- Category: Obituaries
- Published on 18 May 2011
- Written by Mount Vernon Optic-Herald
- Hits: 1918
Robert L. (Bob) Mattingly passed away Thursday, May 12, 2011, in Winnsboro.
He was born on the Grey Prairie about 5 miles NW of Mt. Vernon, Texas
on 11 Oct 1929, he was the youngest of 7 siblings born to J.W. (Jim) and Ida Hays Mattingly.
The family moved to a little house on the prairie about 2 and one half miles from Mt. Vernon when he was 6 weeks old in order for the children to be able to attend Mt. Vernon Schools. Bob loved to tease his sisters by telling people how rough it was to grow up with 5 beating up on him, if they were not around he would brag that he had it made because they would never all be mad at the same time so he always had someone to stick up for him. He learned a good work ethic from his parents and his older brother and sisters working on the farm. He developed a great love for horses which stayed with him his whole life. His growing up years were during
the Great Depression, but the family never was without wholesome food from the farm. In the family and at school he was called Bobby, a name he did not like.
Bob’s education was entirely in the Mt. Vernon School system
except for 9 months his junior year at Pickton, Texas when he lived with his sister Gertrude Banks and her family.
It was during this time that he met his first true love Ruth Hamrick. Ruth claimed that she never knew of his love for her. She subsequently married and moved away from the area.
When Bob was 14 he realized that there were easier ways to make money than chopping and picking cotton. All during
his high schools years he worked at many different jobs, such as running an ice route, working at saw mills, firing the school boiler, fast order cook,waiting tables, etc. On completion of high school he enrolled in college, but dropped out because he said studying and working a part time job interfered
with his social life.
In July 1948 he joined the U.S. Army and took his training
at Ft. Ord, Calif. Upon completion of his training he was shipped to Vienna, Austria.
He immediately fell in love with Austria especially Vienna. This was where he met and married his first wife Gabriele
and started his family. During his time in California he was known by the nickname Curly, but upon his arrival in Vienna he was Tex. His wife and her family only knew him by that name. When they prepared
to return to the States in 1952, Bob informed his wife she would be laughed out of his family if she called him Tex, so at this time to his wife he became
After a short time in the States he was reassigned to
Robert L. ‘Bob’ Mattingly, 1929-2010
the Kaiserlautern Engineer Depot in Germany. During his time there the family spent every Christmas in Vienna. In July 1954 when his enlistment
was up he obtained a civilian job with the Depot where he served as Chief Production
control at the Engineer
Rebuild plant. During his time in Germany he was known as Matt. In December 1957 he obtained a transfer to the Cleveland Ohio Army Ordnance District, which later was the Army Procurement
District and in 1965 it became a part of the Defense Contract Administration Region
Cleveland. It covered several States and the country
of Canada. Bob held many Managerial positions with these organizations and his last position was Director of Systems and Finance. He often
joked that it was a long way from the cotton fields of East Texas He retired on March 31, 1985 with 36 years of service and was awarded the highest medal his agency could bestow.
During his years in Cleveland
he became active in the Masonic Lodge and served as Worshipful Master of North Star Lodge in 1972. It was upon his arrival in Cleveland that he finally was known as Bob.
In 1987 Bob returned to his beloved state of Texas and settled
in Winnsboro. He immediately
became involved with horses and trail riding. He became
reacquainted with his first true love, Ruth Hamrick McElroy. After several years of courtship they were married
on 13 April 1991. This united the two families into one, Bob’s beloved daughter Patsy and Ruth’s 3 sons, Jim Bob, Butch and Nicky. Upon their marriage Bob joined Ruth as active members of Pine Street Baptist Church. Ruth and Bob enjoyed many years of trail riding first with horses and later years with their mules and wagon. They made lifetime friends with other trail riders from Tex., Ok., Ark., and La.
In 1993 Bob became a life- time friend of Bill W. He often said this 12 step program was his life saver.
It was about this time when Bob gained the title Uncle Bob not only to his nephews and nieces but their friends, his friends and some local merchants, he loved this title.
Bob was preceded in death by his parents, his beloved wife Baby Ruth in 2004, his sons Jim Bob Truett and Butch McElroy, his brother James L. Mattingly, his sister
Florine Simms, his sister Lois Banks. He is survived by his daughter, Patsy Juhn and her husband, Mike of Ohio, his son Nicky McElroy and his wife Deena of Richardson, Tex., his sister Lelia Jordan Roberts of Mt. Vernon, his sister
Gertrude Banks of Winnsboro
and his sister Betty Secriest,
6 grandchildren, a host of nephews and nieces including
his “special adopted” nephew Richard Rhymes and his family of Leesburg and a host of trail riding friends.
Memorial services were held at 3pm Sunday, May 15, 2011 at Beaty Funeral Home of Winnsboro, with Bro. Charles Ethridge officiating. Visitation was held from 6pm to 8pm on Saturday, May 14, 2011 at Beaty Funeral Home of Winnsboro.
ROBERT L. “BOB” MATTINGLY