Robert Joseph "Bob" Stephenson, 80, of Davidson, NC, passed away peacefully December 17, 2013 at his home surrounded by his loving family. Bob was born on March 1, 1933 in Johnston County, NC to the late Elbert and Novie Stephenson.
Bob attended Cleveland High School and graduated from NC State in 1955 with an undergraduate degree in education; he also studied industrial psychology in State's graduate program. In 1981, Bob received a masters of business administration from UNCC.
In 1956, Bob married Pamela Hartsell of Concord. He worked for Douglas Aircraft, UNIVAC, Ernst & Ernst, and then spent his last 30 years in the work force with Davidson College. Bob's various positions at Davidson enabled him to work directly with people, an opportunity he greatly treasured.
After retiring from Davidson College in 1996, Bob began working as a tour guide and game day employee, for the Carolina Panthers. This position afforded him the privilege of working with children, who adored "Mr. Bob". Bob also enjoyed exploring the wonderful world God created for us and meeting and helping people from other cultures, so he went on mission trips in Mexico, Honduras, and Zimbabwe and also participated in an archeological dig in Cyprus.
Bob was a leader in both the Davidson community and the Blue Ridge mountain community of Powder Horn where he and wife, Pam, have maintained a home since 1981. He was actively involved in the Davidson-Cornelius Daycare Center, Davidson College Presbyterian Church, Davidson Community Players, and the formation of The Pines in Davidson.
In both business and pleasure, Bob never met a stranger. He was a unique individual who took the time to get to know ordinary folks, learn about them, and show appreciation to them. He embraced Maya Angelou's philosophy that "..people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel". He used to say, "I look forward to each day. Each day is special, it's something God gives us, and it's what we make of it that determines what kind of day it is."
When his prostate cancer returned 4-1/2 years ago, Bob never once complained. He instead felt grateful for the opportunity to spend more time with his daughters and son when they took him to treatments in Charlotte. These special days would often include a meal and words of wisdom and gratitude from Bob.
Survivors include his college sweetheart, Pamela Hartsell Stephenson, daughters, Elise Shoe and husband Dwight "Hardy" of Huntersville and Leslie Matz and husband Chris of Huntersville, son, Robert Matthew "Matt" Stephenson and wife Stephanie of Davidson, and five grandchildren. Bob is also survived by his dear brother John Stephenson, numerous nieces, nephews, and cousins, and Bob's best friend, Ed Palmer. He was preceded in death by his parents as well as his third-born daughter, Martha.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Hospice & Palliative Care Lake Norman, 705 Griffith Street, Suite 203, Davidson, NC 28036 or to a charity of your choice.
The family would like to express special thanks to Dr. John Mahoney, nurse Lisa Hollada, and the staff at Carolinas Hematology Oncology Associates and heaven-sent hospice nurse Lindsay Mann and the other "angels on earth" at Lake Norman Hospice for their loving care of Bob.
A memorial service celebrating Bob's life will be held at 1:00 pm Saturday December 28 at Davidson College Presbyterian Church. A reception will follow. James Funeral Home of Huntersville is serving the family. www.jamesfuneral homeLKN.com