Dr. Robert Samuel Spira, 85, of Medford, Ore., passed away Monday, May 6, 2013, at Fern Gardens Senior Living. He was born December 12, 1927, in Detroit, Mich.

He married Harriett Robena Keeler who preceded him in death in 2005. Bob and Harriett came to Ashland, Ore. in 1980. He was a graduate of University of California Berkeley where he got his Ph.D. degree. He was a math professor at Duke University and Michigan State University.

In his early years, he worked as a radio repairman and as a glass blower at Corning. He also had worked for the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research. Bob enjoyed the arts, and chose to live in Ashland to expand his playwriting and music composing. He opened the Quartz Theatre in Ashland and ran it for several years.

He is survived by his daughter, Constance Simonsen, of Medford, Ore.; son, Bradford Burdick, of San Jose, Calif.; numerous grandchildren; and great-grandchildren.

Donations are suggested to the Alzheimer's Foundation. Hillcrest Memorial Park and Mortuary in care of arrangements, 541-773-6162 or