TOPEKA (KSNT) – Rock violinist and singer, Robert Steinhardt, known for his work with the group Kansas from 1973 to 1982 and from 1997 to 2006 has died.

The website Louder reported the Lawrence native has died after a short illness.

“We are beyond devastated as our lives were about to start a new adventure. Robby just recorded his first solo album with the talented music producer Michael Franklin at Solar Studios. A tour to start in August, Robby was so looking forward to being back on stage doing what he loved,” Cindy Steinhardt, his wife, wrote on her Facebook page.

Steinhardt, was as a founding member and original violinist and vocalist for the rock band Kansas.

According to his biography Robby was born in Chicago and adopted at four days old. Steinhardt was adopted by Ilsa and Milton Steinhardt. Milton eventually became the Chairman of the Music History and Literature Department at Kansas University.

Robby traveled to Europe as a young man where he learned to play violin.

Steinhardt grew up in Lawrence, Kansas.

He and Steve Walsh are the only original members of the band who are not from Topeka. Steinhardt died in Tampa Bay, Florida.

In his biography Steinhardt writes that he suffered a major heart attack in 2013, underwent quadruple bypass and spent 52 days in the hospital

“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,” his wife wrote. “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.”

“He died in my arms at 6:30pm Saturday July 17, 2021,” Cindy Steinhardt wrote.

Steinhardt was born May 25, 1950.