Capital Gazette shooting victim’s life celebrated by hundreds

Rob Hiaasen, one of five Capital Gazette staff members killed in last week's newsroom shooting in Annapolis, Maryland, was remembered Monday night by family and friends in a Celebration of Life service. (WTOP/Dick Uliano)
Rob Hiaasen, one of five Capital Gazette staff members killed in last week’s newsroom shooting in Annapolis, Maryland, was remembered Monday night by family and friends in a Celebration of Life service. (WTOP/Dick Uliano) (WTOP/Dick Uliano)
Beneath a sprawling canvas tent on the grounds of the Irvine Nature Center, Hiaasen was fondly recalled as a fun loving man and a gifted writer who was devoted to his family. (WTOP/Dick Uliano)
Beneath a sprawling canvas tent on the grounds of the Irvine Nature Center, Hiaasen was fondly recalled as a fun loving man and a gifted writer who was devoted to his family. (WTOP/Dick Uliano) (WTOP/Dick Uliano)
His brother and sister and children described a man who loved to laugh and to see others laugh, and was always ready to leaven tough situations with humor. (WTOP/Dick Uliano)
His brother and sister and children described a man who loved to laugh and to see others laugh, and was always ready to leaven tough situations with humor. (WTOP/Dick Uliano) (WTOP/Dick Uliano)
Hiaasen's older sister, Judy Hiaasen shared memories of Hiaasen as a boy, including some of his pranks like unlocking and reading her diary. (WTOP/Dick Uliano)
Hiaasen’s older sister, Judy Hiaasen shared memories of Hiaasen as a boy, including some of his pranks like unlocking and reading her diary. (WTOP/Dick Uliano) (WTOP/Dick Uliano)
Hiaasen's wife described a husband who was devoted to his family and home. (WTOP/Dick Uliano)
Hiaasen’s wife described a husband who was devoted to his family and home. (WTOP/Dick Uliano) (WTOP/Dick Uliano)
Mourners gather during a memorial service for Rob Hiaasen, one of the journalists killed in the shooting at The Capital Gazette newspaper offices, Monday, July 2, 2018, in Owings Mills, Md. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)
Mourners gather during a memorial service for Rob Hiaasen, one of the journalists killed in the shooting at The Capital Gazette newspaper offices, Monday, July 2, 2018, in Owings Mills, Md. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky) (AP/Patrick Semansky)
Judy Hiaasen
Judy Hiaasen, left, sister of Rob Hiaasen, one of the journalists killed in the shooting at The Capital Gazette newspaper offices, speaks with a mourner during a memorial service, Monday, July 2, 2018, in Owings Mills, Md. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky) (AP/Patrick Semansky)
Carl Hiaasen, Judy Hiaasen
ADDS THE NAME OF THE WOMAN, LEFT – Carl Hiaasen, center, brother of Rob Hiaasen, one of the journalists killed in the shooting at The Capital Gazette newspaper offices, is consoled by his sisters Barb, left, and Judy during a memorial service, Monday, July 2, 2018, in Owings Mills, Md. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky) (AP/Patrick Semansky)
Sam Hiaasen, Maria Hiaasen, James Wolfe
Maria Hiaasen, second from left, widow of Rob Hiaasen, and her daughter Sam, left, react during a memorial service for Rob Hiaasen, one of the journalists killed in the shooting at the Capital Gazette newspaper offices, Monday, July 2, 2018, in Owings Mills, Md. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky) (AP/Patrick Semansky)
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Rob Hiaasen, one of five Capital Gazette staff members killed in last week's newsroom shooting in Annapolis, Maryland, was remembered Monday night by family and friends in a Celebration of Life service. (WTOP/Dick Uliano)
Beneath a sprawling canvas tent on the grounds of the Irvine Nature Center, Hiaasen was fondly recalled as a fun loving man and a gifted writer who was devoted to his family. (WTOP/Dick Uliano)
His brother and sister and children described a man who loved to laugh and to see others laugh, and was always ready to leaven tough situations with humor. (WTOP/Dick Uliano)
Hiaasen's older sister, Judy Hiaasen shared memories of Hiaasen as a boy, including some of his pranks like unlocking and reading her diary. (WTOP/Dick Uliano)
Hiaasen's wife described a husband who was devoted to his family and home. (WTOP/Dick Uliano)
Mourners gather during a memorial service for Rob Hiaasen, one of the journalists killed in the shooting at The Capital Gazette newspaper offices, Monday, July 2, 2018, in Owings Mills, Md. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)
Judy Hiaasen
Carl Hiaasen, Judy Hiaasen
Sam Hiaasen, Maria Hiaasen, James Wolfe

OWINGS MILLS, Md. — Rob Hiaasen, one of five Capital Gazette staff members killed in last week’s newsroom shooting in Annapolis, Maryland, was remembered Monday night by family and friends in a Celebration of Life service.

Beneath a sprawling canvas tent on the grounds of the Irvine Nature Center, Hiaasen was fondly recalled as a fun loving man and a gifted writer who was devoted to his family.

His brother and sister and children described a man who loved to laugh and to see others laugh, and was always ready to leaven tough situations with humor.

“The entire ride home, he made me laugh over and over again. But that was Big Rob. That was my dad. Every single time I needed him, he was there and he was there with a laugh,” said Samantha Hiaasen, recalling a long drive home from Florida after dropping off two beloved family dogs.

Former colleagues from the Baltimore Sun where Hiaasen was a feature writer until 2008 recalled a gifted journalist and fun-loving colleague.

“Rob was the best kind of colleague you could have. He was kind and thoughtful to everyone,” said Kevin Cowheard, a former Baltimore Sun colleague and 25-year friend of Hiaasen.

Hiaasen’s older sister, Judy Hiaasen shared memories of Hiaasen as a boy, including some of his pranks like unlocking and reading her diary.

“Rob was mom’s favorite. I always teased him about this and he gleefully took pride in that roll, egging it all on,” said Judy Hiaasen.

Hiaasen’s wife described a husband who was devoted to his family and home.

“I know it’s weird to stand here and say I am lucky, but I am. In fact, [on] Father’s Day, I signed the card ‘Luckiest Woman in the World,’ because he was my best friend. He was so generous, and so loving, and he so cared about our home,” said Maria Hiaasen.

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