Well, Dr. Dobrov, the last time I saw you was just a few months ago. I asked how you were, and was satisfied from your answer that you were alright. You said you would live out each day as might have been expected; then, it seemed as if you wanted to talk about something else. And so we did. You helped me obtain my doctorate, but you were much more— you were one of those constants— in the foreground sometimes, but always in the background, you'd be there. I was able to talk to you whenever I wanted. You commanded the attention of anyone who came into listening range. No matter what obstructed you, you continued your efforts with not an overbearing but a commanding personality. Some irrepressible force followed your every step. Maybe it was your every step. Never held back, you moved forward headfirst. Not a train. No, that wouldn't be strong enough imagery, and it's a poor metaphor. Though one might try, there was no-one who evaded your initial pull. There were five-hour Friday evening seminars for graduate students, long discussions over a silly comment made by an undergraduate, or digressions on pop-culture comedians. Graduate students and friends needed to eat dinner, call their loved one or perhaps finally relax for the week, but there you were, talking and talking. Those caught by your force of personality and insights found themselves happily unable to escape. You were a singularity. And those who were seized by the irresistible drag of your personality knew the pull of a man who cared. That much was obvious. Maybe it was care that kept you moving, drove those five-hour monologues and drew all of us out a bit more. Perhaps it was affection for others that propelled your dark sense of humor, but I never heard you admit it. We needed your drive in order to abide, and we're fortunate that you gave to us some share of philia, fortunate that you parted with a piece of that Russian soul of yours.
Dr. Gregory Dobrov passed away on the morning of September 27th, 2015.
We will miss him.