Robert J. 'Bob' Huskey passed from this life on February 7, 2023. He was born on December 29, 1938, to William and Irene Huskey in San Antonio, TX. As a child he lived on U.S. Army Air Force bases, including Muroc (later Edwards), where he witnessed Chuck Yeager breaking the sound barrier. Eventually, the family settled in Norman, OK, where Bob graduated from Norman High School. He followed that with two degrees from the University of Oklahoma: a BS in Math (1960) and an MS in Botany (1962). From there he moved to Pasadena, where he received his PhD in Molecular Genetics from the California Institute of Technology (1967), with three Nobel Prize laureates sitting on his dissertation committee.
His academic career began at Syracuse University, but he soon accepted a position in the Department of Biology at the University of Virginia, where his research interest shifted from bacteriophage to Volvox. He taught thousands of students during his career, particularly in his popular course on Human Biology. His pioneering efforts in online education in the early 1990's inspired students and teachers all over the world. He also served as Associate Dean of the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, a position he relished because he was able to help so many students meet their goals. In 2001, U.Va. honored his 32 years of service with the inaugural Huskey Graduate Research Exhibition, an annual event that highlights the achievements of graduate students.
Bob married Marilyn Reynolds in 1960; they were amicably divorced after nearly twenty-five years of a marriage that produced two children whom he loved very much. He later married Elizabeth Breeden, the love of his life. They lived together in Virginia and Montana for many happy years until her death in 2014, after which he moved back to Norman, OK, to be closer to his son (and to be a fixture at city council meetings).
He was a "car guy" from the time when he helped his brother Bill take apart the family's Studebaker to find out how it worked. He loved driving his yellow Austin-Healey Sprite and his Cadillac, and he visited all 48 of the contiguous United States. He followed all kinds of professional racing, too. He loved his grandkids and was so proud of their accomplishments. He also loved animals and they loved him. He loved to read widely, garden, play pool, work puzzles, tell jokes, watch Westerns, eat at Gaberino's Homestyle Italian Family Restaurant, sing, and entertain people with his stories and poems. His collection of Western hats and clothing could outfit a whole herd of cowboys in style.
Bob is survived by his daughter Margot Rodriguez and her four children Julian, Sarah, Christian, and Gabriella; his son Sam Huskey and wife Rebecca; nephews Bob and David Huskey; and many friends and acquaintances.
In lieu of flowers, the family asks for donations in his name to Bridges of Norman (1670 Stubbeman, Norman, OK 73069).