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DRUAR, Robert Burns

DRUAR - Robert Burns Died Monday afternoon, June 6, 2012, while riding his bicycle near the home he shared with his wife, Marcia King Druar, in Statesville, North Carolina. Bob Druar was a guy you did things with; the talk and his ironic take, at the same time humorous and deliberately comical, were the bonus. Bob was from Buffalo but at home everywhere, in all sorts of seemingly incompatible surroundings. He had friends with backgrounds and persuasions so incongruous, he was the only possible connection. It was all so natural for him and so magical for those he brought together. He was a Navy veteran and hung out comfortably with an anti-war crowd. He went to UB law school after owning an auto repair garage and gas station. He grew up in the suburbs and moved to the City. He was a common-sense Michael Harrington Democrat, more or less, and was active in local party politics for years, working for a time with the State legislature. He somehow remained an active Democrat in Statesville. He took in every speedway and dirt track he could find wherever he was. Each August, he would appear at Dunn Tire Raceway Park for the race in memory of his late brother, Tommy, and brother-in-law, Tony, if it wasn't rained out. He thrived on the roar of the engines. He painstakingly reconstructed a Triumph TR-3 in his backyard garage and raced it himself with the classics at Watkins Glen. Bob and Marcia named their 16-cylinder wooden cabin cruiser "Granma" after the yacht carrying Che Guevara, Fidel Castro and others from the Yucatan to Cuba to spark the revolution. He too had motorcycles he took long trips on. He flew his single-engine four-seater Comanche on clear days and by instrument through the clouds from Buffalo all the way to Daytona and Baltimore and so many other towns, ferrying family and friends for long weekends of fun. Bob worked for years from law offices carved out of his Crescent Avenue and then Statesville homes, helping working people with their financial problems, Wills and Deeds and brushes with the law, their accidents and fights against government intrusiveness. He volunteered his time helping retirees to get their health insurance back. He did it with a laugh and a smile and made it all into funny serious stories. He wrote to the Statesville paper standing up for health insurance reform, making his father's story into a story about all dads and all of us. The words, at least, and all his work, are still with us. Bob, 65, is survived by his wife, his daughters, his step-children and his grandchildren, his sisters and brother, and numerous relatives and friends. He donated his organs and his remains will be cremated in North Carolina. His wife, Marcia, and his family will bring his ashes to Buffalo and will be having a memorial in mid August.
As Bob fell from his bike he spoke to all of us, "I won't be giving you a surprise call my next visit to Buffalo. We won't be biking the paths along the Niagara River or Tonawanda Creek. We won't be meeting at Lancaster Speedway on Saturday nights to see and hear my nephews win all their races. We won't be kayaking in the Buffalo River this time. You'll have to rely on your memories. No, please, not that one."

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