The Blue Streak is going to take a break this week as we at Moxley Carmichael mourn the sudden death on Saturday of our beloved colleague, Bob Wilson.
Bob, our digital media manager, worked at Moxley Carmichael for five years. He was a wiz at what he did. He worked with almost all our clients, advising them on social media strategies and applications and helping build great websites for them. You may know him from his frequent guest appearances on local TV shows, especially on WBIR-TV, Channel 10, and on Fox 43. In fact, he was scheduled to appear on Mornings with Fox 43 today.
We will miss the skills Bob brought to our company. But more than that, we will miss Bob himself. Bob was an even-keeled, gentle guy who had true interest in people and a knack for making them feel good. He wanted to be sure everyone felt welcomed. Maria Cornelius noticed this when she joined Moxley Carmichael last year. Bob encouraged her and went out of his way every day to talk to her about one of her passions — sports. The interns loved Bob because he would check on them too, offering to bring them lunch if they were tied up on some big project during the noon break.
Bob was a coffee addict. He drank the stuff all day. The fact that the kitchen is at the opposite end of our office from where Bob’s office was gave him a great opportunity to check in with other team members all through the day as he trudged to the kitchen for refills.
Bob had an unusual approach to problem solving and it took some getting used to. Presented with a new assignment, Bob first talked about how difficult the job was going to be and why this and that solution was not going to work. Finally, after a good amount of tossing up and then shooting down various ideas, he would seize on the right approach and solve the problem. Once we figured out that this was just his method of coming to the right answer, we enjoyed watching him do it. Our creative director, Charley Sexton, perhaps the person here who was closest to Bob, does a hilarious imitation of Bob solving a problem.
It seems appropriate that I first met Bob on Twitter. It was 2008 and Bob was working for KUB at the time. He adopted the Twitter handle “@BobinMotion” because he had decided to look for a new job, one where he could make more use of his creative and social media talents. I was an avid Twitter user then and I started following Bob.
I found him to be smart and funny. Back then, when there weren’t so many people on Twitter, we used to have “Tweet-ups” — meetings, generally in bars and restaurants, where Twitter users could meet each other IRL (in real life). Bob and I met at several of these events and really liked each other. Moxley Carmichael decided to add a social media position to our staff, and Bob seemed like the perfect fit. It was one of the best hires I’ve ever made!
Bob was a devoted family man. He truly lit up when he talked about his vivacious wife, Angie, and his beautiful and athletic daughter, Grace, who is now a freshman in high school. Our hearts and prayers are with them in this awful, sad time.
At Moxley Carmichael today, there is a big empty spot. We appreciate the many condolences we have received. But nothing can stop us getting choked up when one of us turns to ask Bob to solve a computer problem or offer an opinion. It hits us like a punch in the gut to realize he is no longer here – and won’t be tomorrow.
Bob liked country music, so I will paraphrase a Carrie Underwood song: We will see you again, friend.
(Click here for a link to that great song.)
UPDATE: Services for Bob have been set. The family will receive friends from 1 to 4 p.m. Saturday at Central Baptist Church Fountain City, 5364 N. Broadway. A memorial will begin at 4 p.m., followed by graveside services at Lynnhurst Cemetery.
UPDATE: A college fund for Bob’s daughter, Grace, has been established at First Tennessee Bank. Make checks payable to Grace Wilson. In the memo line, write “College Fund.” Mail to: First Tennessee, Attn: Pam Cockrum, P.O. Box 280, Knoxville, TN 37901. You may also go to any First Tennessee branch and say you want to make a donation to the Grace Wilson College Fund.
UPDATE: A tribute to Bob on Fox 43. Click here.
UPDATE: A tribute to Bob on WBIR. Click here.
UPDATE: News Sentinel story on Bob’s death. Click here.
My heart is broken. I loved him — what a gentle, kind man. I loved working with him — the MoxCar “Answer man.” I did have to laugh about the coffee addiction. Never saw anything like it! We will all miss him. Thanks for this lovely tribute, Cyn.
Wonderful individual, family, and friend. Will be missed by all. Great description capturing the essence of Bob.
Thank you, Ellen. Very sad day at MoxCar.
Thank you, Tim. He was one of the good ones.
Thank you for this post, Cynthia. I will miss seeing Bob “bee bop” around Market Square, stopping to give me a huge smile, and pop up on my Twitter feed. Thank you for the memories you’ve captured in your description of Bob. My thoughts and prayers are with Angie, his family, and his Moxley Carmichael family. He will truly be missed.
Beautifully written, Cynthia. We at WBIR and Mornings with Fox43 are thinking of all of you at Moxley Carmichael and of his family. He was a lovely person to be around, laugh with and of course talk with about all things social media. He will be missed by so many in our community.
Gone too soon. Sad for all of you. Especially sad for the little girl who called him Daddy and the wife who shared “the other half” title with him.
