Thirsters to Celebrate the Life of Robert Bayard Textor

A note from the Textor family:


Dear Thirsters in Residence and in Absentia,

Many of you will already have heard the sad news that our father passed away in the early morning hours of January 3, 2013.

Robert Bayard Textor was born, not so peacefully, in his parents’ bed in the middle of a Minnesota snowstorm; he died, peacefully, in his own bed, in the city he loved, full of excitement about the coming day’s “barn-burner” of a Thirster talk. In the interim, he lived in half a dozen countries, learned half a dozen languages, and had enough adventures to make Phileas Fogg (and possibly even Don Draper) green with envy.

Photo by Don Messerschmidt

Reflecting on our father’s life, it occurs to us that the sheer unexpectedness of his passing is, in a way, the greatest possible testament to him. If the death of an almost-nonagenarian can ever be considered shocking, his certainly was. No one saw it coming: not the doctors who so capably shepherded him through open-heart surgery this past June, nor the many wonderful nurses and physical and occupational therapists who helped him recover, slowly but surely. Nor did the Thirsters. And nor, blessedly, did he.

On the penultimate day of his life, Dad cheered Stanford to victory in the Rose Bowl, enjoyed a last-of-season Burgerville eggnog milkshake, and let his daughter beat him at Trivial Pursuit. On the ultimate day, he ate a peanut butter-and-mayonnaise sandwich, enjoyed a two-hour Thai massage, and registered for Skype. He was, to the very end, beautifully, irrepressively alive.

Dad never knew that his children had begun planning a surprise party for him, to take place (where else?) at the Topping Table (at McMenamins Pub at the corner of 23rd and Savior NW – 1716 NW 23rd Ave – Portland) on March 14, 2013, the day after his 90th birthday. Sadly, the surprise will never take place; but the celebration will. Please mark your calendars for a “barn-burner” of a memorial service to be held that day.

In recent weeks, the topic of whether Dad himself had ever been the special guest speaker at Thirsters happened to arise. He replied, with due gravity, that he had not, deeming it inappropriate. We hope that you will join us at Thirsters this coming Thursday, January 10, to celebrate Dad’s life, share your favorite Bob stories, and raise a glass to him, our Thirster in Absentia who will always remain in residence in our hearts.

Alex Robertson Textor

Marisa Robertson-Textor


Leave a comment
  • Count me in for the Birthday Barn Burner…I hope to in Portland on my way to Mozambique, I’ll be coming from Colombia. What Bob gave us, has to this day seen Peace Corps stay alive and full of the spirit that he saw in his…Five Year Rule! I see where Peace Corps attorney’s are looking for ways to limit the Five Year Rule…exempt themselves for their careers. Bob would not like that! I will toast a glass to you all on the 10th…Bob Arias, Peace Corps Response Volunteer/Colombia

  • Flaco Bob,

    Let me clarify for you what is happening with the Five Year Rule.
    The Inspector Generals’ Office is reviewing the impact, some of which are negative for serving Volunteers, of the FYR. Dr. Textor was interviewed for that report. I will post that portion shortly.

    It is important to know that the staff of the Inspector General’s office is not now subject to the Five Year Rule because of Congressional action. This is the pertinent section from the Kate Puzey Peace Corps Volunteer Protection Act of 2011.

    Section 7(a) of the Peace Corps Act (22 U.S.C. 2506(a)) is
    amended by adding at the end the following new paragraph:
    ‘‘(7) The limitations specified in subparagraphs (A) and
    (B) of paragraph (2) and in paragraph (5) shall not apply
    ‘‘(A) the Inspector General of the Peace Corps; and
    ‘‘(B) officers and employees of the Office of the

    The OIG has special and critically important responsibilities under this Act. That is why continuity is so necessary.

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