Charles Krobot, Pharm.D., who died June 27 at 73, was so beloved within the College of Pharmacy that one of his colleagues thought it was the perfect running joke to refer to Dr. Krobot as his "archnemesis."
The irony was obvious.
"I have never met a better man," said Joseph Vetro, Ph.D., associate professor of pharmaceutical sciences.
It's a sentiment widely shared within the College of Pharmacy, UNMC community and beyond.
"There are some people who touch your heart just by being who they are," said colleague Ally Dering-Anderson, Pharm.D.
"A kind and ethical professor and a prince of a human being," said vice chancellor for external relations Bob Bartee.
"He was a mentor without even trying, just by the way he lived his life," said Tom Davis, Pharm.D., Nebraska Medicine's lead pharmacist, outpatient and oncology.
"A gentleman educator, a professional with integrity and purpose," said Sam Augustine, Pharm.D., professor of pharmacy practice at Creighton University.
"Charlie was a beloved faculty member and friend who impacted countless students in his role as the associate dean," said dean Keith Olsen, Pharm.D.
Dr. Krobot died Sunday following a six-month fight against cancer, according to his Omaha World-Herald obituary.
There will be no public services, but memorials in his honor can be made to the UNMC College of Pharmacy Scholarship Fund or the Fred & Pamela Buffett Cancer Center Healing Arts Program Fund through the University of Nebraska Foundation.
He worked as a pharmacist for 45 years.
Dr. Krobot took a number of bold turns during his career. He already was a registered pharmacist when, at 35, he decided to go back to school and get his doctorate -- his Pharm.D. degree, at UNMC. He then worked "on the floor" at Clarkson Hospital, overseeing a satellite pharmacy that prepared chemotherapy medications for cancer patients. He later became a part-time faculty member at UNMC and earned teaching accolades.
But in 2003, he got the call to become the College of Pharmacy's associate dean for academic affairs. Now-dean emeritus Clarence Ueda, Pharm.D., Ph.D., was pleased to have Dr. Krobot at UNMC.
"Charlie was one of the most respected pharmacists in the state," Dr. Ueda said.
Dr. Ueda's successor as dean, Courtney Fletcher, Pharm.D., agreed:
"He was kind, caring and compassionate," Dr. Fletcher said. "He was a fine man; he was my friend -- and the college, our students and I, will miss him terribly."
Dr. Krobot was a former president of the Nebraska Pharmacists Association and was instrumental in re-writing the state's pharmacy regulations in the late 1990s. He also was active in merging the old Nebraska Pharmacists Association with the former Nebraska Society of Hospital Pharmacists, Dr. Dering-Anderson said.
The College of Pharmacy plans to establish a scholarship in his name.
I never met a kinder human being. So sorry for his family.
Charlie was one of the finest people I've ever known. I have known him since he was a student on the Lincoln campus pursuing his B.S. in Pharmacy back in the 60s. I again encountered Charlie after the College moved to Omaha when he came to me as Associate Dean, asking to set up a part-time program to earn the Pharm.D. degree. His commitment to professional development and practice excellence was evident even back then, and he enriched the patient care environment at Clarkson until he brought his passion for education and students back to the UNMC College of Pharmacy. He was invaluable in the initial development of the early practice experience for P1 students, a contribution he made while continuing to practice at Clarkson. When I prepared to step away from my administrative role I immediately offered his name to the current Dean as the colleague I felt should be pursued to take over the academic and student affairs reins. Thankfully, his career interests meshed with our needs and he was appointed to the enthusiastic approval of the entire college. His positive impact on the well-being of everyone within our program and the profession cannot be overstated. Charlie was a beautiful person; ever smiling, ever gracious, ever helpful. His loss will be felt deeply by everyone who was blessed to know him.
Dr. Krobot was everything that could be described as the "best" of UNMC--professional, trusted, kind, collaborative, innovative, reliable--someone to model your life or career after. We were lucky to have him for so long, and I hope we carry a bit of his heart with us always.
I never saw Charlie without a smile on his face. He possessed the likeability gene. He was a special man, no doubt. My condolences to his family and friends. His loss hurts — a lot. RIP.
