I only knew Bob Everton through the Political Media course he taught at SFU this autumn. I signed up at the last minute, and almost dropped the course. I’m glad I didn’t.
My first impression of Bob was of someone enthusiastic and energetic to the point of being wacky. As I continued the course, and talked to him in and out of class, I found he was an intelligent thoughtful man who put great effort into teaching his students. He told me he spent close to an hour each grading 35 class projects, each of which included newspaper and video submissions.
Bob was incredibly personable. Whenever I spoke to him he always had a great big smile. He would greet me by name, and it wasn’t just me: in a class of seventy he would call out the names of students asking questions.
His views were sometimes eccentric, but I realized it was they and his enthusiasm for the subject which gave the class energy. By the end of the course, I had decided I wanted to keep in touch as a friend with a man I had thought was a nutty professor. The day before he died, I sent him an email about a bit of history I thought might be useful for teaching the course in the future. I looked forward to discussing it with him: I would have valued his opinion. Now I know why I never received a reply.
Bob Everton died of a heart attack last Friday, 17 December 2004. He was 55.