Talbot professor remembered fondly by faculty, family

The death of co-professor and author Robert L. Saucy leaves behind a legacy after working at Talbot for 54 years.


The death of co-professor and author Robert L. Saucy leaves behind a legacy after working at Talbot for 54 years. | Photo courtesy Biola University

Grace Gibney, Writer

Family, faculty, students and alumni mourn the death of Robert L. Saucy, professor of theology, who died on March 12 due to respiratory complications from injuries sustained in a car accident three weeks prior.

Saucy was the longest-serving faculty member at Biola, working on campus for 54 years as a professor at Talbot School of Theology. His memorial service will take place March 29 from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. in Chase Gymnasium.

During his time at Biola, Saucy taught thousands of students in theology and the church, and elective courses on Roman Catholic theology and the roles of men and women. Saucy was dedicated to his students and constantly invested his time in improving their education, said Alan Gomes, professor of theology.

“He was extremely dedicated to his students. He was very well-loved by them,” Gomes said. “Students would always come by his office with some theological questions apart from class time and he was very patient. He would spend lots of time researching answers for students.”

Gomes first met Saucy in 1979 as a student earning two master’s degrees at Talbot. After returning to Talbot as a faculty member in 1988, Gomes worked alongside Saucy for 27 years, their offices located right next to one another.

“I know where he is and that he’s with the Lord and I rejoice in that, but it’s kind of like ‘Dang, he’s not next door — I can’t pick up the phone and say ‘Hey, what do you think about this’ or ‘How would you answer this?’ It just leaves a gaping hole and it will for a lot of people,” Gomes said.


Since starting his position in 1961, Saucy remained an influential leader at Talbot apart from teaching students — he provided insight on hiring future professors, served on committees that determined doctrinal statements for the university and worked on projects for alumni publications.

Furthermore, Saucy frequently answered questions from people outside of Biola’s campus regarding theology.

“He would go the extra mile for everybody, even non-students. People would call the school and they would have some kind of question, and here’s a guy, distinguished professor, very much in demand, but he would always take time for people. He was remarkably generous,” Gomes said.


The Saucy family has had a multi-generational influence at Biola. His son, Mark, is also a professor of theology at Talbot, and his grandson, Ben, is currently a junior intercultural studies major.

In addition to his grandfather’s credentials and accomplishments, Ben said his family has always appreciated his “Gramps’” kindness and generosity.

“The Saucy family shouldn’t be seen as perfect, as saints or anything, but he was our grandpa and I know how he loved us,” Ben said. “To me, to my brother and to my family, he was simply ‘Gramps’ who just cared about us.”

As an author of several books regarding faith and spirituality, Saucy enjoyed reading in his free time. Saucy was a long-time fan of Angels’ baseball and enjoying attending games with his family.

Ben and his grandfather often designated time to eat lunch together. Saucy was always supporting Ben and his brother, Josh, through prayer and finances with mission trips.

“We were both very busy, but the times we hung out just me and him were just fruitful, very encouraging times,” Ben said. “He was the rock in a lot of our lives, just solid in his faith, solid in his beliefs and just a lead example of how faith is supposed to work.”

Instead of flowers, the Saucy family asks that attendees contribute to Kyiv Theological Seminary or Chosen People Ministries in Saucy’s memory. The memorial service can also be live-streamed at watch.biola.edu/bobsaucy


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