I considered him a friend, and yet we did not socialize a great deal, never "chatted" on the phone about life- in general.
I really only saw Bob Hurlbut on occasion. It began when I was honored with the annual Civic Award from Rochester Rotary. To Bob Hurlbut that was a sign of a love of this community, with which he could so readily identity. He invited me to summer picnics at his lovely home- along with a hundred other "special" friends. But my wife Mary and I DID feel special. He would welcome us with a warm hug. You could see it in his eyes, and we cherished the fellowship.
I knew, of course, all Bob had done for our community; the nursing homes, the hospitals, the colleges, and so many others who benefited from his generous heart. I knew, too, of the quiet Bob Hurlbut, who would park his pick-up truck along Route 65, put on his fluorescent vest, and proceed to clean-up the litter everyone else had tossed aside. He did it without fanfare, without desire for recognition.
And so it was with his "Highway of Life". Bob Hurlbut quietly "picked up" the lives of those who, somehow, might otherwise be tossed aside. He leaves a legacy of caring that remains a challenge for all of us.
In 2011, Bob Hurlbut was honored with Rochester Rotary's Civic Award. It was not an easy day for Bob, as he would rather work quietly for others and be quietly acknowledged. I know he endured the publicity because he knew it would help support the Rotary Sunshine Campus- which benefits so many children and adults with special challenges.
I shall miss my friend. I'll miss his gentle hug, seeing him having dinner with his loving wife, Barbara, at a quiet table in Honeoye Falls.
I'll miss the picnics, the warm smile, and the generous heart, and I will carry the memories as a challenge to help others- on MY "Highway of Life!"
Don Alhart, Associate News Director/Anchor