Lifelong Juneau resident Charles Robert "Bob" Hirsch, 21, died May 24, 2005, in his home with family members by his side.
He was born May 14, 1984, in Juneau. He attended Harborview and Dzantik'i Heeni schools, graduating from Juneau-Douglas High School in 2002.
His life was partly identified with cancer, for he was both a survivor and a victim. He contracted acute lymphocytic leukemia just before entering middle school in fall 1995 at the age of 11. He relapsed before his high school track season during his senior year in spring 2002 and again for the last time in January 2005. Through the local Cancer Connection, he helped start a support group for families of children in Southeast and raised money for research. He received their Youth Inspiration Award for 2005 at their annual meeting at the Baranof Hotel on May 14, his 21st birthday. Throughout his years of treatment, he was supported by his mentor, Manny Chao, who used Lance Armstrong as a symbol of strength.
He loved being with people, and he reached out to all ages. He volunteered at Rally, coached youth basketball, was a member of Boy Scout troop 15 and enjoyed being a junior counselor for other cancer kids and their siblings at the American Cancer Society's Camp Goodtimes in Washington State. He enjoyed working at Copy Express/Works. He was a film and music buff with an impressive collection of new and classic DVDs and CDs. He was passionate about camping, basketball and cars; and he supported everything related to Oregon State University, his father's alma mater.
He was preceded in death by his father, Vern Hirsch.
He is survived by his mother, Sue Brock; his brother, Ken Hirsch; his step-father, Irv Brock; his close friend, Rose Evans, all of Juneau; his grandmothers, Anna-belle Hirsch and Pat Thaanum; his aunts and uncles, Charles Hirsch, John and Rachelle Szwarc, Dusty and Jane Rhodes and Bonnie Cochran; his cat, Sweetheart; and numerous cousins and other family members.
A viewing will be held from 5-8 p.m. May 27, at Alaskan Memorial Park and Mortuary. A memorial service will be 2 p.m. May 28, at the Juneau-Douglas High School commons. In lieu of flowers, donations in the name of "Bob Team" can be made to the American Cancer Society's "Relay for Life," July 16 and 17 at Dimond Park/Riverbend School. The contact person for that event is Pat Yearty, 586-4900.
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