Bob's Woods

---, ---, ---, Br. Ed Coughlen, O.F.M., Jim Mahar
at the dedication of Bob's Woods

Bob's Woods was dedicated on Oct. 1, 2007 in honor of Fr. Robert M. Stewart, O.F.M. Fr. Bob, who died of cancer Sept. 1, 2001, used the trails in the woods behind Francis Hall for running even after being diagnosed with the disease. They were little more than footpaths along the old oil tank farm berms winding through the woods. He, along with other members of the campus community, began development of the trails before his death. BonaResponds did the work to complete the trails into a more usable tool for hiking, running, biking and cross-country skiing.

Fr. Bob was the author of Making Peace with Cancer: A Franciscan Journey.

Fr. Bob was an Italian language and theology professor at Bona's.



Fr. Bob's athletic enthusiasm went beyond running. John Boccieri, class of 1992, was a premiere base stealer during his years of Bona's baseball. During his senior year, "Boccieri stole 28 bases ... and might have stolen more had he not joined the annual campus snowball fight the winter of his senior year, just a month before the baseball team’s winter trip to Florida.

'After the first snowfall we would have a big snowball fight,' said Boccieri. 'I made the mistake of hitting Fr. Bob (Stewart) pretty hard, so he came over and tackled me and broke my leg.'

Some might have held it against the late Fr. Bob, an associate professor of theology who died of cancer in 2001. For Boccieri, the incident was “the catalyst for us to become even closer friends.” Fr. Bob would later officiate at Boccieri’s wedding." (Bonaventure magazine, Spring/Summer 2009)

The Fr. Bob Stewart, O.F.M. Award is presented to the faculty or staff member who voluntarily gives the most time and dedication to the organization he or she serves as adviser, moderator or chaplain.

Another memorial to him is a planting next to St. Joseph's Oratory in the central quad of the campus.

Photograph by Denny Wilkins, another denizen of Bob's Woods.

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