When Robert Bruce Told died last week, Dr. Thomas Told lost his youngest child.
“He was the baby of the family. He was an attractive little guy,”Thomas said.
“You always look at the baby of the family as the kiddo who’s going to put everybody to rest and turn out the lights.
“But in this case, we started it backwards, unfortunately.”
Robert died of unknown causes Jan. 18. He was 34.
Robert Bruce Told was born in 1976 at The Memorial Hospital in Craig. He graduated from Moffat County High School in 1996.
“He was a native of Craig,” Thomas said of his son. “He was always active in FFA, did rodeo and rode bulls for a while, and was involved in 4-H.
“Robert was the son that everybody would be proud to have … to call their own.”
After high school, Told took an interest in mechanics and construction, Thomas said.
Robert attended Utah Valley University, where he earned both bachelor’s and associate’s degrees in construction management.
Later, Robert earned an MBA in Global Management and International Business from University of Phoenix, and had plans to pursue a doctorate.
“He was planning to get a PhD, and he wanted to go to the top of his field,” Thomas said.
Robert had just started a position in at-home service sales for Home Depot in Houston, when he died unexpectedly.
“It was a shock,” Thomas said. “It was really unpredicted. In fact, we’d talked to him on Skype the morning of. He had been feeling poorly and had a blackout spell, and we told him to go to the doctor.
“And then, he felt better. His wife came home, and he seemed to be normal.
“They went to bed, and he died in his sleep.”
Thomas said the Harris County Institute of Forensic Sciences in Houston is working to determine the cause of death.
“We wanted to have a full-form examination,” Thomas said. “Hopefully, there will be some answers whether it was infectious, or traumatic, or whatever.
“They’ll go through the whole routine. The CSI-type routine.”
Services for Robert were Saturday at The Center of Craig, 601 Yampa Ave.
Thomas, who practiced medicine in Craig for 34 years, said the location was an obvious choice.
“We just thought it was fitting that we have it in The Center of Craig because Craig was the center of our lives,” Thomas said. “It certainly was his hometown.
“We thought it might be more appropriate to be in a community center because the community has been so supportive of me and my family.”
Thomas said the community was well-represented at the service.
“Yes, all levels of the community were there — young and old,” he said. “I think a lot of people knew little ol’ Rob. He was an integral part of this community and our family.
“What a great guy he was.”
Robert was eulogized by cousin Joshua Told and brothers Trent and Mathew Told.
Thomas, who moved to Denver to in 2009, said returning to Craig for the service was a powerful experience.
“The kindness of people at this time … just to know that you have support is probably one of the finest things that anybody can do,” he said. “I know I’ve done that before. I’ve gone to people’s houses and held their hands. It was kind of the doctor thing to do, but I didn’t realize just how powerful a medicine that is for healing a loving heart.”
However, despite his work with families, Told said he was unprepared for the experience.
“For almost 35 years, I took care of families and helped them with death and dying issues, and I really empathized,” he said. “I cried with them. I understood. I really thought I knew how it felt.
“But, honestly, this is the first time I’ve lost a son, and I have to tell you, it’s not anywhere near what you think you know.
“You have to experience it to know just how terrible it is.”
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