Student wounded May 4, 1970 dies

Kristen Traynor

Stamps battled Lyme disease, remained “upbeat, cheerful, helpful”

Robert “Robby” Stamps, one of the nine students wounded in the May 4, 1970 shootings, died of pneumonia Wednesday night in Tallahassee, Fla. at the age of 58.

Stamps struggled for a long time with Lyme disease, said Alan Canfora, another student wounded May 4.

Stamps speculated he was bitten by a deer tick on a May 4 Task Force trip to Mohican State Park in the late 1970s, and the tick infected him with the disease, Canfora said.

Stamps had a master’s degree in sociology and journalism from Kent State and taught Spanish at the university level in California before moving to Florida.

“He was a real character,” Canfora said. “He was unique among us nine. We called ourselves blood brothers.”

Canfora said Stamps’ health deteriorated throughout the 1970s.

Kent resident Bruce Dzeda said he lived next door to Stamps in college at Harbourt Hall, and said Stamps had a serious illness throughout his college years.

Despite the pain of his illness, Dzeda said Stamps was the “most upbeat, cheerful, helpful kind of guy you could know.”

Jerry Lewis, professor emeritus of sociology, who was a faculty marshal on May 4, said Stamps was a wonderful person and always sent him a message on the anniversary of May 4.

“He was one of my support structures, to use a sociology term,” Lewis said.

Contact principal reporter Kristen Traynor at [email protected].