If you’ve ever received spiritual care at Renown, you’ve likely met longtime Renown Chaplain Bob Stover, who recently retired after 25 years of service. Here’s his story.
Bob Stover’s journey through faith took him from Japan at the close of World War II to the halls of Renown Regional Medical Center, where he served as a chaplain for 25 years and was a familiar face to those who visited and worked at Renown Regional Medical Center. Now, after his time at Renown as well as a distinguished career and much adventure before he lived in Reno, Chaplain Bob has retired.
Soon after graduating high school in 1943, Bob joined the United States Navy during World War II. He was given a special assignment to enter Hiroshima, Japan, two months after one of the first atomic bombs was dropped. BestMedicine profiled Bob as part of a series of stories on Renown employees in 2014, where he shared aspects of his time in the Navy.
After WWII, Bob went to Penn State for a mathematics degree and then Princeton Theological Seminary to become a Presbyterian minister. He started as a rural minister in North Dakota, traveling more than 300 miles to reach people in his parishes. He eventually moved to New York and led several parishes in that state.
His Transition to ‘Chaplain Bob’
His first work in hospitals was with a special clinical and psychiatric program In Washington DC. That was followed by work as a chaplain at Hollywood Presbyterian Medical Center in California. Bob and his wife, Sarah, moved to Reno in 1993 to be near his son, David.
Although he was officially retired at that time, he was merely entering the next phase of his spiritual care work. This included earning a doctorate in theology in 2006, when he was 80 years old. He also wrote a book called “Becoming Well Again.” The book is for sale online, and all royalties go toward medical research groups.
Among the honors Bob has received were several just last year: official certificates of commendation from then U.S. Sen. Dean Heller and current U.S. Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto, as well as a lifetime achievement award from the Nevada Interfaith Association and the special designation of Chaplain Ad Vitam (Chaplain for Life) from Renown Health.
He received those at the opening of the new Spiritual Center at Renown Regional, which stands as a great testament to the many years that Bob gave comfort and support to thousands of people at the hospital.