Deceased September 27, 2020

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In Memory

Robert Hepner '86
Bob Hepner passed away on Sept. 27, 2020, after five years living with cancer. It was Kol Nidre, and though he was Jewish only by affiliation with his wife, Lauren Rosenberg ’86, it is said that those who pass on the High Holy Days are Tzadik, “righteous.” Anyone who knew Bob would agree. He touched all who knew him with his creativity, love of people—especially children—and enthusiasm to connect deeply. He was an artist and maker of things whose wildly colorful kinetic art illuminated life’s mundane objects, and who performed with the sculpture carnival on his truck in parking lots and other unexpected places.

Bob was forever madly in love with Lauren and wholly dedicated to his daughters in everything they did. A flamboyant dancer who ran like Hermes and rode or drove many unsafe vehicles, he finished every day at home, cooking with his family. Bob taught art at the Smith College Campus School for 15 years. In his community work, he always pushed himself to be more just: cooking at the Amherst Survival Center and designing and helping build the Leverett Elementary School playground. In his short time living in Las Cruces, N.M., he was a justice advocate, a volunteer for AVID in the Chihuahuan Desert (working with detainees), a bus driver with Las Cruces Public Schools and a rider with middle schoolers in the Scorpion Bike Club. He loved biking and hiking in the Organ Mountains and driving his 1946 pickup.

Bob had magical, magnetic energy that inspired others. He loved fearlessly and generously. He will be remembered always by his wife, Lauren; his daughters, Bess and Ella Hepner; their partners, Parker Ziegler and César Ignacio Pérez de la Rosa; parents Anne and Charles Hepner; sister Liz Hepner; and his many friends.

Jordan Lewis ’86