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Dr Bob Keats - Announcement

24 April 2017

Dr Robert Keats

It is with immense sadness that I bring the news that Bob Keats died on 18th April at the Isle of Wight Hospice, after suffering from very aggressive motor neurone disease. Bob was the architect of the IRPM syllabus and exams right from the outset in 2003. He was Chief Examiner from 2003 until he was forced to retire in 2015. Bob used the IRPM as a case study for his PhD; “exploring the teaching of creativity in the professions” and he and his family were all extremely proud when he was awarded his doctorate in 2015. He will forevermore be known affectionately by me as ‘Dr Bob’.

Bob also put together the first ever training courses for ARMA in 2004/05 and I had the privilege of delivering many courses with him over a 10 year period. We have been affectionately referred to, many times, as ‘the double act’.  Many hundreds of property managers past and present have benefited from Bob’s training, teaching and mentoring.

It is rare that an individual can be credited with making a difference. Bob has left this world a better place than he found it, in many ways. His Arboretum will still be flourishing long after his beloved Wollemi Pine has matured. His contribution to improving standards in property management was immense and he can undoubtedly be credited for having ‘made a difference’ to a sector which benefited from his skills, enthusiasm and generosity.

Bob helped me a lot in my career, best summed up by these words from his favourite song:

“I spoke about wings, you just flew, I wondered, I guessed and I tried, you just knew”

Throughout his illness, Bob remained upbeat and inspirational; recounting one Monday morning that he had discovered over the weekend that a friend had suffered a heart attack and another was in a coma, he said to me; “if I didn’t have a terminal illness, something far worse could come along and kill me”.

Bob was never one for the sedentary life in front of the tv and during the relatively short time in which we were friends, he could be found canoeing round the Isle of Wight, organising and volunteering as chairman of the parish council, board member of a housing association and a drug and alcohol charity, standing for parliament as a member of the Green Party, engrossed in academic research, or drafting some complex teaching; often all at the same time!

His final creative and generous act was to analyse his own suffering at the hands of a terminal disease to pen a book with the sole purpose of helping others facing a similar situation in the future. His book; “How to die well without God” is thought provoking, characteristically based on thorough research and grounded in historical context. It was published only a few weeks ago; beating what Bob humorously called “something of a tight deadline”.

All our thoughts are with Helen, Holly and Sophie.

Bob thank you; it’s been a gas!

Jeff Platt


Bob’s book “How to die well without God” is available on Amazon.


The IRPM have opened an online book of condolences for Bob and have adopted the Motor Neurone Disease Association (MNDA) as our official charity.

The Motor Neurone Disease Association is the only national charity in England, Wales and Northern Ireland focused on MND care, research and campaigning. 

They improve care and support for people with MND, their families and carers.

They fund and promote research that leads to new understanding and treatments, and brings us closer to a cure for MND.

They campaign and raise awareness so the needs of people with MND and everyone who cares for them are recognised and addressed by wider society.

To more information and to get involved visit: or contact us by emailing or calling 01604 611775.

The family have requested that donations, if desired, be sent to Earl Mountbatten Hospice



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