Robert Wade "Bobby" Shanklin

Monday, July 22, 2013
Bobby Shanklin

ROBERT W. "BOBBY" SHANKLIN

Robert "Bobby" Wade Shanklin, 69, went home to be with his Lord and Savior on Sunday afternoon, July 21, 2013 after a joyful life filled with loads of love, laughs and lots of friends. How fitting it is that he went home and entered into rest on the "Lord's Day."

Raised in West Tennessee, with a few years spent in Mississippi, Bobby moved to Piggott, Ark. his sophomore year of high school, where he met the love of his life. He felt lucky to have married his high school sweetheart, Nancy James, with whom he just celebrated a momentous 50th Wedding Anniversary on May 19. Nancy loved him more than life itself. Shortly after their marriage he moved her across the mighty river to West Tennessee but was back in Arkansas in less than a year. Their union was blessed with a daughter, Allison, and in 1991 augmented with a son-in-law named Brian McBride. Just three weeks and three days before he turned 50, God graced him with a little boy, a grandson. Andrew had his granddad's heart from the moment he held him. Then William came along and expanded Bobby's heart in more ways than imaginable. His family was everything to him. He put them first, after his Lord of course, and provided for and honored them every single day of his life.

Bobby was a "people person" and a very diligent worker. (Nothing may run like a Deere, except Bobby.) He loved working with and for his friends, His John Deere friends and the farmers. Although tempted and often encouraged by family, he never de-listed his phone number so that farmers could call him day or night if they needed parts or help in any way. He always dropped whatever he was doing to meet a farmer in need at the store. His work ethic was admired and envied. He had a keen sense of business and was an amazing manager of resources. His career at the John Deere store in Piggott spanned just a few months shy of fifty years.

He had a big-heart and especially had a soft spot for children and elderly folks in need. He made sure that a myriad of children had clothes on their backs and church summer camps paid for, anonymously of course. Following the calling in scripture to honor widows, he cut the grass, fixed lawn mowers, paid the bills, and performed plumbing miracles to help and care for "his girls."

He raised tons of money for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation in hopes of funding a cure for his grandson. He cheered for his Mohawks, Cardinals, Cowboys and Mickelson; and in any games that they were not playing, he was always pulling for the underdog. He was a good-natured prankster who loved to laugh. He liked cars and took meticulous care of every one he ever owned. He liked his country music but it was deemed second to anything sung by The Gaither Family. He preferred a handshake to a contract. He took people at their word because he was a man of his word. He always saw the best in folks and preached "if you can't say something nice about someone, just don't say anything at all." He preferred old Baptist hymns to the new tunes (unless of course, it was one sung by the Gaithers). He loved his Lord and it showed... but most clearly when he sang "Victory in Jesus."

Bobby will be missed by many both young and old. In addition to his wife, daughter, son-in-law and grandsons, he is survived by his aunt, Jean Moore of Dyer, Tenn.; his uncle, William Preslar of Munford, Tenn.; his brother-in-law and his wife and children, Sharon and John James, Brent James and Katherine James Pearson all of McKinney, Tex.; several beloved cousins and a multitude of friends and colleagues who always made him smile. He was preceded in death by his parents, Violet LaNell Preslar Shanklin and Wade Shanklin.

The family will receive friends beginning at 5 p.m. on Tuesday, July 23 at Hoggard and Sons Funeral Home in Piggott, Ark. Funeral services will be held at 1 p.m. Wednesday, July 24 at the First Baptist Church in Piggott. Memorials may be made to the West Tennessee Chapter of the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. 6555 Quince Road # 204, Memphis, Tenn., 38119.