MEMPHIS—Brother Robert Staub, Professor Emeritus of Biology at Christian Brothers University/Christian Brothers College, died on January 10, 2017 — 19 days before what was to be his 95th birthday. Brother Robert was born in Chicago, IL into a family of nine children. He joined the Christian Brothers Religious Order in 1939 and remained a faith-filled and service-oriented religious brother for 77 years. Brother Robert came to Memphis in 1950, and except for five years in his doctorate studies at the University of Minnesota, he spent 60 years teaching in Memphis — the longest tenure of any teacher in the history of CBC/CBU. In April of 2016, the CBU administration and School of Sciences dedicated the second floor lounge of the Cooper Wilson Center for Life Sciences in honor of Brother Robert.
Brother Robert first became interested in environment studies when he received his college degree at St. Mary’s University in Winona, MN and pursued these studies in his MA and doctoral work at the University of Minnesota. He remained active in his chosen field through further study at St. Louis University, De Paul University and in many professional associations such as the National Association of Biology and the Tennessee Academy of Science. His listing of resume credentials is truly impressive.
Brother Robert was an active volunteer throughout the city and wider area to help the city on some key issues, including working with the Department of the Interior on some water study and pollution issues; with federally-sponsored programs for science teachers; on the advisory board of Ava Maria Home; and as an active member of the Citizens to Preserve Overton Park Committee.
Brother Robert is remembered by his colleagues and students for his serious concerns for their learning and for using the beauty of nature as a learning tool. He wanted his students to have a life outside the textbook and lab, which he encouraged through field trips, and by bringing home samplings of flora and rock formations for further study. His students realized through his approach to his subject that there was a clear connection between God’s gift in nature and their responsibility to respect this creation.
Brother Robert is survived by two sisters, Lois Osman and Dee Dee Olsen, both of Florida; two brothers, John Staub of Florida, and Raymond Staub of Chicago, IL; cousins Neil and Caroline Lloyd and family of Memphis; and numerous cousins in Minnesota.
A wake for Brother Robert will be held at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception (1695 Central Ave, Memphis TN 38104) on Friday, January 13 at 3:00 p.m. The funeral mass will follow at 5:00 p.m. at the Cathedral. The family requests that any memorials be made to Christian Brothers University or the Christian Brothers of the Midwest (7650 S. County Line Rd, Burr Ridge IL 60527).