Robert Lee (Bob) Hickenbottom passed away March 28, 2020, from complications due to Alzheimer’s and kidney disease. He was 89 years old.
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Bob was born to Aubrey and Bernice Hickenbottom at home on December 19, 1930, at their farm in Harrison, Arkansas. He was so small that they had to use a shoebox for his cradle. He attended school in Harrison. Bob worked on the farm and often drove cars for his father, who was a county judge and also owned a car lot. As a freshmen, because of his driving experience and his height, he was allowed to drive the freshmen basketball team to their games all over the conference.
After graduating high school, Bob attended Arkansas State University before marrying Birdie June Bell. Their two children, Janet and Jerry, were born in Harrison. The family later moved to Joplin. Bob and Jerry spent much of their spare time together fishing, hunting, and going on float trips.
Bob worked his way up in the construction business, operating heavy equipment building highways all over Southwest Missouri. Eventually, he moved to Springfield and was promoted to vice president of Masters & Jackson Paving Co. and Bridges & Co. Construction. He often spoke fondly of having widened Hwy 65 to four lanes from Springfield to Ozark.
In 1983, Bob married Jeanette (Jan) Cavender Fox. They traveled all over the entire United States, visiting nearly every national park. They retired to Ozark, Missouri, where Bob enjoyed baking, as well as building furniture, beautiful picture frames, and jewelry boxes out in his shop for the entire extended family. He also kept the whole family supplied with venison.
Jan died in 1998. Bob kept busy going to his grandchildren’s numerous sports and academic activities. He was famous for bringing homemade cinnamon rolls and jerky to all of his granddaughter Arlyn’s volleyball games. His pies and pancakes were also much loved.
Bob was also the person everyone in the family called when they needed help moving or if anything “needed fixing.” He fixed dozens of plumbing and electrical problems over the years, and “drove the trailer” during dozens of moves. Bob also enjoyed going to area coffee shops with his neighbors and friends six days a week for nearly 20 years. He worked hundreds of crossword puzzles and read hundreds of books.
Bob was preceded in death by his parents and both his wives. He is survived by his older sister, Imogene Stapleton; his son, Jerry (Cyndy), and his daughter, Janet; his step-daughters Carol Wagner (David), Karen Haraldson (Mark Donovan), and Glenna Hinde (Rusty); eight grandchildren, one great-granddaughter, and numerous nieces, nephews, and friends.
Bob’s funny stories, jokes, friendliness (he had friends all over the country) and unfailing willingness to help will be greatly missed by all who knew him.
In memory of Bob, memorial contributions may be given to the Alzheimer’s Association in care of the mortuary.
Arrangements are under the care and direction of Mason-Woodard Mortuary and Crematory.