA President Dr. Miguel A. Nevárez. "He has blessed my life, and I think today he would want us to be joyful and happy."
DeSpain, who joined UTPA 14 years ago, served in the Army during the Vietnam War and then worked for IBM in Austin for 23 years before starting his own business in the Rio Grande Valley. He most recently was the associate director of Manufacturing Services at the Center for Manufacturing under the UTPA Office of Center Operations and Community Services.
DeSpain is survived by his wife of 38 years, Robbie Lynn DeSpain of Harlingen; his brother, Jaurd Irvin DeSpain Jr., of Oilton, Texas; sister, Norma Jean Haney of Fall Brook, Calif., sister, Margaret Greene of Fall Brook, Calif., and sister, Wanda Kay Rawski of Austin, Texas; three children: daughters, Dawn Monique Sparks of Harlingen, Mitzi Lynn Lopez of Los Fresnos and son, Robert Samuel DeSpain of Lytle; and 8 grandchildren.
Donations can be made to The University of Texas-Pan American Bob DeSpain Scholarship Fund, ITT Building, 1201 W. University Dr., Edinburg, Texas 78539.