Modesty with a Splash of Humor
A large section of the restaurant was filled with people awaiting the arrival of the “surprise” guest, Bob Shears. The occasion was the celebration of Bob’s 84th birthday, arranged by his step-daughter, Carol Turner. Carol’s devotion to her “step-dad” is obvious by such acts and by the frequent visits she makes to Kirby Pines to visit him.
Each year in June, fathers and grandfathers are honored on a special Sunday. Many men become step-fathers and are successful in being good role models for the children and grandchildren involved. Such is the case of Bob Shears.
At the age of 18, Bob married Charlene Winsett. She had a son whom Bob adopted. Bob and Charlene had one child who died at birth. They were married for 23 years until Charlene’s death.
In 1975, Bob married Sue Treadway and became the step-dad to Carol and her brother, Richard Treadway. Bob and Sue had 43 years together before Sue died from complications of dementia. Bob was Sue’s caregiver 24/7 as long as he could care for her. From his marriage to Sue, Bob has two grandchildren and five great-grandchildren who affectionately call him “Papa Bob”.
A native Memphian, Bob was the only child born to Elsie and Jack Shears. His parents divorced when Bob was quite young. Despite this, Bob says he had a happy childhood. He had a wonderful grandmother who was a great influence on his life. After Bob was grown, his mother Elsie married Franklin “Dutch” Schroer. Bob remains good friends with his step-dad who is now 95.
In 1952, Bob graduated from Humes High along with, soon to be famous, Elvis Presley. Bob and Elvis remained friends for many years. During high school and following graduation, Bob served in the U.S. Air Force Reserve for a total of eight years. During this time he attended the University of Tennessee and Memphis State University. His first job was auditor for a major department store. Because his job involved travel, Bob made the decision to enter the credit union industry.
In 1997, Bob retired with 28 years of executive experience in various credit unions in Memphis. Those credit unions were for International Harvester, First South Financial Federal (formerly the Navy Base), and The Commercial Appeal. In addition, Bob served as President of the Memphis Chapter of Credit Unions and President of the Tennessee Credit Union Society.
Bob moved to Kirby Pines in May, 2018. His step-father, “Dutch” Schroer, a member of the Discovery Club, had a great influence on Bob’s decision. Previously, Bob lived in a spacious lake-front home in Snow Lake Shores, Mississippi, an incorporated community with approximately 300 homes. When Bob and Sue retired in 1997, they were already living “the good life” there, on “the most beautiful lake in Northern Mississippi. Both Bob and Sue loved to travel and they traveled the world, seeing much of it from the 40 cruises they enjoyed. They were active members of Ashland Methodist Church. Bob continues there and serves as Chairman of Finance and also the Board of Trustees.
After living at Snow Lake Shores for 22 years, Bob decided his experience and leadership skills were needed to make Snow Lake Shores a better place so in 1997, he ran for Mayor and was elected. As Mayor, Bob established a police department and a court system. Through grants, he upgraded the voluntary fire department by having 50 fire hydrants installed as well as replacing the outdated water system. However, after four years, Bob decided to get out of politics but did remain on the Planning Committee.
Bob Shears loves dancing, card games (BEWARE, he is a card shark) and the occasional meal at Tunica with his step-father, Dutch. His love of dancing began at the age of seven when his mother who also loved dancing, took Bob to dances with her. His job was to dance with the ladies who had no partners. Since moving to Kirby Pines, Bob has been responsible for the revival of ballroom dancing. Due to his efforts, a larger group of residents are able to meet twice a week to learn and/or sharpen their dancing skills.
Bob says he enjoys living at Kirby Pines although he misses his former friends, pontoon boat, cat Charlie and all the outdoor activities he enjoyed at Snow Lake Shores. The things he enjoys most about living at Kirby Pines are the number of good friends he has made and the many activities available. “There is always something to do” says Bob. Certainly, he has quickly involved himself in the activities at Kirby. His friendly smile, gentlemanly manner, experience and willingness to help others have made him a “go-to” person. He is truly an asset to our Kirby Pines family.
Thanks to all who are fathers, grandfathers and step-fathers, for your influence and guidance and for making families complete. For those of us who had wonderful fathers, we are thankful for the memories.
Written by Joan Dodson, Resident