This is a true story about the life and times of Charles Robert Gilbert. “Bob” as he was known to his friends. He was born on September 3, 1946 to Tremaine Oscar and Geneva Gilbert in Waynesville, Missouri. Bob was named after the couple’s favorite chicken, “Charlie Bob.” (This is true, no one could make that up!)
Bob’s family moved to Phoenix, Arizona in 1948. As the youngest of three, he was sufficiently teased during childhood by his two older sisters, Jacqueline (Jacque) and Sharon (Sheree). The family lived in a home on the Roosevelt School District grounds, where his mother ran the cafeteria and his father was head of maintenance. Bob got his first job flipping burgers at the school district’s pool in the summertime at the ripe old age of 12.
Bob often told stories of the countless camping, hunting and fishing trips he took with his family during childhood. The Gilbert’s were true Arizonan weekend warriors with trips to Bartlett Lake, Roosevelt Lake, Payson and the rim country. Bob’s mom and dad taught him how to survive off of the land and also how to have fun and enjoy life.
Being funny was Bob’s “thing.” He loved to make people laugh with his off-colored jokes and famous “Bobism’s.” For instance, when he saw a pretty girl or heard an outrageous story, he would say, “I love America!” Or, when he was telling someone how good a meal was he would say, “Makes you wish you had a belly on your back so you could eat more!” He was always a character.
Bob was a man of many talents, and a jack of all trades. He worked odd jobs for the Roosevelt School District until he graduated from Phoenix College with his Associates Degree. After that he worked for the phone company in marketing, sales, installation and repair.
In 1980 he met his love Celia (Cecy) and their son, Matthew. Cecy and Bob were married in 1981, and their daughter Krista, was born in 1983. The family lived in Laveen, Arizona until 1993 when they moved north to Camp Verde, Arizona. Bob taught his children how to love, laugh, work hard and play hard. Bob provided a wonderful life for his family that was full of lake trips, hunting adventures and fishing expeditions.
Bob was often “generous to a fault.” He never let anyone go without, and he would give a stranger the shirt off of his back if necessary. In fact, many remember Bob as their first “boss.” He gave many young kids their first jobs whether it was washing trucks, raising worms at his worm farm, powder-coating metal at his shop or running phone lines for the telecommunications company he owned and operated for 24 years, Com-Con Corporation. He taught everyone that worked for him that “a job worth doing was a job worth doing right,” and that “can’t never could do anything.”
Bob became a papa in 2003 when his first grandchild Brady was born to his son, Matthew. In 2007, his daughter delivered his second grandchild, Blake. In the following years, Matthew would add three more grandsons to the collection, Brody, Bradley and Brawley. And in 2011, his granddaughter Chloe, was born. Bob was very proud of each of his grandchildren and he loved spending time with each of them.
Men like Bob are few and far between. His larger than life personality and his ability to make everyone around him smile and laugh will be greatly missed.
A memorial service will be held on July 8, 2017 at 10:00 am, at Parkside Community Church, 401 Camp Lincoln Rd, Camp Verde, AZ 86322. A potluck reception, complete with a “Bob Barbeque” will follow at 2098 S. Pearl Drive, Camp Verde, AZ 86322.
In lieu of flowers, please make a donation to your favorite charity in Bob’s name. Condolences may be conveyed at www.buelerfuneralhome.com.