Dr. Robert "Bob" W. Phillips relished in life and all of its marvelous experiences. Bob was born Jan. 21, 1929, in Peoria, Ill. and died Feb. 26. Bob was drafted as a private during the Korean War and rose to the rank of 1st Lt. in the infantry. Later he was a rancher and cowboy in Montana where he and Nancy met. They had 58 wonderful years of marriage.
Bob received a B.S. degree in nutrition, a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree from Colorado State University, and followed with a PhD in physiology and nutrition at the University of California-Davis.
Bob joined the faculty at Colorado State University in 1964. He taught and conducted research in the Department of Physiology. A number of graduate students and post-doctoral fellows trained in his laboratory and more than 130 papers were published in scientific journals as a result of the research conducted. He also had two patents granted in his name. Bob received two CSU awards: The Oliver P. Pennock Distinguished Service Award in 1983 and the 50 Year Career Achievement Award in 2010.
Bob is an emeritus member of the American Veterinary Medical Association, the American Physiological Society and the American Institute of Nutrition. He is a Charter Diplomat of the American College of Veterinary Nutrition and a Distinguished Scholar of the National Academies of Practice. He served on the board of directors for the Mark Morris Institute from 1998 to 2012. The institute is dedicated to providing accurate and current information to veterinary students and veterinarians concerning small animal clinical nutrition. More recently he became involved in civic activities in Fort Collins. Bob was a member of the Senior Advisory Board, the Senior Center Expansion Committee, chairman of the Expansion Grant Writing Subcommittee, and a member of the Bicycle Advisory Committee.
In 1984 he had the opportunity to join NASA as a payload specialist to train for the Spacelab Life Sciences 1 shuttle mission (SLS-1) dedicated to biomedical research in space. In 1990, ten months pre-launch, he was removed from flight status due to a cardiac arrhythmia. Bob supported the mission from the ground, serving as the principle radio contact between the payload crew in space and the eager scientists on the ground that had experiments being conducted in the Spacelab. He then spent three years at NASA headquarters in Washington, D.C., as chief scientist of the space station. After that tour ended in 1994, he joined NASA's Life Science Division supporting Education and Outreach. His primary role was interacting with and teaching science teachers and students about how Earth life changes during space flight. He retired in 2005, but continued to give Life in Space presentations. He has written a book for the general public about living in space, "Grappling with Gravity: How Will Life Adapt to Living in Space?"
Bob and Nancy cherished the time they could spend at home in Fort Collins with friends and family and at the cabin the family built together in Redstone Canyon. They also loved to travel to new places around our planet.
Bob is survived by his wife Nancy; sons Lex, Blade (Paula), and Rob Jr. (Sara), all of Fort Collins, and daughter Logan Mather (Timothy), of Menomonie, Wis. He has three wonderful grandchildren: Chris Phillips of Fort Collins, son of Lex, and Lillianna and Heinz Mather. His brother Dick of Chicago also survives Bob. Bob was preceded in death by his daughter Laurel Ann and his brother Gene.