Passing of Robert Chaumont (UTS '85)
It is with profound sorrow that we announce the passing of Robert Chaumont (UTS '85) on July 23.
Robert Jules Chaumont was born on October 3, 1948 in Suffern, NY to William Jules Chaumont and Ruth Louise Exselsen. He had an older brother, Billy, and younger sister, Betty. His father was an artist, chef, merchant marine, and spoke five languages fluently. His mother had a big heart and loved helping others. Robert grew up in Manhattan next to Columbia University and was raised by his uncle, Robert Exselsen, who was a true Renaissance man. He influenced Robert’s love of learning, books, science, and virtually every subject. Robert has a passion for languages and spoke Spanish, German, Korean, Russian, and many other languages.
Robert joined the Holy Spirit Association for the Unification of World Christianity at the age of 26. He met his spiritual father, a Japanese missionary named Ryoichiro Sawada (UTS'90), in front of the New York Public Library on George Washington’s birthday, February 22, 1975. Robert’s most fulfilling time in the church was working on the Yankee Stadium Campaign in 1976 in Brooklyn, NY with team leader James Baughman (UTS'78) and team mother Felice Hart. During 1983-1985, Robert attended Unification Theological Seminary (UTS) and graduated with a Master’s degree in Religious Education. Robert’s main passion in life was writing, and during his time at the seminary, he wrote a poem titled “The Philosopher Pyun Hae Soo” about his favorite professor at UTS, which was published in the book Passages of the Heart: Poetry of the Unification Movement. He also wrote chapters for other religious publications.
After UTS, Robert worked for the Unification Church in various places along the east coast as a city leader, state leader, and campus minister. As part of his mission work, Robert also traveled to Korea, Japan, Uganda, Russia, and Israel. Robert had three bookstores in New York with partners Randy Ham, Gregg Noll (UTS'92), George Kise, Peter Duveen (UTS'01), and others. In 1987, Robert was matched (engaged) with Noriko Ishizuka at the New Yorker Hotel. On January 12, 1989, they were blessed in marriage in South Korea. They have three children, Hans Ryoichiro Chaumont, Yoko Louise Criner (blessed with Jacob Criner), and Jacques Iwao Chaumont.
In May 2018, Robert was diagnosed with head and neck cancer. In November 2018, Robert and Noriko moved from Albany, NY to Seattle, WA to be closer to their children. Robert transitioned to spirit world at home on Tuesday July 23, 2019.