At press time, I learned that Rob Estes had died from complications of a glioblastoma brain tumor. Rob was only 42 when he was diagnosed in 2013 as he was leading a successful landscape architecture firm. The husband and father of two was told he had less than a year to live. Doctors told him, “you can’t beat this.” According to stories from friends and colleagues, Rob remembered a lesson his mother had taught him: “can’t never could.”

Armed with an unyielding faith in God, Rob and his wife Christi chose action over despair and started a foundation to help those in need as they face brain cancer or other battles. Can’t Never Could is a non-profit organization that provides monetary support, prayer, and hope to its recipients, as well as raising funds for research and for scholarships. In last year’s CNC newsletter, Rob noted that Philippians 4:13 (his “life verse”) was not just about helping him overcome life’s challenges, but that it was training him for better things to come.

Rare is the person who shouts praises in the face of such adversity. To learn more about Rob and Christi's work, please visit

Here’s a portion of his obituary:

“One of the most quoted scriptures we hear at the time of a death is that from II Timothy 4:7. 'I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.' For Robert George Estes, Sr. it is a prophecy fulfilled in its true extent. Rob was welcomed into this life on August 29, 1971 by his father Arthur George Estes III and his mother Martha Ann (nee Moultrie). Rob lived his entire life wide open and totally engaged in his love of sports, shooting sporting clays, landscaping and a dynamic faith in God. Rob graduated from Newnan High School in 1990. He enrolled in The University of Georgia and attained his Bachelor of Landscape Architecture Degree in the class of 1995. In 1996, he married the young woman who would become not only his wife, but also, the mother of his children, and his constant encourager. Rob was possessed by an amazing work ethic that was further broadened in his desire to leave the world a better place for his having been here. His founding of Estes Landscape gave him the opportunity to do just that.”

In this new year, I pray we’re not only inspired by Rob’s attitude and his actions, but that we strive to emulate his strength, faith and love.