Helping Families and Friends Honor Their Loved One

Robert Andrew (Bob) Mayer, 77

Robert Andrew (Bob) Mayer of Ward, Arkansas died from cancer on September 18, 2020. He was 77 year old.

Bob was born on October 3, 1942 to Dr. Raymond and Mary Mayer in Memphis, Tennessee. Though he grew up in the city, Bob spent summers with his maternal aunt and uncle on their farm in Illinois, where he developed a love for rural life unlike that of most urban teens in the ‘50s. A true prankster, Bob was known for his antics, like making his younger sister lay on the floorboard of his 1961 Chevy convertible, “Maybelle,” so she wouldn’t be seen while Bob cruised town.

A member of historic Idewild Presbyterian Church in midtown Memphis, Bob believed that worshiping God and ministering to others did not stop at the church walls, a trait he carried throughout life. Bob was a 1961 graduate of East High School.

He attended Florida Southern College, but considered his academic attendance optional at the time. Eventually, Bob transferred to the University of Memphis, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in engineering.

His time at Florida Southern, however, was not a total loss, as it was there that he met the love of his life, Laurel (Gil) Gilmour of Yonkers, New York. They married on June 5, 1965.

The couple first made Memphis their home, but rural life called to Bob, and the couple eventually settled on family land outside of Cabot, Arkansas. Bob taught at Cabot High School, but then became a dairy farmer for the next 20 years.

Bob was deeply engaged in the Cabot community. He was a youth coach and assisted as a 4-H leader, a Sunday School teacher and UMY volunteer, played in his church softball and basketball leagues, and excelled as both a trumpet player in the Cabot Alumni Band and tennis athlete. Bob served on the Cabot School Board from 1981 to 1986, including as its president in 1986. He was a member of Cabot United Methodist Church.

Bob eventually transitioned from farming to construction, specializing in custom-built homes and subdivision development. He was a charter member of the Cabot Homebuilders Association.

Listing ones’ careers and activities, however, never explains who a person truly was: Always the life of the party, Bob led the Chicken Dance at any opportunity and did not know a stranger. With sparkling blue eyes and a love for dogs, Bob never took life too seriously and was always quick with a witty comeback. His ministry was often behind the scenes, quietly mowing yards for those in need, protecting an empty house during a loved ones’ funeral, or ignoring what others owed him when they needed financial help.

He is preceded in death by his parents, his sister Carolyn, and nieces Katie and Ellie Gribble. Bob is survived by his sisters, Mary “Brownie” (John) Gibbs of Olive Branch, Mississippi, and Rebecca “Becky” (David) Gribble of Germantown, Tennessee; his wife of 55 years, Laurel; his son, Ray (Holli) of Bentonville, and daughter Molly (Randy) Phillips of Franklin, North Carolina; his four grandchildren, Lauren and Andrew Mayer and Kate and Eli Phillips; and a host of nieces and nephews.

Contributions in Bob’s memory are greatly appreciated and may be made to the Bob Mayer Scholarship Fund through the Cabot Scholarship Foundation, 602 North Lincoln, Cabot, AR 72023.

A celebration of Bob’s life will be held at 10 a.m. Saturday, September 26, at Eight Point Lodge, 1546 Clay Hill Road in Lonoke, Arkansas, with a drive-through visitation there on Friday, September 25, from 5-7 p.m. Due to the risk of exposure to COVID-19 and with family members who are immuno-compromised, the family requests everyone attending the visitation and service wear face coverings.

Arrangements entrusted to A Natural State Funeral Service, 2620 West Main Street, Jacksonville, Arkansas 72076. 501-982-3400

Here is the link for the scheduled LIVE STREAM: https://www.facebook.com/molly.m.phillips.58/posts/10103128771030274

23 Comments

  • Joe Hilliard Posted September 21, 2020 10:13 PM

    Bob was one of my favorite teachers in high school. He taught shop where I learned several things that have helped me through engineering school and a career in engineering. He was perfectionist in shop class making sure we did our work perfectly. He was a tough but caring teacher. Bob also was quick to volunteer at Cabot UMC. I remember several canoe trips with the youth group where Bob took the time to help chaparone the trip. Rest In Peace Bob!!

  • Audrey Poff Posted September 21, 2020 10:58 PM

    Molly,
    I am so sorry for your loss. What a beautiful tribute to your father. I wish I had known him but I know he lives on in you. May God comfort you and your family during your time of loss.

  • Brenda Baldwin Posted September 21, 2020 11:55 PM

    I’m so sorry to hear Bib’s passing… he always had a smile on his face when he came to our cook outs.. prayers for his family ….

  • Rebecca Besancon Denney Posted September 22, 2020 1:09 AM

    Sending my condolences, love, and prayers.

  • Kathy Shelton Posted September 22, 2020 10:11 AM

    Gil and family, our prayers and deepest sympathies go out to you in your time of loss.

  • Frances Guy Posted September 22, 2020 10:17 AM

    Molly, I have heard so many wonderful things about your dad and am glad that I had a chance to meet him here in Franklin. I know he will be missed by many. All of you are in our thoughts and prayers. Sidney joins me in sending these thoughts.

