Teacher 1959-1965 and 1973-1982
2014 Hall of Fame
Bob was born in 1927 in Oakley where he lived with his parents, two brothers and two sisters. He attended Oakley Grade School and Withrow High School. While in high school, he learned to play trombone and was part of "Smitty’s" band. This was the start of his musical career. From this time forward, music was always a big part of Bob’s life.
After high school, he was inducted into the Army. During his years of service, he spent time playing in the Army band while stationed in Korea. At about the same time as World War II was ending, so was Bob’s Army career. He came back to civilian life and enrolled at the University of Cincinnati and the Conservatory of Music in Cincinnati.
He began his teaching career as a high school band director in Lewisburg, Ohio. At the Preble County Music Festival, he met his future wife, Bonnie, who also taught music in Preble County. After two years of teaching, they married and left the educational field to enter the field of entertainment. They played piano, vibes, drums, and sang. They had lot of fun performing and entertaining people throughout the Tri-state area.
In 1955, their daughter Cathy was born and Bob resumed his career as a music teacher. At that time they moved back to Cincinnati where he spent two years as a vocal teacher at North College Hill Schools. During his time at North College Hill, he kept looking for a job as a high school band director. When he learned that Goshen was looking for just such a person, he jumped at the chance, applied, and was hired. This began the happiest time of his teaching career. During his time in Goshen, he took a very small band and turned it into a large award winning group.
The football band shows were always something special. He spent the summer months dreaming up clever and funny ideas for these half-time shows. They performed a new and different show for every home game. The kids loved what they were doing and they also loved him. He worked them hard but always had time for a little fun and a good laugh.
Another one of his achievements at Goshen was the yearly show he started called "Say It With Music". This was a show in which many kids who were not music students could also take part. Accompanied by a large "pit band" made up of his own band members, the stage overflowed with talent ranging from beautiful voices to the antics of the football player’s kick line. What fun!
Bob had a wonderful rapport with the kids he taught. The door to his office was always open for talks about a student’s future, problems they were having, or just friendly conversation. We still hear stories from students, who are now successful adults about how he changed their lives by pointing them in the right direction.
He was devoted to his family and friends and had a wonderful zest for life. Besides music, he also enjoyed playing golf, had a great love of animals, and even enjoyed some gardening.
Even though he took several teaching excursions away from Goshen, he returned to the school where he was happiest to finish his teaching career in 1982.
He died in August of 1987.
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