I had the good fortune to work with Dr. Krobot for many years. He was a kind man who engaged with students on so many levels. From 8th graders in the UNMC State Science Meets to the undergraduate students in the RHOP program as well as the pharmacy students at UNMC, it was obvious how much he cared about teaching, inspiring and mentoring them. It was always a pleasure to meet with him in his office or run into him on campus. He will be missed so much!
Charlie was a great pharmacist and a wonderful person. He was the President of the Nebraska Pharmacists Association when I was hired and became a mentor, dear friend, and respected colleague. His passion for the profession, the NPA, UNMC and his students & colleagues was unwavering. His family was his greatest joy. My deepest sympathies to Mary Ellen, Amy, Julie and family. It was an honor to know Charlie and he will be missed! Heaven gained a true gem!
I am grateful to have known and learned from Dr. Krobot. He served an instrumental role in my introduction to the pharmacy profession. He was a constant in helping me navigate my undergraduate studies and transition as an RHOP candidate. He was kind, authentic, and continuously served as a pharmacy practice role model. You were always met with a smile during each encounter with Dr. Krobot. He always addressed you by name and was genuinely interested in how you were doing. Dr. Krobot was the epitome of a pharmacist, educator, and mentor. He was committed to students’ experience at UNMC and truly wanted the best for them. I will remember his lighthearted sarcasm and influential professionalism. Dr. Krobot is someone we all strive to be. He will be dearly missed.
Charlie was just a great guy. He and I conducted RHOP visits together in Wayne Nebraska and was honored to consider him a colleague and friend. During those drives I was always impressed with his thoughtfulness and kindness. Charlie was always Charlie and he was someone I could completely trust; he will be greatly missed.
I was fortunate enough to know Charlie in multiple roles. First, as an outstanding professor. Second, as a colleague. His face was always a kind and compassionate one, and a very welcomed sight during stressful times. He was one of my favorites, and I will miss him.
I had the pleasure of working with Dr. Krobot in the context of his involvement in campus interprofessional education. He was a very effective advocate for the pharmacy students, and the input he provided to our discussions was always caring and thoughtful. He was a wonderful person, a true role model, and I feel lucky to have known him. Devin Nickol, MD Associate Dean for Interprofessional Education
Dr. Krobot will be fondly remembered by many students in NE beyond UNMC. He was one of our favorite teachers to inspire future students with his fun, hands on lessons in compounding at the former UNMC Youth Learning Center. His smile and sense of humor was infectious. The twinkle in his eye when he tasted his “medicine” (frosting and food coloring) always made the students laugh. He leaves a legacy of inspiring many new generations of Pharmacists through his ability to connect with students, and his kindness and caring.
“My time with Charlie was extremely meaningful due to his outstanding qualities. He’s a Top-10 guy. He took me under his wing when I started work at the College of Pharmacy, placing me in an office next door to his. … His actions proved to me that he walked the talk. … Charlie often told the story of how he and (wife) Mary Ellen met. He was a shift pharmacist delivering meds to the hospital floor and she was a floor nurse. He readily volunteered to continue the floorwork to have a chance to see Mary Ellen as frequently as possible. The rest is history -- good history! I wish he could have had more time with his grandkids -- he loved those kids so much -- bragged about them feverishly.”
“I have known Charlie for over 12 years, he was a colleague and a friend. Charlie was always pleasant and comforting to communicate with. His positive energy was always inspirational.”
“‘Class act’ is the best way to describe Charlie. Broadly experienced, professional, humble, good humored, and extremely kind.”
“I can just remember how he took me under his wing when I took over this position. He was such a patient man. He will be missed.”
“Sincerity, dedication, trust, honor, mental toughness, driven to provide the best he could under all sorts of challenges. I witnessed him in practice, the classroom, the professional organizations and in his interactions with patients, pharmacists, other health care professionals, regulators and students. There were none better. Blessings on him and his family!”
“Charlie was the definition of a professional: he approached everyone with a grace, humility, and compassion that is very unique. Being a pharmacist was very important to him, and he tried to instill that same level of professionalism to everyone who was a pharmacy student at UNMC. Charlie was beloved on and off campus by everyone who worked with him. Whether conducting RHOP interviews or meeting with potential professional students, Charlie was very proud of UNMC and a great ambassador of its mission.”