Bobby Wolter, RIP

By Tara Murtha
Add Comment Add Comment | Comments: 10 | Posted Aug. 24, 2009

Share this Story:

Bobby Wolter (left) passed away over the weekend. In June, PW chronicled his e-mail friendship with Brian McTear.

Photo by Chris Luxton

It is with heavy hearts and great sadness that we inform you that Bobby Wolter, drummer (The Weeds, REDFORD and Love Syndicate) and blogger at brianandbobbyspeak.com, passed away suddenly shortly after midnight Saturday morning from a massive hemoptysis in his lung. He was 28.

Andrew Wolter, Bobby’s brother, publicly announced Bobby’s death on Facebook hours later.

“Bobby passed away tonight at home in his father's arms after a long battle with cystic fibrosis. My brother was strong, loving and always believed in helping others before himself,” he wrote. “He never complained and he never made excuses. I once asked Bobby how he coped with everything and he replied, ‘Everyone's life is a journey and this is just a part of mine.’ He is loved and missed so much by so many and can now rest in peace.”

PW wrote about Wolter back in June when he launched brianandbobbyspeak.com, a blog that chronicled the unusual friendship between Wolter and local producer and musician Brian McTear, who also has cystic fibrosis.

In 2004, the pair were introduced when Marianne Ferrin, a nurse and coordinator of the Adult Cystic Fibrosis Program at Penn Presbyterian Medical Center in West Philly, gave Wolter McTear’s email address and encouraged him to drop McTear a line. Since CF patients can’t hang out with one another without risking the exchange of dangerous infections, Wolter and McTear began volleying letters via email -- developing an intimate epistolary comraderie that lead to years of mutual support and friendship.

Then this past June, after Wolter had to put down the drumsticks for lack of physical energy, he picked up the laptop and published the letters—going back five years--to inspire other patients with cystic fibrosis to live life fully, thoughtfully and bravely.

Wolter’s sudden death shocked friends and compatriots in Philadelphia’s music community at large. Throughout the weekend, friends wrote messages of love for Wolter and support for his family on Wolter’s Facebook page and on the blog, where McTear recently posted his last public letter to Wolter.

“You were too young and had too many wonderful and thoughtful things to bring to the world yet. It’s impossible for me to believe this. Right down to my core, you are bigger than life,” wrote McTear. “To me at this moment you are still here, so I just want to say things to you that I would say to you ALIVE, before I lose this feeling.”

Cystic Fibrosis made it exceedingly difficult for Bobby Wolter to breathe. He talked about how it was so hard to get up and out to walk his beloved dog Oscar some mornings. Of course, he often looked tired, physically. Yet his spirit sparkled so clearly, ever buoyant and always rising. Breathe easy Bobby, and Godspeed.

Services will be held at Paoli Presbyterian Church (225 S Valley Rd, Paoli, PA 19301) on Wednesday, August 26 at 5pm, with wake to follow. Details as we learn them. Services are open to all who would like to pay respects.

Add to favoritesAdd to Favorites PrintPrint Send to friendSend to Friend

COMMENTS

Comments 1 - 10 of 10
Report Violation

1. Ed Brown said... on Aug 24, 2009 at 12:30PM

“Bobby was an unassuming guru, spreading love, courage, forgiveness and tenacity. He lived his life as much as he could on his own terms and he will always be a positive example to everyone who has met him directly or through his body of work.”

Report Violation

2. Dolan said... on Aug 24, 2009 at 01:27PM

“Bobby was a true friend...to so many. The world has experienced a great loss along with all of us who were lucky enough to know him. He taught so many how to be a better human being. He will be sorely missed.”

Report Violation

3. Jim Mottola said... on Aug 24, 2009 at 05:19PM

“Growing up with Bobby, and the entire Wolter family was such a vital, and rich part of my life - especially not having any brothers, Bobby was like the older brother I never had and always wanted. I can't explain how many times I'd watch him play the drums, and want to be him. His musical talent was only outshone by his vitality and overall love of his family and friends. It's an honor to say that I am considered part of the Wolter family, and although it still seems surreal, Bobby will be missed. He would take comfort; however, that our love for his life will outlast any pain that we feel at the moment. I love you Bobby, you'll never be forgotten.

Report Violation

4. chris schutz said... on Aug 25, 2009 at 03:11PM

“I've been remembering all the good times and shows we played together through the years- I'll miss you Bob....”

Report Violation

5. Jim Mottola said... on Aug 25, 2009 at 06:03PM

“Growing up with Bobby, and the entire Wolter family was such a vital, and rich part of my life - especially not having any brothers, Bobby was like the older brother I never had and always wanted. I can't explain how many times I'd watch him play the drums, and want to be him. His musical talent was only outshone by his vitality and overall love of his family and friends. It's an honor to say that I am considered part of the Wolter family, and although it still seems surreal, Bobby will be missed. He would take comfort; however, that our love for his life will outlast any pain that we feel at the moment. I love you Bobby, you'll never be forgotten.

Report Violation

6. Anonymous said... on Aug 30, 2009 at 01:55PM

“I will remember Bobby as a sweet and honest young man.... attuned in a quiet healing way. ...funny. ...gentle...generous.. curious and wise.
Such an encouraging and gifted musician. i enjoyed him drumming in The Weeds and three visits to the hospital this spring. I will continually allow the inspiration of his courage and uncomplaining nature to encourage me. Thank you Bobby.”

Report Violation

7. Martina Mapp said... on Aug 31, 2009 at 12:47PM

“I feel your pain, my brother Richard Jermain Mapp aka Rafiq died on August 3rd at Presbryterian hospital, he was an adult cf patient there as well. He was 30. God bless you and your family, Bobby seemed to be a fighter just like our brother and son!!”

Report Violation

8. Mike Mapp said... on Sep 1, 2009 at 08:50AM

“I did not know Bobby but I can empathize with him and your families struggles. My little brother Richard passed away on Aug 3rd from CF. Andrew, I had the same type of conversation with my brother not long before he passed and he told me pretty much the same thing your brother told you. I told him that I thought he was so strong bc he was dealt a bad hand and never complained and he said " Whats the use of complaining, that dont get me anywhere, its all in Gods hands" and thats how he lived his life, he never used his illness as an excuse, he lived his life to its fullest and never complained. He was the strongest person I ever met and im sure you feel the same way about your brother. We were blessed to have known them because they taught us something about courage, stregnth and hope that will carry us through any situation we might encounter in life,we had the best teachers possible. God bless you and your family.”

Report Violation

9. goodby said... on Sep 2, 2009 at 01:09AM

“it hurt that you were sick
but you had the strength to say goodby
the last stoke on mom's hair
while you were in
intensive care
and too
the eys told me when you touched your
lips
and put your hands on your heart
I knew too
that it was goodby
to me
Goodby

Report Violation

10. MARTINA MAPP said... on Sep 3, 2009 at 01:38PM

“THE POEM, IT HURT THAT YOU WERE SICK, WAS WRITTEN AND POSTED BY, MYSELF, MARTINA MAPP. WRITTEN IN HONOR OF MY BROTHER, RICHARD. WHO PASSED ON AUG. 3RD FROM COMPLICATIONS FROM CYSTIC FIBROSIS”

ADD COMMENT

Rate:
(HTML and URLs prohibited)