In Memoriam: Robert Stirling

Robert “Bob” Stirling, a former lecturer in the School of Social Work at EWU, died on Jan. 1, 2021. He was 67. Stirling died at his home from complications to Parkinson’s disease, according to his wife. Please click here to read Stirling’s obituary. We’ve also shared some memorial messages below.

Message from Amanda Reedy, PhD, professor of social work at EWU:

Bob started as a lecturer and faculty field instructor for the Child Welfare Training and Advancement Program (CWTAP) in 2002. He was later promoted to senior lecturer and retired in 2015. Bob was always a friendly face in Senior Hall. Many will remember him dressing up as Santa for the holiday potlucks at the end of fall quarter. He will be missed.

Message from Donna Stirling, Robert’s wife:

Robert passed away on Jan. 1 at his home due to complications from Parkinson’s. A funeral will be held on Jan. 12 at St. Francis of Assisi. Due to COVID-19, attendance is limited. For anyone interested in attending please contact Robert’s wife Donna Stirling via email:

Holy Cross Funeral & Cemetery Services is in charge of arrangements, where Robert will be buried. An obituary and a place to sign the guestbook and make a personal message can be found at:

After completing his Master’s of Social Work, Robert worked for Children’s Administration. Robert found his spot working with foster parents. Robert also played Santa for the foster children at Christmas parties, as well as for staff celebrations. Robert had a big “Ho, Ho, Ho.” He was well known for his Elvis imitations and for the special grilled peanut butter and banana sandwiches on the King’s birthday.

Robert became a faculty field Instructor with Eastern Washington University. Robert’s office at Washington Department of Children, Youth and Families (DCYF) was frequently full of people visiting and asking for advice. Robert was a great listener and always willing to help solve a problem or go to bat for his students. Roberts’s laughter was infectious and many people still remember the smile his laughter brought as Robert walked through the building visiting with staff and students alike.

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