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October 04, 2013

Robert S. Habbick

robert-habbick.jpgWe were greatly saddened at ELT News to hear of the recent death of Robert Scott Habbick, one of the most likable and professional people in the ELT industry in Japan.

"It is with profound sadness that we inform you that Robert Habbick, Digital Marketing Manager (ELT) Asia, Cambridge University Press died on Monday this week. Our thoughts are with his family and colleagues at this difficult time," said Mark Gresham, CUP's Executive Director Japan. "There was a funeral for family members on Wednesday, Oct 2 and information about a memorial service will be made known as soon as details are confirmed. We would like to ask that you respect Robert's family's need for privacy at this time."

"Robert was always extremely helpful and supportive during my first stint at ELT News and we became personal friends," said ELT News editor Mark McBennett. "I was in touch with him just a couple of weeks ago, so this news is a real shock. He was a wonderful character and will be missed by many."

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I am very sad indeed to learn of Robert's passing.

Robert Habbick represented everything that's good about the ELT industry. He treated colleagues and competitors alike with equal respect and friendliness, and he was extremely close to his customers, a very large number of whom became his friends. His natural habitat was not the office but at the universities, schools, conferences and book fairs where he made his excellent reputation over twenty years and more in Japan and across Asia.

Robert would talk a lot about what he called the 'Triangle' - the connection between teachers, students and materials. His desire to help make that connection and relationship work was a genuine one, and it was that spirit of helpfulness and wish to see teachers succeed that made himself so successful.

I remember running into Robert in Osaka about five years ago. I'd been out visiting some schools in Kobe and was wearing a suit and tie. Robert shook his head and told me what I was doing wrong - he'd only wear a business suit in Kyoto or certain universities in Nagoya. Osaka's dress code was a jacket, slacks and a tie. For an even more laid-back place like Kyushu, he'd go open neck. His meticulousness in making teachers feel happy and comfortable went right down to his choice of necktie.

Robert Habbick was a great guy who will be very sorely missed. May his soul rest in Peace.

I am greatly saddened to hear about Robert's passing. I worked with Robert for OUP in Osaka, Robert was a lovely guy with unstoppable charm and kindness. Rest in Peace.
Phil O'Neill

I am grieved to hear this. I haven't seen Robert for years, but always remember him fondly from when he used to visit my workplace as part of his OUP Chubu route. He was a good-natured, humorous and kind man, and I enjoyed his visits, more than he enjoyed my grumbling, I'm sure.
My sincere condolences to his family and loved ones. He is missed.

As Scott's aunt...we called him that...not Robert...his professional moniker...I will miss him.
I remember him as a youngster when he lived here in the States.
Thank you to all who wrote such kind things about him here.
Scott has two brothers. His parents are still living.
Scott decided to spend his life in Japan. We have missed him.

Robert (Bob) Habbick was one of the truly professional people in the English language field. Not only did he know his "stuff" he was fully fluent in Japanese and could make his point clear to all involved. He would sometimes come to my classes and speak with my students - and charm the hell out of all of them.

On occasion, after the days work was done, we'd hoist a few cold Asahi Beers together and laugh about the situation of the world at hand.

He will be very much missed. Sympathies go to his family at this time.

RIP Bob. You will be sorely missed.

Lawrence Klepinger

For those of you attending the JALT National Conference in Kobe this weekend, we will be holding a party to remember Rob at 5pm in Exhibition Hall 3 on Sunday 27th October. We also invite you to share your favourite stories over an open mic, bring in memorable photos of yourselves with Rob, or bring them on a memory stick. A condolence book will be available for you to write messages to Rob or his family.

Such tragic news. I did not know Rob well but he was always a warm and friendly face at JALT. He always remembered me from his days of visiting our university as an OUP representative and always had some welcome advice about textbooks and teaching. He was kind, charming and funny. He will be missed. My greatest condolences to his family. Rest in peace, Rob.

Rebecca Arthur

Thank you one and all for your kind comments. It has been comforting to know that he made a positive impression and contribution to Cambridge University Press and Oxford Press before that.
I know he appreciated his coworkers and boss Evan.
Sincerely, His family.

Thank you for your encouragement and condolences.

Dear Dr. Habbick,

Deepest sympathy to you and your family on the loss of your son Robert. I am so sorry.

Sharon Hewett

Robert and I became good friends before his move to Tokyo. I have just learned of his passing, through this post, and the news comes as a considerable shock. A good friend whom I will always remember for his sense of play, for his passionate dedication to his work, for his attentiveness to teachers and teaching.

Robert, you will be sorely missed.

Robert Scott Habbick was my firstborn son. His
insight, his outlook on life, his devotion to his family were to be admired.

My grief at his passing is immense. We were thrilled that Masato, one of his son's, (my grandson), was able to visit the US in February of this year. At that time we celebrated my 75th birthday.

Our prayers go out to Mayuka and the children. We wish that we could personally put
our arms about them all.

Thank you for your kind remarks, remembrances and best wishes toward us, his parents. Your
comments and prayers for us are truly treasured. When we suffer such a great loss, it is comforting to focus on the children and family that we still have and love. We thank God.

Doris Chorley Haabbick

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