Robert Nason was the type of person who always gave his friends someone to lean on.
“He was probably the most caring and loyal person I knew,” Robert’s childhood friend Mark Cornett said. “He never thought of himself before anyone. I don’t know … he was just my best friend.”
The pair spent their high school years planning their grad trip to Europe and working at Starbucks to pay for it.
“We spent hours and hours pouring over maps, what to do, where to go. People would ask us where we would be going and when we told them they said ‘that’s crazy,’ but it was never crazy to us,” he said.
The two trekked through numerous countries in Europe for two months, spending time in England, France, Holland, Belgium, Germany, Austria, Italy, Portugal, Spain and Morocco. Cornett said it was during this trip when Robert made the biggest impact on his life.
“I can’t think of anyone who has changed me for the better like Rob has,” he said. At Queen’s Robert, ArtSci ’12, became involved with the Departmental Student Council for geography as the treasurer. He studied geography and Spanish after switching his discipline from engineering.
“He loved [Queen’s]. All he did was talk about how his roommates were more than friends to him, they were like family.” Cornett had known Robert all throughout high school and said he would always remember how Robert was happy to be around people and would do anything for others without expecting anything back in return.
As a long-distance cross country runner and cyclist, Robert had always enjoyed and excelled in athletics.
“The hilarious thing is I was never an athlete, so this last summer he actually taught me to run and we would just run until I couldn’t run anymore,” he said, adding that the training let him run the Montréal Half Marathon.
“I can’t think of anyone who has changed me for the better like Rob has.” Though they went to different universities in different cities after high school, the two always kept in touch.
“Two weeks before this happened, I was heading to Toronto for this birthday party of our mutual friend and Rob not having Facebook didn’t know that this was going on,” he said, adding that on his way down from McGill he had called Robert to invite him to Toronto. Without any hesitation, Robert agreed to the trip.
“There’s no one else who I could call in two hours who would do that. Being who we are we somehow always saw each other every two weeks or so.” Cornett said he will deeply miss his friend.
“Frankly, I know that I’ve lost my best friend and I know that there will be things that I can’t ever do again, at least not in the same way,” he said. “He was one of the greatest people I’ve ever known.” Robert was the eldest child of Bill and Melanie Nason and a brother to Jennifer and Sarah Nason. He died in his Division St. home on Feb. 15.
A memorial service was held on Saturday Feb. 19 at Holy Cross Cemetery in Thornhill. Robert’s father said when remembering his son, generosity and friendliness are the first things that come to mind.
“He was a very loyal friend. He had quite a few friends way back from public school and he maintained relationships with many all the way through,” Nason said.
“As you can imagine, it’s really difficult, but we do have memories from Robert and that help sustain us,” he said, adding that he was glad to have seen so many people attending at the funeral, some from Queen’s.
Nason said Robert was a big fan of Queen’s traditions and often told stories about the Frosh Week flagpole and getting the engineering jacket in first year.
“He loved Queen’s. I think he loved it because Queen’s has a lot of traditions and Robert loved traditions and he loved being a part of the community,” he said, adding that at school he had surrounded himself with a great group of friends, four of whom he lived with.
Nason said his son will always be in his heart.
“I just will always remember what a good person he was to everyone he met. He always found the best in everything.”
Details on the upcoming Memorial on campus will be displayed on queensu.ca.
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