A Life Lived: Robert Hamby was successful on many fronts

Published 11:41 am Tuesday, July 11, 2023

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“My dad didn’t like quitters. He was very supportive of us (his children), but he wanted you to stick with what you had begun until you finished. He didn’t like quitters,” shared his daughters, Terri Hager and Karen Hughes.
Bob, as he was known to friends and co-workers, had a strong work ethic. He was a veteran, having served in the U.S. Air Force. He received a B.S. degree from East Tennessee State University and retired from Mountain Home VA Medical Center, where he worked 40 years in corrective therapy. Prior to his employment at Mountain Home, he had worked at VA Centers in Asheville, N.C., and Dayton, Ohio.
“He enjoyed his work and working with veterans. It was very rewarding to him. He had many stories to tell about some of the veterans he had worked with. Many of those he worked with were Vietnam veterans,” Terri said.
“He was a kind-hearted man who enjoyed helping others. He considered it his way of giving back and was very supportive of those veterans he worked with on a daily basis,” Karen added.
Terri shared that her father outside of work was very athletic and competitive. “He did not like to be beaten in a game of pool. He and my husband would go to the basement and shoot pool for hours. If he got behind, he kept playing until he was on top,” said Terri. “He liked to be physically fit. He was very athletic,” she added.
After Bob retired from Mountain Home, he went to work at the Elizabethton Golf Course. A resident of Golf Course Acres, he almost always drove his golf cart to work, and was an avid golfer.
In high school, football was Bob’s sport, and he was the recipient of the Happy Valley High School All Watauga Conference Award.
Bob was also a big UT Vols fan.
In his spare time, he enjoyed reading and watching TV. “He loved old westerns. Probably, the Rifleman was his favorite TV shows. He grew up with many of the shows and knew the names of most of the stars in the westerns,” Terri shared.
She noted that “Lonesome Dove” was his favorite book and that he probably had read it a half dozen times. He also liked John Sanford books.
“He was interested in a lot of things, a very smart man,” said daughter Karen. “He had a great work ethic, was a wonderful dad. He instilled a strong work ethic in his kids as well.
“I remember when it snowed, he’d always call and all he would say is ‘Ground is white,’ and he would hang up,” said Karen.
Terri shared that her father enjoyed family celebrations – birthdays and holiday events. He also enjoyed enjoyed playing Gin Rummy and “often we would have gin rummy tournaments.”
In addition to Karen and Terri, Bob had a son, Bobby, three grandchildren and two great-granddaughters. He and his wife, Charlotte, were married 64 years.
Bob Hager was 89 years old when he died July 1. He was one of those people who excelled on most things he did and was a good husband and family man. He left an example of how to live not only to his children, but to his many friends and those he had worked with through the years. He believed in sticking to what you start – a good piece of advice for all of us.

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