Robert B. Nett, Jr., MD
(1954 – 2012)
The American Headache Society, the field of headache medicine, and countless patients, has lost an enormous talent, beloved colleague, and compassionate and dedicated physician. Dr. Stuart Black remembers his friend and colleague.
Dr. Bob Nett, colleague, friend, beloved husband and father, died tragically in an automobile accident on February 16, 2012. He was 57 years old.
Bob was born August 26, 1954, at the U.S. Army Hospital in Fort Riley, Kansas. He was the son of a military family. His father, Colonel Robert B. Nett, a recipient of the Medal of Honor for bravery during World War II, taught his son to “Never settle for anything less than your level best and then give a little more”. That is how Bob lived his life. Whereas the highlights of Bob’s professional career are numerous, he will always be remembered for his generosity, love and humor, which defined the joy he had for life. He was an empathetic and kind individual. This translated into the compassion he had for his patients. His degrees as a pharmacist and physician coupled with an unquenchable curiosity contributed to his being a principle investigator in over 250 clinical trials, most of which involved the development of new migraine medications and related headache therapies. He had over 50 publications in the medical literature; primarily related to headache medicine.
As a youth, Bob lived all over the globe. He graduated from Heidelberg High School in Germany. Between 1972 and 1976, Bob received an ROTC Scholarship at the University of Georgia and earned the recognition of Distinguished Military Graduate. In 1976, he received a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology. During the years 1977 and 1978 he was awarded the Medal of Honor Society Scholarship – University of Georgia School of Pharmacy and earned a degree in Pharmacy. By 1979, he was the Outpatient Pharmacy Section Supervisor at Madigan Army Medical Center in Fort Lewis, Washington. It was also at that time that Bob met the love of his life and wife for 33 years, Patti.
Robert Nett had a commitment to medicine. Following a lifelong passion for patient care, in 1981 Bob continued his medical education at the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences School of Medicine in Bethesda, Maryland and received his Medical Degree in 1985. He completed his Internship in 1986 at Brooke Army Medical Center in Fort Sam Houston, Texas. Despite obtaining a Bachelor of Science Degree in Biology, a B.S. PHR in Pharmacy, and an M.D. Degree, Bob’s enthusiasm for medical knowledge was not finished. From 1986 to 1988 he enrolled in a Pathology Residency Program, also at Brooke Army Medical Center. After a long, distinguished military career, in 1989, United States Army Major Robert B. Nett Jr. retired from the army to devote the rest of his professional life to being an outstanding clinician, patient advocate, and systematic scientific investigator.
Bob is remembered with gratitude and respect by his many patients, friends, and colleagues. He is survived by his mother, Frances Nett, his wife Patti, his daughter and son-in-law, Erica and Michael Rubalcaba, and his son Nick. Additional survivors include his sister and brother-in-law Frances Ann Randall and husband Doyle of Roswell, New Mexico; nieces Dr. Yvonne Randall and Helen McAnany of Las Vegas, Nevada. On Wednesday, February 22, 2012, Bob Nett was buried with full military honors at Fort Sam Houston National Cemetery. He will be missed, but not forgotten.
Stuart B Black, MD, FAAN