Robert E. “Robby” Steinhardt, a violinist and vocalist with the progressive rock band Kansas, has died due to complications from pancreatitis. He was 71.
His wife, Cindy Steinhardt, said he died on Saturday at a hospital in Tampa, Florida. She announced on Facebook Monday that he had just recorded his first solo album, and had been looking forward to being back on stage and going on tour.
“It is with an extremely heavy broken heart that I have to announce to the world, we have lost one of the most incredible people of our time….” she wrote. “Robby Steinhardt has passed away.”
“Our final journey started May 13 when Robby was admitted into the hospital with acute pancreatitis. Later that night he went into acute septic shock and was placed on life support,” Cindy added. “Outlook was very grave as he wasn’t expected to live through the night.
“Like the true fighter he is, he managed to spring back much to the amazement of his entire medical staff. Once again he cheated death and the road to recovery had begun.
“65 days later, on the day he was to be released from medical care and move to the rehabilitation center to build his strength, his body had other plans. A fever set in, blood pressure became uncontrollable, the sepsis reared it’s ugly head again. The medical staff at Tampa General stabilized him, he greeted me with a smile, open arms and kisses. His daughter Becky called. They had a beautiful, happy, conversation together.
“6 minutes later as I held him to keep him warm, he died in my arms at 6:30pm Saturday July 17, 2021.”
Steinhardt, a native of Lawrence, Kansas, was an original member of the band, teaming up with Topeka West High School graduates Kerry Livgren, Rich Williams, Phil Ehart and Dave Hope and with Steve Walsh, who grew up in St. Joseph, Missouri. Steinhardt performed with Kansas from 1973 to 1982 and 1997 to 2006, the Topeka Capital-Journal reported.
The band sold more than 15 million records and notched up seven top 40 hits, including ‘Dust in the Wind’ and ‘Carry on Wayward Son.’
The band, which now makes its home in Atlanta, continues to perform with Williams and Ehart as the only original remaining members.
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