Posted Thursday 9:38 p.m. Robert Sturtevant Howard Fye ’08 passed away in his Middletown, R.I., home Tuesday following a nine-year battle with cancer.
The Silliman College senior, 23, died peacefully after a recent relapse from osteosarcoma, a common type of bone cancer, which he battled since being diagnosed at the age of 14.
Fye was originally a member of the Class of 2006, but he had to take weekends and later terms off during his time at Yale to receive treatment for his condition, Silliman College Master Judith Krauss said. Although he took classes this past fall, he had to take a leave before finals started to allow for more treatment, Krauss said.
Fye’s Yale physician notified Silliman officials that Fye had been readmitted to the Hasbro Children’s Hospital during the break. Krauss and other members of the college community kept in close contact with his family all through his career, she said.
“He was close to getting his degree — one term shy from graduation,” Krauss said.
Fye — who was pursuing a major in economics and had indicated interest in attending law school — won numerous awards during his time on campus. He was named a Yale Club of New York scholar every year since arriving at Yale, and in 2007 Fye won the Richter Summer Fellowship for economic research.
In an undated letter addressed to Charles Guggenheimer ’55, the chair of the University committee in charge of the scholarship program, Fye wrote of his early passion for computer science and economics and his excitement about “expanding [his] academic horizon.”
“Words cannot express my joy at being at Yale and experience all Yale has to offer,” Fye wrote in the letter.
Fye was an enthusiastic and devoted member of his residential college, serving in 2005 as captain of Silliman’s team in the Relay for Life, an annual fundraiser for cancer research. His team placed second in funds raised amongst the colleges. Fye did not captain the team the next year, but he was still “very involved” with the program, Krauss said.
“Any event Silliman sponsored — Rob was there,” she said. “He helped when he could.”
Fye’s other extracurricular included the Boy Scouts of America, in which he earned the highest rank possible, the Eagle Scout. He also published several comics for the Yale Herald and was a devoted member of Alpha Phi Omega, a co-ed service fraternity.
In 2002, Fye graduated from Middletown High School, where he became a member of the National Honor Society, served as captain of the math team and played for two varsity sport teams.
Krauss, who will make a formal announcement about Fye’s death to her students this weekend, said Fye will be remembered by professors and students for his strength.
“He learned to value the moment he was in and the people he was with,” she said. “And he still had future goals while he was here.”
When asked over the phone Thursday what she will most miss about Fye, Krauss took a short breath. “His gentle sense of humanity,” she said.
Funeral services will be held at Trinity Episcopal Church in Newport, R.I., on Monday morning.