Local News

Clinton Man Copes With Loss Of Friend Who Died From Anthrax

Posted October 25, 2001

— It has been more than two weeks since the first anthrax victim died. Bob Stevens worked at the American Media Building in Boca Raton, Florida. One of his friends in North Carolina is still trying to cope with their loss.

Tom Wilbur has graphic memories of his friendship with Bob Stevens -- his British accent and his sense of humor.

"I used to drink with him a lot. We used to hit all the pubs," he said. "Bobby was the kind of guy you could depend on. If you had a problem, you called Bobby."

The two worked together for the tabloids in the American Media Building until Wilbur retired six years ago. During a summer visit in July, Stevens gave Wilbur a tour of the newly renovated building.

Investigators believe Stevens contracted anthrax after apparently inhaling the bateria from his contaminated computer keyboard.

"We sat down at the keyboard, that infamous keyboard and talked for awhile," Wilbur said.

Wilbur said that fact that his friend is gone is going to take some getting used to.

"Just this morning, I was sitting at my computer thinking I'll call Bobby and then I thought what am I saying, I'm going to have to get used to this," he said. He's a great guy and I'm going to miss him."

Since Wilbur visited the American Media Building this summer, he was asked to take an anthrax test while he was in Florida for Stevens' memorial service. He said the tests came back negative.


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