Such a great post and lovely tribute! Definitely hard to think of the MoxCar family without him.
I was an intern at Moxley Carmichael in my senior year of college, and Bob was always such a friendly face and warm personality in the office. Once I graduated and moved to Chicago for my first job, he followed up with me on social media a few times to see how I was doing in the workforce and to give me positive updates from Moxley.
I am very sad to hear of his passing. He was a great man.
A beautiful reflection. Bob was a great friend and co-worker, and his passing is such a shock. My heart breaks for the entire MoxCar team, and especially for Angie and Grace. You captured him so well, Cynthia, in words, and in pictures, and in cookies! He will be sadly missed!
When Lauren mournfully shared your heart-wrenching loss with our family, she referred to Bob first as FRIEND and second — as coworker. It’s evident from the impact that Bob Wilson had on so many lives that he was the kind of man that others felt blessed & privileged to count among their special friendships. Our hearts & prayers go out to his wife and daughter … and to all those who loved & appreciated him & his many talents.
You have done him, and all of us, a great service with this posting. Losing someone so young creates more questions than it is possible to answer, and it is so hard knowing that so many close to you are grieving also. God needed him more than we do. RIP Bob.
I am so saddened by this news and offer prayers and condolences in spades. I only met Bob briefly but he seemed and sounds like he was a great guy.
I started at Moxley Carmichael last September, and Bob was so patient and encouraging as I learned new procedures and web tasks. And always so funny. Very bright and sharp mind, too. We started nearly every morning talking about sports, usually Tennessee. The office today was in mourning. That speaks to how much he was loved.
Thank you for lovely tribute. I worked with Bob at KUB (as his manager); he was a wonderful co-worker. He kept us entertained and was always a pleasure to be around. Even after his departure, we stayed in touch via social media and often met up in the Miller’s Building elevator (prior to my retirement). He was a good friend and kept me up to date on his beloved Angie and Grace. He will be missed by so many of us. Bob, goodbye dear friend.
A beautifully written, heartfelt tribute. You are so right: There is no replacement for a person of his talent and demeanor. He was loved by many, and you have shown your return love through this blog.
Perfect post, Cynthia. Perfect.
Thank you so much to everyone. Your comments are a great comfort to us.
What a perfect tribute, Cynthia. Today was an awful day at the office. I saw Bob’s face every place I looked today. Always with a great big smile. My heart breaks for Angie and Grace…All of us at MoxCar. He will be sorely missed.
Thanks, Shaun. I agree with everything you said. Only person in history of MoxCar to pass away. And had to be one of the nicest.
I am so sorry to hear about Bob. During my time as an intern, he was the sweetest, gentlest, kindest guy. I never saw him in a bad mood. This is incredibly shocking. My thoughts and prayers go out to his family, friends and of course the MoxCar team. So, so sad.
Thank you, Heather. You were a great intern!
Great tribute to an amazing man. Bob was a friend with an amazing sense of humor, but also a very dedicated family man. My heart breaks for Angie and Grace. Thank you for sharing your perspective on Bob.
Somewhere Bob is having a large coffee, if not a Mai Tai or some bourbon.
Prayers continue for Grace, Angie and all of their friends and family.
So sad to hear about Bob…way too soon.
A wonderfully written piece. Bob was a great friend and we will all miss him dearly. Thank you for your kind words. The world needs more people like Bob Wilson.
This is incredibly sad news. Please know that our thoughts and prayers are with Bob’s family and with everyone at Moxley Carmichael.
I was shocked to hear of his passing. Thanks for dedicating space in his memory.
Great post, Cynthia. I’m going to miss him. I’m so glad I got spend time with him at Amanda’s wedding and also last Wednesday when I dropped Natalie off at work. We always had good conversation that seemed to always end in a humorous way. I will miss that. Keeping you all at MC and his family in my prayers.
Thanks so much for the sweet tributes to Bob. He was one of a kind.
Very fitting tribute to a very nice man.
What a sweet tribute. Like you, I met Bob in Motion during those early days of Twitter & Tweet-Ups. He was always so much fun & so kind–just a super nice guy. I am so sorry for the loss you are all feeling. My heart goes out to all of you & to Angie & Grace & the rest of Bob’s family & friends.
Those were fun days, weren’t they, Gay? I don’t think Twitter is as much fun anymore.
It was great to have Bob around the office to tell us what the new and upcoming social media platforms would be and to troubleshoot. I can’t tell you how many co-workers I’ve called in the past two days and opened the conversation with, “Normally, I would ask Bob this, but . . .”
Cynthia, thank you for the kind support you’ve given to Angie and Grace during this difficult time. I’m sure Bob was a great employee, but I guarantee you he was an even better friend. Always a smile and never a negative thing to say. Had the honor of hangnig out with him, as we watched our girls grow up together. He will be greatly missed……
Joe: I know you and Bob were great friends. Since he knew that I also knew you from my days as a reporter, he often let me know about things you all were doing. He’s lucky to have had a friend like you.
