Letter to the Editor

Remembering Uncle Bob

Friday, December 28, 2012

Dear Editor:

My Uncle Bob (Robert H. Mabry) recently passed away due to a tragic accident with his bicycle along Highway BB. Bob was my father's youngest brother and they were very close. Bob came by daily to see my dad, Tom Mabry, when he moved back to Nevada in 1986. Until my father's death in 1993, my Uncle Bob and my father reminisced about their childhood on the old home place on BB.

My sister, Maxann, my two brothers, Timothy and Patrick, and I visited our grandparents, Stanton and Mamie Mabry and my Uncle Bob at their farm many times. Uncle Bob always made me feel welcome. He would always make me laugh because he would imitate the squirrels as they chirped and ran around the yard. No one else in the family could imitate squirrels and get them to answer like Uncle Bob. When we moved to Sedalia, then Carrollton, Mo., my Uncle Bob and Grandpa Mabry drove up to see us, and we journeyed to Nevada on many occasions to visit.

My mother, Ellen Crawford Mabry, told a funny story about Bob when they were in high school together. Ellen wanted to find someone to ride horses with, so her mother and Bob's mother suggested she go ask Bob to join her. My mother tells that Bob was riding the family farm horse, "Old Prince" and they proceeded to go for a trail ride. Prince had a stubborn streak, and after a short time decided he was going back to the barn for supper. Prince took off for home at a full gallop and Bob could not get him to stop until they were back at the barn! Ellen always said "Bob lives the life he wants."

After my parents were married in 1954, Uncle Bob often visited them on their small dairy farm in Cedar County. My mother says Bob spent time helping out at the farm. In the evenings Uncle Bob and my father loved to sit and talk about nature, the families they knew here in Nevada and the family history.

My sister, Maxann Mabry Flynn, told me that Uncle Bob spent hours talking with her handicapped son, Bryan. He always brought fresh asparagus, blackberries and newspaper articles he thought they would enjoy.

Uncle Bob visited Bryan every single day throughout his terminal illness and stayed by my sister's side during Bryan's funeral.

During the heartbreaking times over the years, such as when my brothers and father passed away, Uncle Bob attended their funerals and was extremely comforting to our family. He understood the pain of losing loved ones. He was a great support to his father and family when his mother Mamie passed away in 1970. Uncle Bob was still leaving flowers on his mother's grave until his death.

Cousin Juanita Spaulding went to high school her sophomore year with Bob. She was away from Nevada for many years, but kept in touch with Bob and other family through letters and visits. Juanita and another cousin, Carl Wittenbrink, visited Bob often. Juanita shared "Bob was shy when he was a boy, but so very smart, as smart as a tack!" Juanita, like the rest of the family, respected his wishes and let him live the life he chose.

Cousin Linda Keyser Rickman had great childhood memories of Uncle Bob. Her father, Max Keyser, was Bob and Tom's cousin, and the boys spent many happy years running around together in their youth. Todd Keyser shared a story that when his daughter Ellen was a tiny baby, Uncle Bob gave her wild strawberries to eat. She shared that he was more of a grandfather to her than a cousin, and he knew right away that she was special. They remained very close up until his death.

Bob Mabry left this legacy: Always treat others with kindness; simply being there for others is enough. Turn away from greed, envy, materialism. Always appreciate and enjoy everything nature has to offer. Live and let live.

His rich knowledge and willingness to share will never be forgotten by our family. He was a strong support and he is sadly missed by all of us. He was one of a kind and our family has suffered a big loss.

Juell Mabry Brandt