I never thought I would be writing this column. I guess I always imagined my son Bobby, at 59, would outlive me.
Bobby took it hard when his mother Peggy passed away suddenly 8 1/2 years ago. Tears would often fill his eyes when he talked about her. It was a family concern trying to figure out what would become of Bobby when I left this world. But all of this was in vain. Bobby passed away suddenly early Wednesday morning from ischemic heart disease. Bobby refused to go to the doctor.
Looking back on Bobby’s life, he was a devoted Christian and was a lifelong member of Wake Forest United Methodist Church, and a dedicated member of the Becton Sunday School class.
Being an ardent song writer and a longtime strummer on his beloved guitar, he spent many hours writing music and lyrics and often gave a recital at his Sunday School class.
Bobby read his Bible faithfully and knew many passages word for word. More than one person said they felt uneasy discussing the Bible with him because he knew so much.
Bobby, an avid football fan, especially for Wake Forest High and Wake Forest University, also had an uncanny memory of dates. When you asked him what date his grandmother died, he could not only rattle off the year, but the day, too. He also remembered Wake Forest High football game statistics from way back.
Bobby had a passion for getting people together after suffering from a fallout. He had a passion to accomplish a reunion for those people. And I know Bobby is smiling in Heaven knowing that one of his missions has now been accomplished.
I often work the Jumble word puzzle in the News & Observer, and many times I read out the jumbled letters to Bobby to see if he could unscramble them to get the correct word. Amazingly, he could usually do it without even seeing them written like I have to do. And just recently a word really had me stumped even after looking at it for many minutes, until I was ready to give up. I read out the letters to Bobby, and I was amazed when he got the word right away.
Bobby also loved Chevrolet Camaros and wore out two of them in his lifetime.
You would hardly believe the number of Hot Wheels cars he accumulated — somewhere around 1,000. Almost all are in dust-free little boxes of five where he could pull them out and admire them. Many are customized Camaros.
Bobby loved his cat, Kugi, who wandered about and liked nobody but him. Kugi put up with me opening a door for him, but that was the extent of his paying any attention to me, and he always gave me a wide berth.
He was Bobby’s cat and to see them together talking and rubbing noses, you would know it. Kugi often came home once a day so he could sleep in bed with Bobby. I have only seen him twice since Bobby passed away. Apparently he is getting food elsewhere because he looked his regular size.
Of course, my golden retriever Big Red, did the usual thing between cats and dogs. He had a passion for wanting to chase Kugi. But he knew it was taboo in our household. Big Red was always cagey around Kugi.
The number of people attending the funeral service was humbling. There were almost as many there as gathered for his mom. Bobby’s three brothers, Greg, Jimmy and Todd each gave interesting witnesses about Bobby and those attending said they learned more about Bobby.
From the many cards and comforting words received, two descriptions capture Bobby well. One said “Bobby always greeted with a big smile” and the other said “Bobby was different, but a great guy.”
—Comments or suggestions? Bob Allen, publisher emeritus of The Wake Weekly, invites your input at robertwallen29@ gmail.com or 919-556-3059.