Mox, be sure to keep us posted about the college fund for Grace.
Hey, Ellen: I just updated this post with the info on the college fund. Here it is: Make checks payable to Grace Wilson. In the memo space, put “College Fund.” Mail to: First Tennessee; Attn: Pam Cockrum; P.O. Box 280; Knoxville, TN 37901. You also can go to any First Tennessee branch and say you want to make a donation to the Grace Wilson College Fund.
I only knew Bob after I had left Moxley’s employment, but I always found him to be a positive, up-beat sort of guy who inspired others with his sunny personality. Yes, we will all miss him!
Such a beautiful tribute! He was Bobby to me, a childhood friend, we were friends through high school and through Facebook stayed connected. I will never forget that smile or that gentle spirit. Here’s to you Bobby! Go rest with the Angels my sweet friend!
What a wonderful way to remember Bob! He was a fantastic member of your team, and thus– a member of our Cherokee PR team. I am blessed by all that I learned from him when he worked on our account. Thank you for sharing this tribute. All are in my prayers for comfort and Bob is in my prayers for celebration as he explores heaven. He certainly left his mark here on earth.
Thanks again, everybody, for your sweet remarks. Mary Ellen: He loved working on your account. It was one of the fun ones for him!
I only had the privilege of knowing Bob for a short-time, but in that short-time it was obvious that he was a good man. If we had a problem with our website, he fixed it immediately and if I had made a silly mistake or couldn’t find something that was right in front of me, he always made me feel better by making me laugh. My heart breaks for his wife and daughter. I pray they feel God’s arms around them, comforting them as only He can. And I pray for his co-workers and friends at Moxley. I know they will miss him tremendously. Bob will be missed by so many.
Thank you, Sandra. He had a great personality. He often helped me fix silly mistakes I had made — without making me feel stupid!
Did not know Bob other than meeting him with Charley. Co-workers become friends and then true family. So sorry for your guys’ loss…. I still haven’t totally resolved loss of KSO Director of Development Margaret Ferguson in a car accident on way to KSO fundraiser… these losses don’t go away easily. ‘Gone too soon’ Wishing Moxley Carmichael family peace and rest.
Thanks, Jim. Bob and Charley were close as co-workers and as friends, so it has been really hard on Charley. We just had a grief counselor in to talk with all of us and I think it really helped. We learned that grief is a process — one without a real timeline, as you have found out through losing Margaret suddenly as you did. We will help each other and hopefully make it through.
I speak for everyone who grew up with Bobby on Hoff Lane when I say we have heavy hearts today. I simply can’t say enough good things about Bobby. He was one of the nicest people I have ever met. Having moved away from Knoxville many years ago, I recently reconnected with Bob on social media. I will tell you he was very proud of his wife and daughter, and I was happy to learn that he still had that great sense of humor and love for sports. I can still remember those late night basketball games we played as kids at his parents house. He was a friend to everyone who knew him and simply one of the finest young men I have ever met. He will be missed but never forgotten. I pray that God will comfort his family and friends too (because he had that kind of an impact) during this difficult time.
Thank you so much for posting that message, Steve. I love thinking about Bob as a youngster. He sure did turn out to be a fine man and great friend and team member.
I was so shocked to hear of Bob’s sudden passing. I enjoyed his kindness and sense of humor. I have had a lot of clients over my 25 years of photography but all the folks at Moxley seem more like friends and family. I know there is a deep hole in everyones heart as well as my own but I feel the best we can do is honor his kindness and love of life and try and heal this hole with his fond memories and his positive spirit in our ongoing life. I send my deepest sympathy to his wife Angie and daughter Grace.
This is a great tribute, Cynthia. Thank you for sharing. Bob was a terrific husband to Angie, father to Grace and friend to many in our community. A favorite memory of mine is seeing the entire family at the Fantasy of Trees gala each year…Bob was always smiling and seemed to have such a great time as the holidays kicked off!
So sad and shocked to hear that Bobby has passed away. I think it is important how friends/peers/and people in general remember us from our past, such as during our school years and this guy certainly had nothing to worry about in that department….He truly was one of the ones that you remember as a “sweetheart.” When you find out someone you really liked as a person, someone who always spoke or waved to you, someone who was always so nice to you, and someone who never failed to give you a smile has left this world, it is hurtful. I pray for especially his wife, Angie, and daughter, Grace…..and of course anyone else affected by the loss of Bobby. It really affects all of us because it does remind us how quickly we can be taken and that we may not have tomorrow, regardless of age. God Bless them all and we can rest assured that God definitely has a sweet, kind new angel with an ever-present friendly smile… and his name is Bobby.
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