Bob Shea, co-author of the germinal Illuminatus! trilogy and author of many other historical and heretical writing, died of cancer in the arms of friends and his loving wife, Patricia Monaghan, after a sudden dramatic decline in his health. His last words before sinking into a coma were, "Love is everywhere."
Robert Joseph Shea attended Manhattan Prep, Manhattan College and Rutgers University and worked as a magazine editor in New York and Los Angeles. In the 60's he edited the Playboy Forum where he met Robert Anton Wilson, with whom he collaborated on Illuminatus! After publishing Illuminatus!, Bob left Playboy to become a full time novelist. His novels include: Shike, set in medieval Japan. All Things Are Lights, a story that entwines the fate of Cathars of southern France with the occult traditions of Courtly Love and the troubadours. The Saracen, describing the intricate politics of medieval Italy through the eyes of an Islamic warrior. Shaman, tracing the fate of the survivors of the Black Hawk War in 19th century Illinois. Lady Yang , a tragic story of an idealistic empress of medieval China. (forthcoming)
A celebratory reading of Bob's works took place on March 26th, in Winnetka, Illinois. More than 100 people attended and many, including Bob's collaborator and dear friend Robert Anton Wilson, spoke during the meditative interlude of Bob's friendliness and curiosity, cheerfulness and courage.
Patricia thanks everyone for their support, especially those who participated in Pray For Shea Day (Feb. 14, 1994). She assures us that, "it may seem like the prayers of hundreds of well-wishers went for naught. Certainly I had hoped for a dramatic improvement in Bob's health as result of the prayer dayš yet curiously I believe our prayers may have been answered, for Bob's death was a quiet one, and he was very happy in the days before it."
In the next few years, several more of Bob Shea's works will be published, including a collection of essays. Patricia requests that anyone having copies of Bob's work from magazines or other publications, or having letters from him which might be publishable, to please send copies to her at: 1625 W. 101st St., Chicago, IL 60643.
Memorial contributions may be made to the Cancer Wellness Center, 5150 Golf Rd., Skokie, IL 60077.
Reprinted with permission from Green Egg #105
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