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Robert studied at Stanford University, receiving his M.A. in Spanish in 1957, and then went on to UC Berkeley, where he completed his Ph.D. in Romance Languages and Literatures in 1963. Robert taught at the University of Chicago and Rutgers University before coming to UC Davis as an Assistant Professor in 1965. He successfully served as Chair of the Department of Spanish and Classics from 1980 to 1988. Robert retired July 1, 2002.
Roberts publications cover a vast panorama of Spanish- American and Peninsular Spanish Literature. He was particularly interested in prose fiction and poetry. Roberts scholarship embraced a diverse repertoire of Spanish-American writers and, with reference to Peninsular Spanish, he was an expert on the 19th century novelist Emilia Pardo Bazan and the 20th century philosopher, Jose Ortega y Gasset. Roberts professional colleagues characterized him as a dynamic, versatile, distinguished scholar and a sensitive, perceptive literary critic.
Robert was passionately interested in teaching; he constantly experimented with his own approaches to imparting knowledge. He taught a great variety of courses on both Spanish-American and Peninsular Spanish writers. Students noted his cheerful, friendly, eminently positive classroom personality, his contagious enthusiasm, his inspirational teaching and his superb personal rapport with his classes. In the classroom, he was a very theatrical, dramatic, commanding, dynamic presence, and quite entertaining if somewhat disorganized at times as he went off on a tangentwhich was always very interestingsaid Karen Olson, former graduate student.
As a student advisor a mission to which Robert devoted consistent effort and more so in later years, he was without equal. He received an Outstanding Faculty Advisor Award for the year 1996-1997.
Robert was an accomplished pianist, an avid small-plane pilot and a fine hobby ship modeler. He also enjoyed stamp collecting, coaching and playing soccer and other sporting events. His sense of humor was unique. We always anticipated Roberts arrival in the departmental office each day, as there was invariably a hearty laugh involved. said Faye LeClair, former Department of Spanish and Classics Principal Staff Assistant.
Robert is survived by his wife, Donna Hall Scari of Davis; daughter, Delia M. Scari of Davis and son, Robert J. Scari of Dallas, Texas. Other survivors include Aldo Cangiani and wife, Nellie of Argentina as well as Elsa Cangiani Finazzi of Madrid, Spain.
Professor Scari will be dearly missed by his family and friends as well as the entire University of Davis community. A memorial service will be held Friday, August 10, 2007 at 2:00 P.M.at Wiscombes Davis Funeral Chapel, 116 D Street.
In lieu of flowers the family requests that donations be made in Roberts Memory to the Yolo County Hospice or the charity of your choice.
I loved Professor Scari. My wife and I met in his Spanish 110 class in fall 1996. I was "Senor Caceres" and she was "Senorita Nutting." Through the years at UCD he helped us transfer our EAP courses and coached us on our degrees. He was so dramatic in class. I remember he would sometimes break out into song. He knew the old ballads of Spain and had studied them in New Mexico, where they were still being sung when he was a grad student. I'll miss him. I'm sad I waited until now to look him up and see how he is doing.
Jose Luis Caceres Sep 6 2007 12:00 AM
Teniamos la costumbre de reunirnos en "La Bou" en el centro los domingos para tomar un cafecito y charlar de la filosofia politica de Ortega y de la politica argentina (en tiempo del gobierno militar y la guerra de Malvinas). Don Roberto fue muy buen amigo y interlocutor.
Arthur M. Shapiro Aug 9 2007 12:00 AM