Photo of Robert Ansell
Robert Ansell

Robert Ansell

May 28, 2022

Robert I. Ansell died peacefully at his home in New York City on May 27, 2022. Robert was a graduate of the University of Virginia and Yale Law School. He was an exceptional trial lawyer, photographer, record company owner and drummer. He was a man that danced to his own beat.

Robert was predeceased by his second wife Gabrielle Roth and his first wife Arlene Ansell. Robert was also predeceased by his brothers David and Richard. Robert is survived by his three sons, Scott, Brian and Kevin, his stepson Jonathan Horan, his grandchildren Sofia, Luke and Ava, his daughters in law Sara, Roseanne and Jennifer, his brother Jack and his many nieces and nephews.

In anticipation of his death, Robert left some excellent advice for his grandchildren, which the family felt important enough to share with all:


  1. There is no reason to be afraid of lightning. If you see it, it didn’t hit you. If it hits you, you won’t see it.

  2. Take everything seriously, but don’t take anything seriously.

  3. You can control the way things come out of the dishwasher by the way you put them in.

  4. Play the game on your turf.

  5. Make sure the utility knife is either open or closed all the way.

  6. You can eat with your betting money, but never bet with your eating money.

  7. Question everything.

  8. DON’T FRICKIN’ SKATEBOARD IN THE STREET!!!!

  9. In music, photography, writing and life, the space you leave is as important as the space you take.

  10. Two bites of the apple gets you -- more apple.

  11. Every coin has two sides.

  12. Art takes the time it needs.

  13. What’s behind the camera, comes out in front of the camera.

  14. The way you go into a problem or situation determines the way you come out of it.

  15. Nothing is more important than family (unless your family sucks). Yours doesn’t.   

  16. In business, if you fail to plan, then you plan to fail.

  17. If you come from the place of “not enough”, you will surely end up at the place of “not enough”.

  18. Don’t play it “cool” when you love someone. Surrender!

  19. In cooking, clean as you go.

  20. Don’t be afraid to change. It’s how you grow.

  21. You can never go wrong loving a dog.

  22. If there’s nothing you can do about it, there’s nothing you can do about it.

  23. The measure of anything’s worth is to imagine yourself without it.

  24. Righty tighty; lefty loosey.

  25. Be kind.

  26. Tip well.

  27. What you give is what you get.

  28. If you think you smell something burning, something’s burning.

  29. Everyone plays the game with the equipment they have.

  30. When there’s only one choice, it’s the right choice.

  31. How we feel drives what we think, and that determines what we do.

  32. You get two points for turning a negative into a positive.

    When a grain of sand gets into an oyster and lodges under its muscle, it is a major irritant. The oyster’s response to this negative event is a thing of beauty– A PEARL!

  33. Scramble the egg in the pan while cooking it, not in a bowl on the side.


ONE FINAL QUESTION – Whatever you are doing, is it the best that you can do?

From your loving Papa (a/k/a Grandpa Robert).

At Robert’s request there will be no funeral arrangements.

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