The Rob Stark Memorial Fund
Rob’s life was never destined to be ordinary. In his early years he struggled academically, but thrived personally in a loving home. At the age of 14 he was gifted an old VW beetle, and dove into the world of mechanics. He disassembled and reassembled the VW while learning everything he possibly could.
His skills were recognized by a family friend, and Rob was offered a position working at The Indy 500. Despite being too young, he jumped at the opportunity of a lifetime. For over 40 years Rob’s passion was fulfilled through Indy cars while simultaneously raising a family. He won awards and honors that reflected his drive and passion.
After experiencing the unethical approaches of auto industry mechanics; his passion for cars and caring nature for people drove him to open his own shop. From restoration of the classics to everyday car repair, his honesty and ethical approach to business never faded.
In March 2022, Rob was diagnosed with leukemia. He immediately started treatment with the cards stacked in his favor. Over the course of treatment the isolation weighed on Rob’s heart. He wanted to spend his time in the shop and with friends. He often spoke of the effects of the disease and his disbelief regarding children having to endure such treatments. He never complained. He always apologized as if anyone would ever see him as a burden.
In mid August, Rob entered the hospital for the final phase of his treatment—the bone marrow transplant. He went in with full hope of recovery, never thinking twice about the great ‘what if’. Over the course of those few weeks his physical decline began to shift the cards in his hand and during his last week it became clear that Rob wasn’t coming home. In true Rob strength, he held on just long enough to say goodbye to his greatest accomplishment, his family, and like any dad, his last concern was their well being. He passed peacefully on October 6th surrounded by his family. His last wish, that we do nothing special for him.
We will not sit by and let Rob’s extraordinary life pass by without one last opportunity for extraordinary impact. We have partnered with Arms Wide Open Foundation in an effort to honor Rob’s concerns for the children, their families and the effects of this disease. We hope you will partner with us in helping fund research, bereavement retreats for families and support for children with cancer in Rob’s honor. We join you in mourning and pray for your peace in the memory of this amazing man.