  • Nancy Childress Posted September 22, 2020 3:42 PM

    I haves loved Bob, Gil, Molly and Ray since we met in 1977. My first job after graduating from Hendrix College. Bob and Gil welcomed me into their family! Molly was 3 and Ray was 6 or maybe 7. Such a sweet family. Then life happened and we lost touch until 2013. Out of the blue, I had purchased a bed and breakfast that was only 15 miles from where Molly and Randy lived in Franklin, NC. The best part of this b&b experience was getting reconnected with Bob and Gil. Loved the awesome dinners together with both Bob and Gil relaxed! Loved watching Kate and Eli grow up.
    You are all in my thoughts and prayers.
    Rev Nancy Childress

  • Miles FIsh Posted September 22, 2020 6:47 PM

    Terrific guy! Terrific family!

  • Gail Call Posted September 22, 2020 6:52 PM

    Bob was definitely one of my favorite people. He built mine & John’s house in 2008, and he made it a fun experience for me. As we live just across the Hwy. from he & Gil, we got to know them better and became friends. Yes, I found out that he was always the life of a party , & I called him “Perky Bob”. I was always just “popping” into there house for a short visit. Gil, it just breaks my heart for your loss of this wonderful man. U & your family are in my thoughts & prayers. Always know that u can just pick up the phone & call me for anything- -or you can just “pop” in. Lots of love.

  • Jimmy and Donna Elkins Posted September 22, 2020 6:54 PM

    Bob was a good friend and he would do any thing for you

  • Chuck Rooney Posted September 22, 2020 7:45 PM

    Many titles, bus driver, boss, mentor and the most precious title friend. Prayers for you Gil, Ray and Molly.

  • Chris and Jana Cason Posted September 23, 2020 8:33 AM

    Bob built our first home in 2002; our son was 3 at the time and was in awe that “Bob the Builder” was building our home. Bob was so patient, kind and helpful with Chris and me as we navigated building our first home on a tight budget. We are so sorry for your loss.

  • Becky Gibbs Posted September 23, 2020 8:40 AM

    What a wonderful tribute to Bobby. I will be praying for you all.

  • Robert Wittenburg Posted September 23, 2020 10:13 AM

    My heartfelt condolences to the family and friends of Bob’s.
    He was always upbeat and happy anytime I was around him.
    No doubt that he will be greatly missed by many.

  • Joey Cleveland Caruso Posted September 23, 2020 10:19 AM

    Bobby,as I knew him, was my first cousin & because our visits were spaced sometimes years apart, it didn’t matter because when our families did get together, he would make an indelible mark on my memory! Funny, hyper, loud & lots of fun! The world has lost a unique soul.

  • John T Gibbs Posted September 23, 2020 3:53 PM

    When Brownie and I started dating in the spring of 64, our senior year in high school, Bob was at Florida Southern with Gil. Brownie talked about Bobby a lot and I could tell they were very close, so I couldn’t wait to meet him. Bob was everything she described, friendly, outgoing and hyper active; hence the nickname ‘Dynamite’ shortened to ‘Dyno’, which is the only name I ever called him. Dyno and I became close friends, attending Memphis State University together and hanging out, while Brownie was away at William Woods College. During this time, Dyno introduced me to his hot rodder buddies, to this day are lifelong friendships that I cherish. In June 1965, Dyno, Brownie & I loaded up in ‘Maybelle’ Dyno’s 1961 Black Chev Impala convertible on a nonstop 24hr trip to New York City for Bob & Gil’s wedding. Do not have the space for details, let’s just say it was eventful. Wow, what great memories! Bob touched so many lives and has left us with so many great memories. RIP Dyno!!!!

  • Dennis A. Baldwin Posted September 24, 2020 6:31 AM

    Unbelievable, Bob has been my friend for near 50 years, I certainly will miss him ! He was great to work with and for. Love you guys!!!

  • Vicki Saul Posted September 24, 2020 6:55 AM

    My husband and I met Bob in 1996. He built our home. Many people reflect on home building as a stressful experience they never wish to encounter again. We never felt that way because we had Bob. He showed up everyday with his happy go lucky Can do attitude and a smile on his face. He was an absolute joy to work with and a delight to be around. He was a great guy.

    Sending our deepest sympathy,
    Rodney and Vicki Saul

  • Jeff Smith Posted September 24, 2020 1:16 PM

    Have had the pleasure of knowing Bob for over 45 years and can say he is one of my all time favorite people .He was always smiling and very entertaining to say the least.Thank you for being a friend.Love you.

    Jeff Smith 9/24/20

  • Diann LeMay Garrett, Mikey LeMay Posted September 24, 2020 8:58 PM

    Gil and family, Our thoughts and prayers are with you. Our sincere sympathy

    • Angela Cooper Posted September 25, 2020 5:26 PM

      Loved working will Bob.
      He is probably in heaven cracking jokes and pulling pranks. Loved how he always talked highly about his family. Most of all he that grin( like he was always up to something) and that laugh.

  • Larry & Linda Emory Posted September 26, 2020 5:29 AM

    I’m just heartbroken to hear of Bob’s passing! Bob built our home in Lonoke in 1991. I have wonderful memories of him & Gil as they helped us along the way in decisions of what we needed & what was necessary. I fell in love with both of them! Larry & I send our love, thoughts & prayers for Gil, Molly & Ray.

  • Amy Ross Posted November 12, 2020 3:46 PM

    Love to the family for the loss of Bob! He had a bright light. I will always remember him and his big smile fondly. I very much enjoyed working with him in real estate through out the years.

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