PepsiCo has seen major drop in their stocks in the past 4 weeks, such that they called an emergency board meeting to discuss how they might recover from the loss of their principle buyer, Robert L. Jeffryes Sr. on April 7th, 2019. Reportedly his last request was, “Pepsi, please.”
Farmer Brothers’ tea has also seen a major drop in sales though the family has sworn to fill the gap.
Bob Jeffryes loved John Wayne and every movie he made. He probably financed the Wayne family’s last house with all his movie purchases. Here, Bob’s family has made no effort to pick up the slack.
Being a fighter extraordinaire, Bob never let a few broken bones or pain get in the way of his living life. A twenty-year battle with Parkinson’s never stopped his bowling, horseback riding, camping, golfing way of life. In fact, his last trail ride in Coal Basin was less than a year ago. Diabetes never stopped his afternoon ice cream soda, his late night bowl of ice cream, his morning cinnamon roll, or his midnight ice cream covered pie. (Did we say he liked ice cream?) Not even cancer slowed him until it suddenly took him.
Born on a farm in rural Genoa, Nebraska to the late James and Lillian Jeffryes, Bob learned to drive, hunt, farm, run horses, and fix things before he was ten. It was about that age he learned to appreciate pretty females (and not just fillies).
Bob's first love was Margaret ‘Peggy’ Thomazin, whom he married in 1952. He and his lovely bride bred like rabbits having 6 children, none of them twins, in just 6 1/2 years. No surprise. He could never resist a pretty lady. And he was quite dedicated to whatever he did.
He would later marry Patricia Cruse in 1967 (again, that pretty lady weakness.) Though they did not bear children, Bob 'stole’ into the hearts of many other children whom he mentored on bowling, horse riding/racing, hunting, honesty, dedication and of course...the art of a good "dad" joke.
But, if we are to be honest here (he would certainly expect no less of us), his real life-long partner of over 60 years was the USBC (United States Bowling Congress) with whom he dedicated 2 to 6 days every week right up to the end. He often said, "The only reason to miss a league night was a funeral, and it had better be your own" (What dedication!)
Bob could easily rival MacGyver, as he could repair anything with just some bailing wire, a pair of 'Vice-grips', one flat head and one Phillips head screwdriver and, after it was invented, duct tape. It often wasn't pretty but you can bet it worked. We find ourselves lucky the house on Iris has not burned down due to some of his ‘creative’ electrical adaptations. He made an extended fly swatter with a yardstick and a small piece of linoleum stapled to one end; he fixed his broken ribs himself with a little duct tape; started his old car with a Pepsi bottle. Whatever will we do without his ingenuity?
Mr. Fix-it Bob was always taking on projects. Don’t mention that you want to repair that door unless you’re willing to hear hammering the next morning at 7:04. Don’t mention a garden you plan to create or you will hear the sound of a tiller coming through your gate…within the hour.
There are many a doctor’s office personnel whispering a sigh of relief at the passing of Candy-man Bob. Though they will miss his friendly face and humor, the pounds from all the treats he brought were beginning to add up.
His off-the-cuff humor will be missed as well as his ability to quote a song or a poem for every situation. He loved poetry, his favorite poet being Baxter Black and his most oft quoted poem being “Anonymous End” by Black. That’s not to say he didn’t have his share of limericks to quote as well but few we would repeat here.
His occupation remains unclear; was he baker, a bowler, a cowboy, a teacher, a landscaper, card shark, pool shark, poet, comedian...? The list continues. His son, Robert, swears he was a baker, since he earned a paycheck at Continental Baking Company for 29 ½ years. Ah, but he was such a young man then. To his friends and his daughter Christine, he was all cowboy. To quote Christine,
“He told us stories of how, as a young boy, he worked Nebraska fields on horseback. In his adult life he raised, bred and ‘birthed’ his share of fillies and colts. He was a member of the Copper Cowboys; he barrel raced, rode in the Pony express races, and taught our children how to ride. He once told me that "You can't get good at horse ridin' until you've fallen off at least 100 times". I told him, ‘Then I'll never be good… (Despite what my lovely sister has to say about the Jeffryes, I am a chicken and like my bones in one piece).”
His bowling, horseback riding, general life students swear he was a teacher. Many a pretty lady believed he made his way as a poet, though meter was often just a passing fancy with him. Others claim he made his living on the dark web. We may never know his true occupation.
His awards included dozens of bowling trophies, championship belt buckles, and gymkhana ribbons and trophies. He had several poems published. Yet, he would tell you his greatest accomplishment was how his children turned out, both his own and those he took under his wing.
His memory was fast till the end (thank you, jigsaw puzzles) just as his mother’s was. He could describe in great detail the horses he trained and the rides he took, the trails in Coal Basin and the elk that he saw there, and might draw you a map of the area at the slightest request or even a mention or a curious look from another.
There is no doubt he lived a full life of numerous 'occupations' and hobbies, a huge family, and more friends than we can count. He loved life. He loved to laugh and tell jokes and stories (again, some of which we would not repeat) He was a passionate, honest, hard working, easily distracted but dedicated man.
One thing is for certain, Bob has made a mark on this world and will be forever remembered with laughter and love.
He was preceded in death by his parents, his brother James A. Jeffryes, his daughter, Debra K. Terwee and his wife Patricia E. Cruse. He is survived by his brother, Danny (Patricia) Jeffryes, and sisters Maryan (Gordon) Demarest, and Nilajean (Pete) Croonquist, the mother of his children Margaret E. Pinney, his son, Robert L. (Cheryl) Jeffryes, daughters BetteRose (Tony) Ryan, Belinda M. Grush, Michele R. (Kevin) Poague, Christine D. Lassiter, grandchildren Shannon, Bridget, J. D., David, Bobbie Mechelle, Matthew, James, 12 great-grandchildren and a slew of other relatives and friends.
Thank you, Bob, for making the effort to reach beyond the grave to help others and to fix things by donating your body to science and the study of Parkinson’s Disease.
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