Robert Wilson Albright, 70, of Kansas City, Missouri and, more recently, Lenexa, Kansas, passed away on February 19, 2018 at his home.
He was born on June 27, 1947 to Henry Wilson Albright and Jane Mullen Albright in Trenton, New Jersey. Robert’s father was a pastor and his parents instilled in Robert a lifelong love for and devotion to Jesus Christ.
Robert grew up in Manhattan Beach and La Habra, California and graduated from Whittier Christian High School in 1965.
In 1965, Robert started his higher education, majoring in English, at Mount San Antonio College.
In 1966, Robert was drafted and began basic training at Fort Ord, California. He completed Advanced Individual Training at Fort Gordon in Georgia, and spent time at Fort Stewart Hunter Army Base for helicopter training. Robert then served in Korea for 18 months as Military Police (MOS- 95B40 Military Occupational Specialty). There, to his delight, he had the opportunity to frequently visit a missionary family he knew in Pusan and Seoul.
Robert returned from Korea and worked from 1968 to 1970 at the Pacific Press in Arcata, California, in graphics.
In 1970, Robert attended Geneva College and received his Bachelors degree in 1973. He worked at Geneva in Admissions from 1973 to 1977, recruiting students, visiting schools and churches, and participating in college fairs. (In 2010, Robert commented to his wife, Diane:”That was exhausting!”).
It was in 1977 that Robert chose to begin his venture in Theater by attending Penn State University, majoring in Theater, and completing his Master’s degree.
In the summer of 1978, Robert met his lifelong partner, Diane Crisanti. They were married on June 16, 1979 in Pennsylvania.
Robert began his first career in Theater in the fall of 1979 at Asbury College, Wilmore, Kentucky, where he taught drama courses and directed the college plays. He also took advantage of Advanced Stage Fighting courses, which he frequently incorporated in his plays (yes, he loved swords and duels on stage!).
It was at Asbury College that Robert began his interest in triathlons, in which he participated for years to come. He enjoyed many great tales as he jogged with his friends in Wilmore.
In 1983, Robert and Diane moved to Kansas City, Missouri. He attended UMKC and received his Master of Fine Arts. Robert acted in the Missouri Repertory Theater, acted/directed at the Martin City Melodrama, as well as doing voice-overs, advertising, commercials, and the many other opportunities that were presented during his 15 year career.
Robert began part time work in 1986 at Midwest Cyclery, a bike shop in Westport, while continuing local freelance acting. Years later, in 1998, Robert was given the opportunity to purchase Midwest Cyclery and manage the bicycle business, which he continued for 17 more years.
It was a great gift to Robert to join Redeemer Presbyterian Church in 1995, shortly after the church was established. He truly embraced the vision of Redeemer to reach her goal as a missions and ministry based congregation: to mature as a community of Christians who love to worship their God, study His Word, and proclaim His gospel to the world. Robert Wilson Albright made this his life goal.
Robert enjoyed having the freedom to express himself with great variety: acting, directing, bike repair, more triathlons, half marathons, hiking, biking, and camping. Robert also had a love for music: collecting records and CDs for more than 50 years, attending concerts (Gordon Lightfoot was his latest favorite- meeting him in person after the concert and reminiscing about the days at the Troubadour in the 70’s), playing bass, acoustic, and electric guitar for his personal enjoyment, singing in the choir, getting together with friends.
Robert loved to entertain, hosting such ‘events’ as flapjack parties, movie nights, game nights, cross-country trips to National Parks, hiking, biking, camping, and appreciating nature to the fullest. His gift of hospitality was offered to many others whom he invited to live in his home, often for a year or two, or as long as was needed.
Robert loved serving others, cooking, telling random jokes, reaching out to comfort and visit others, encouraging the youth, participating in mission trips, offering to help even when it might be more than he could handle. He loved music, singing in the choir, teaching, serving as an Elder at Redeemer, sobbing in the middle of a prayer or hymn, being a gentle hero to his wife. Robert was a deeply caring gentleman who looked outward far more than he cared about himself.
Robert Wilson Albright will be greatly missed by his wife, Diane Crisanti Albright, his sister, Kathy Erickson and her husband Carl Erick Erickson, his nieces Laura, Heather, and Julie and their husbands and children, as well as hundreds of people in the Redeemer Presbyterian family, and hundreds more who knew him throughout the community and United States.
Memorial gifts are suggested to the Heritage Christian Academy Scholarship Fund, 9333 W. 159th Street, Overland Park, KS.