VESTAL -- From a home they shared for 17 years, Richard Antoun's widow said Saturday evening that her husband had wanted only peace.
"(Richard) worked with people in foreign cultures, and he wanted people to understand that people are people," Rosalyn Antoun said. "He worked for Peace Action, and he wanted to see peace in the world. So it's very ironic that he should die in this way."
Richard, a 77-year-old anthropology professor at Binghamton University, died Friday from stab wounds he suffered on the BU campus earlier that afternoon. Abdulsalam Al-Zahrani was charged Saturday with second-degree murder.
"It's like a movie,"Antoun said. "It's like you're living in a movie."
Rosalyn, a 63-year-old employee of the Jewish Federation, said she prefers to go by Roz. Rich, too, preferred a nickname: Dick. They were married 17 years and spent all of them on Murray Hill Road, which runs adjacent to campus.
"It's terrible and the most terrible thing is that this is happening more and more," she said. "It's happening like every other day. We're seeing it all over the place."
Rosalyn said she did not want to discuss the circumstances surrounding Richard's death, only to speak about the kind of person he was.
"I don't think it was intolerance," she said. "I think the guy who did this, he had his own reasons. But I think Dick, who only wanted peace and justice in the world, didn't deserve to die like this. I think society has lost a wonderful person and a wonderful peacemaker."
Before they were married, Rosalyn said Richard used to travel frequently and spent time in the Middle East, but his line of work did not lead her to fear for his safety.
Rosalyn has two children from a previous marriage, Richard one. Though they did not have any children of their own, she said their four grandchildren are shared. She spoke to them by phone Saturday.
"We had combined grandchildren," she said. "So our grandchildren were all of our grandchildren."