Mar. 23, 1937 - June 12, 2015
Robert Franklin Priest, husband, father, grandfather, retired research psychologist and poet passed away on June 12, 2015 in his home in Carson City, Nevada. He was born March 23, 1937 in Chicago, Illinois to Robert and Sally Priest. He is survived by his two children, Joel (New Lebanon, NY) and Susan (Carson City, NV), daughter-in-law, Marianna, son-in-law, Hal, four grandchildren, Jasper, Mateo, Kyrstina and Isha, one great-grandchild, Zavia, and his two older brothers, Peter (Terre Haute, IN), and David (Fort Meyers, FL). Karen his beloved wife of fifty-one years passed away on October 20, 2012. Raised in Chicago, Robert (called Robbie) was known for his twisted sense of humor and a quick mind. He attended Hyde Park High School, participated in swim team, played chess, and studied Latin. During his senior year, 1955, he won the Illinois state Latin competition. In 1961 he married his college sweetheart, Karen Martin. He earned a PhD in psychology from the University of Chicago in 1964. During his early career he taught psychology and statistics at the University of Southern California and the University of Missouri, St. Louis. In 1973, he moved his family to Cornwall, New York, and began work at the Office of Institutional Research at West Point Military Academy. A mentor to many who needed guidance completing research, Robert (now called Bob) was instrumental in reviewing policies and procedures for the integration of women at West Point. Always driven to find the funny, his later research expanded to include the psychology of humor. An active member of the Cornwall United Methodist church, Bob sang tenor in the church choir, led men’s retreats, and occasionally filled in as a lay preacher. He continued his commitment to the United Methodist Church when he and Karen moved to Carson City, Nevada in 2003. He served as a volunteer chaplain at the Carson Tahoe Hospital and participated in the Steven’s Ministry and Reader’s Theater small groups at the First UMC, Carson City. In retirement, Bob reclaimed his true calling as a poet writing and publishing poems in regional journals, taking classes at Western Nevada College, and joining Ash Canyon Poets. One of his poems, “The Statistics of Military Science” is featured in the travelling exhibit, “Always Lost: A Meditation on War”. Although his last few years were complicated living with Parkinson’s disease and glaucoma, he wrote poems challenging the limitation of labels. His humor, listening skills and love for his family and friends will be greatly missed. There will be a Memorial Service for Robert Priest at the First United Methodist Church, Carson City, Nevada on Friday August 14, 2015 at 3 PM. Later his ashes will be buried in Elmwood Cemetery in Illinois. Memorial gifts may be made to the First United Methodist Church, 212 North Division Street, Carson City, NV 89703.