Thursday, February 27, 2014

Farewell, Bob

I am very saddened to report that last Friday, White Trash Bob lost his battle with cancer.

His obituary recounts who he was to the rest of the world:

Robert James Eckhoff, 66, of Lexington, MO, passed away February 21, 2014 at his home. 
He was born in St. Louis, MO, in 1947, and graduated from William Chrisman High School in Independence, MO, in 1965. After being honorably discharged from the United States Air Force, he worked for many years in the automotive and insurance industries, retiring from The Hartford in 2012. Bob was well known for his sense of humor, his storytelling, and his devotion to living history. He spent many years educating the public on the Civil War with the Third Missouri Confederate Infantry and cofounded the Friends of the Anderson House in 1998.

He is survived by his wife, Sherri (Layden); his son, Shannon, and daughter-in-law, Amy; and his daughter, Heather (Eckhoff) Surber, and son-in-law, James. He was preceded in death by his mother, Elsie (Kolster), and father, Robert. 

Visitation will be held at Walker Nadler Fuller on Tuesday, February 25, 2014 from 6 to 8 pm. A Celebration of Life service will be held at Walker Nadler Fuller on Wednesday, February 26 at 11:00 am. The family would like to give special thanks to Bob's dedicated caregivers and friends, Harold Bonanomi, Tom Emerson, and Pat and Gary Worth, as well as the many friends who gave their love and support. In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be made to Friends of the Friendless animal rescue group at fofanimalrescue.org, P.O. Box 411, Lexington, MO, 64067.

But to us, he was White Trash Bob.  Forever dependable, always quick with a hug and a smile, maddeningly stubborn, and hilarious.  There was never a time in the four short years I knew him that WTB failed to help me when I asked--and more importantly, when I did not ask but he could see that I needed the help. I met Bob when I first began tearing the shingles off my house in 2009 and he walked up the sidewalk and said, "May I ask what the hell you're doing?"  Classic WTB right there.  He built my picket fence, loaned me tools at least a thousand times (and gave me my prized possession, a blue wrecker bar), brought me BLTs when I was working on the house like a madwoman and didn't stop even to eat, taught me basic wiring, debated politics (a subject we never, ever agreed upon) on our walks, gave me a bouquet of peacock feathers for my birthday once, and convinced me to play hooky and go on rides with him on his beloved Triumph motorcycle.  I will miss those times most of all, those days of perfect weather when we took off with no destination in mind and just headed down whatever road looked good.  He always picked a roadside flower for me on those rides.  

Farewell, Bob.  

18 comments:

  1. I was just thinking about him the other day and was going to leave a comment asking about his condition. I am so sorry to hear that the dreaded C took such a fine man so early in his life.

    I'll say a prayer for WTB and one for you because I know how much you treasured your relationship with WTB.

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    1. Thanks, Jan. I appreciate the prayers.

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  2. This saddens me. Through your wonderful writing I grew to love and admire a man I can't even picture in my mind. I am sorry for your loss. Please pass on our condolences to the family.

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    1. Thanks, Christine. If you go to the Walker Nadler Fuller Funeral Home page on Facebook, there's a photo of him when he was 18 or 19. He was a cutie.

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  3. Damn that cancer. He must have been a good man, and seemed like the best of neighbors - as evidenced by all your readers who I'm sure wished they had a neighbor just like him.

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    1. That's just how I feel--damn that cancer. And he did everything right: ate healthy, didn't smoke, didn't drink to excess, was not overweight, worked out every day. It was a fairly rare cancer that got him, called spindle cell sarcoma. I'll never have another neighbor like him, that's for sure.

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    1. Exactly. It took me almost a week to find some words.

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  5. Christine said it best -- I am so sorry you lost a good friend and neighbor

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  6. I'm so sorry for your loss. I can tell from your stories that he was a special person. Cancer sucks. Hugs to you!

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    1. Thanks, Tara. Cancer really does suck. Thanks for the virtual hugs.

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  7. I'm sorry for your loss.A good friend is forever. Even when they are no longer with us.

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  8. I am so sorry for the community. You all lost a treasure in White Trash Bob.

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    1. It truly is a loss to the community, Laura. Thanks.

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  9. Oh, Jayne, I am so sorry! Hadn't checked in for awhile, and here this is. So sad it turned out this way for your good neighbor Bob. I could cry and I never even met the man. He'll leave a big hole in Lexington and a lot of people's hearts.

    {{{{{{{{{{{{{{{{{{WTB's family}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}} {{{{{{{{{{{{{{{{Jayne}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}

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  10. Very well said, Kate. Thanks for the hugs.

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