Robert Schuyler Boss, Jr., passed away on June 5, 2015. Bob was born to Robert and Maude Boss on June 13, 1930, grew up in and around Richmond, Va. Like many Depression-Era families, the Bosses had little money, but Bob was a go-getter. Having put himself through the University of Richmond, he went to work selling law books for Commerce Clearing House. He was a consummate salesman, likeable and persuasive; he could sell hop to a bullfrog. In 34 years he advanced from salesman to corporate Vice President of Sales, with an office in Chicago. He spent as little time there as possible. Too cold.
Bob loved the South and the hot sun. No power on earth could keep him inside when he might be running, golfing, swimming, cycling or tending his azaleas. He was a remarkable athlete, proud of his college football years, his bike trips to the beach, his hikes on the Appalachian Trail and, most especially, the five marathons he ran. He traveled to China, Europe, Australia, Hawaii and Canada, but his favorite trips were to Botswana, where his beloved sister Sally and her husband Paul introduced him to the beauty and wildlife (snake in the bed!) of southern Africa.
Bob’s curiosity was manifest in his myriad hobbies, each of which he pursued with passion: photography, wine collecting, boating, Bible study. He was also a wonderful dancer and a dapper dresser; in the ‘70s he wore with great panache an assortment of madras pants and sport coats in impossibly garish colors, visible to low-orbiting satellites.
A typical Saturday for Bob began with a trip to the Farmer’s Market for watermelon and sweet corn. He loved God, country, and a good tomato. He cheered for the Tar Heels, the Wahoos, the Spiders and any sports team his grandchildren played on. He was gregarious, competitive, proud of his accomplishments, yet somehow humble. He was the most positive, determined person any of us ever knew, and this attitude carried him through difficult years of declining health that would have crushed lesser souls. He loved his life.
After their marriage in 1958 Bob and his wife Marky (Margaret Jackson) settled in Raleigh, where they raised three children. Bob was a good husband to Marky and a loving and generous father to Melinda, Clay and Steven. He had enormous affection for his daughters-in-law Julia and Alex, his son-in-law Stewart, and Stewart’s children Kira, Amos and Emily—all of whom returned the feeling. He was devoted to his sisters Sally and Bobby and to his much-loved brother Irving. He was Uncle “Oakie” to Craig, Randy, Jodie, Sky and Bonnie; and he was Uncle Bob to Skeet, Cate, Bert, Greg and Jan. All adored him. He especially prized his grandchildren, Henry, Morgan, Rosie and Jackson, on whom he doted and who loved him fiercely.
A funeral will be held at 2:00 p.m. on Thursday, June 11 at North Raleigh United Methodist Church. Visitation to follow at the church. In lieu of flowers, the family asks that you consider a donation to the SPCA of Wake County. 200 Petfinder Ln. Raleigh, NC 27603.