Continuing the celebration and recognition of Robert’s birthday and the person he was, we’ve compiled excerpts from the remembrances of family and friends expressed at his memorial service. For those who desire to read more, the full text of these remembrances is linked to each quotation.
Hopefully, sharing these will motivate everyone to pursue justice and bring forward any information that can be used to solve the mystery of his tragic death. And may the standards that Robert lived live on in others.
In their own words…
Jason Torchinsky, Esq. – partner at HoltzmanVogel PLLC, close friend and college roommate:
In his application to the University of Pennsylvania Law School, Robert said he wanted to be a lawyer because he wanted to be a trusted member of the community, make a difference in public policies, and see the effects of his efforts improving the situation of people around him.
As those of us here today can all attest, Robert achieved his goals.
Eugene Chay, Esq. – Associate, Spriggs & Hollingsworth, Former President of the Asian Pacific American Bar Association of D.C:
Robert came to me seeking APABA’s support for his candidacy for a position in the American Bar Association…I tried to think of a way to convey to them the high esteem I held for Robert, keeping in mind that I had known him less than a year at this point in time… I tried to think of the highest praise I could in order to convey to the APABA board exactly the type of person Robert Wone was. I told them, “Robert Wone is the type of person who will make you proud to know him someday.” It was a spontaneous statement and I surprised myself a little when I said it, but I realized then that I meant every word. Today, those words are even more true.
John A. Lindburg, Esq. – General Counsel & Secretary, Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty:
Robert and I were together during most of his last evening. When I look back to that evening, and I think of Robert, I am reminded of the Lamplighter of Old England. The Lamplighter would walk through the cobblestone streets, reaching up with a long pole to light the gas lamps, one by one. Gradually, the city would be lighted. You did not always see him coming, but you always knew he had been there. He made the path taken by others a whole lot easier to navigate. He left everyone much better off by virtue of his having been there.
Robert was very much like that Lamplighter…He brightened the lives of us all, each and every one of us. He was very smart, soft-spoken, and he had a big smile and a huge heart. He knew how to listen, too. His quiet intelligence guided his clients and friends alike. He left us all much wiser. His warm smile and compassion let us know that someone truly cared. We felt better after being with him. We felt more secure when traveling along a sometimes treacherous road. His enthusiasm and dedication were contagious. He left us inspired. We were energized.
Like the Lamplighter of Old England, Robert has passed our way, and he has illuminated our paths. It is now up to us to walk down those paths, and to light them for others.
Andrew Wone – brother:
In looking to the future, I remember back to something I said on Robert’s wedding day. On that day, I read Archie Ammons’ poem “Salute.” The poem reads, “May happiness pursue you, catch you often, and, should it lose you, be waiting ahead, making a clearing for you.”
For me, Robert was always that force which helped steer me back on track in difficult times – to help me find that happiness. His presence in my life will be missed. While we at times saw the world differently, he always encouraged me to be myself and not to try to be him. This was a message I will always remember.
Edward S. West, Esq. – partner at Covington & Burling:
…I called Robert around 6 or 7AM as we had planned and explained our somewhat daunting task. As always, and despite the early hour, he was ready, willing, and able to start work that moment. A s we allocated the work between us during that conversation, I kiddingly mentioned to Robert for the first time one of my favorite mottos – – “the difficult we do immediately, the impossible takes a little longer.” Whether or not he had already heard this well-worn aphorism a thousand times, I remember Robert chuckling appreciatively in that special way of his as I said it. Every time after that, when we would start work on a new project together, if a client’s deadline or scope of work seemed a bit daunting, Robert would wryly ask me with that bemused smile of his and an arched eyebrow: “Ed, is this one merely difficult, or is it impossible?”
Libby Liu – President, Radio Free Asia
He was a treasure, and none of us who knew him will ever be the same.
In much of East Asia, the color of mourning isn’t black but white–the color of emptiness, absence, and loss. But it’s also the color of unbridled possibility, of peace, innocence, hope, and Heaven, which is so much of what Robert brought into our lives and surely what he would want us to take as his legacy.
Katherine Wone – widow of Robert Wone:
…I asked him “If you knew you could not fail, what would you be?” His answer – a senator. I then asked what his second dream job would be. He answered “Chief of Staff. You know, I want to be the clown that’s trying to organize all the other clowns.” That was Robert, always finding the time and a way to make us laugh. He welcomed everyone, and in his gentle way, extended his love and friendship regardless of how busy he was. The world is a much sadder and emptier place because of his absence, but we are all better people for having known him.
Others contributing to the celebration of Robert’s life include Nicole Woods, Michelle Kang, Jonas Geissler, and Lisa Goddard, classmates from William & Mary, Wayne Miao and Paul Stone, University of Pennsylvania Law School, Janet Shih-Hajek, Asian Pacific American Bar Association – DC, Heather Haberl, Edward West, Tod Ackerly, Robert Gage, Covington & Burling, Karen Kramer, Hessel & Aluise, and John Yu, brother of Katherine Wone.
May all of these memories compel each of us to work towards making the world a better place.
– Craig, David, Doug and Michael