Wealth of Our Community

Robert Truman (Bob) Stout

by WT Cox

Bob Stout was a special person by every standard and he impacted everyone who knew him. Bob lived on family property in Ramseur where his father Penn operated Stout & Raines Plumbing for many years, and Bob followed in his footsteps. I grew up hearing about the exploits of Bob from his younger days from my Dad, those of fast cars, and a rambunctious lifestyle. But something happened to Bob later in life. Bob trusted Christ as his Savior and became a changed person. His testimony has been an inspiration to countless people who had the privilege of knowing him. Bob had a unique outlook on life. One that recognized the good quality that everyone possesses. He certainly had a way with words and many people, including myself, sought his advice about life or spiritual matters. Bob was a great teacher and someone who you just knew spoke from the heart. Bob spent many morning hours sitting in “his” chair at our hardware store telling stories and talking with locals who stopped in to chat. I used to love listening to Bob and my Dad reminisce about the days of their youth going up here in Ramseur. That space seems empty now when I remember the stories and laughter that emitted from “Bob’s corner” of our store.  He was a friend, a mentor, and more importantly someone who knew from experience how a Christ could change a person. Everyone loved Bob. It did not matter a person’s race, age or social status… all were the same in Bob’s eyes. Bob Stout is one of the reasons we have a wealthy community. The following article was submitted by his daughter Johanna:

On the morning of October 21, 2019, Kent Burgess and I were sitting in the front yard by the fire. My father, Bob Stout, had died earlier that morning and Kent and I were both shattered. We sat there, not saying much, just looking into the fire and I can’t remember which one of us said it but the phrase “the greatest legacy a person can leave behind is to be missed” was spoken. I have thought of this phrase just about every day since Bob died, cause, Lord knows, he is missed! Whenever a photo of Bob pops up on my or Kent’s or Cousin Pam’s Facebook memories and we share it, just about every comment is about how Bob is missed and how there will never be another one quite like him anymore. Now I know I’m prejudiced because he was my father, but I truly believe he was the greatest man that I have ever met and will probably ever meet. Over the years have thought about why I felt this way and I have come up with a few theories. First of all, he had the ability to draw people to him. This is no exaggeration, but there were some days that I would pull into the driveway and ended up parking in the field beside the house simply because there was nowhere else to park. The driveway was full of cars and the yard was full of folks sitting outside, talking, insulting one another and in general just sitting a spell and visiting. One day my daughter, Anna, looked outside at the yard full of people and said, “I hope I’m as popular as my 87 year old grandfather one day.” I told her, “Don’t count on it, I’ve hoped for the same thing my entire life and it hasn’t happened yet.” Bob was popular but it was a popularity based on his wit, always quick but never malicious, his sense of honor, for he was of the generation where his word was as good as a legal contract and his wisdom, which came from the number of years he had lived (all in Ramseur except for three years spent in Maine and Bermuda when he was in the Coast Guard-as he would say, the US was never invaded under his watch) and wisdom that came from his daily reading and study of the Bible. His favorite biblical passage was John 14:1-3 and daily he lived this passage. His heart was not troubled and he trusted in the Lord and did not worry. Bob always said that he was not worried about dying, he knew where he was going, and while I accept that he is in glory, I still miss him and probably will til the day I die. It’s hard to talk or write about Bob without tearing up, but at the same time I remember him with laughter and all the funny stories that he told and that were told on him. Just like Truvy said in Steel Magnolias, “Laughter through tears is my favorite emotion.” 

Miss you and love you Daddy

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