So blessed to deliver the eulogy for a great patriot. Big thanks to the Scoggins family for sharing their father, brother, grandfather, friend with me. 💕
First, let me just state – out loud – how honored and humbled I am to be here today. I feel quite blessed to be among the many loved ones of a beloved man who I believe had been put on this earth with one simple goal in mind:
TO MAKE THIS WORLD A BETTER PLACE … for YOU and for ME!
So let me begin HERE.
I was meant to meet Robert Scoggins.
You see, he and I have much in common. We love our country, we enjoy serving the citizens of our community, and we are committed to doing whatever it takes to make the world a better place. While some of you are nodding your heads in agreement that this is the Robert Scoggins you know and dearly love, I can attest that such is the case based on my limited interactions with him.
I had the pleasure of meeting Robert Scoggins at a veteran’s event. Frankly, I can’t recall the event because the two of us attended many: Veterans Day events, Gold Star Mothers celebrations, Memorial Day parades, county fairs, among others. I would spot him in an instance. There he was with his white shirt and bright gold tie, his navy cover adorned with American Legion 492 and HONOR GUARD insignia. A smile a mile wide and a gentleman by every definition of the word was before me: chivalrous, courteous, and honorable. Without fail, he would greet me with such genuine kindness, always including my name along with an intentional – "It’s nice to see you, How are you doing, Lori?" ❤
Did he ever bring out the best in others … in me! SO let me share what comes to mind when I think of Bob Scoggins…
When I think of Bob I can’t help but think of a man with an exemplary work ethic
Whether enjoying a hobby or working like one from his times worked – HARD and with every bit of energy and motivation one gives – Bob took pride in all he did and for those things he worked so hard, whether a meticulous lawn or shiny vehicles. He even joked that he would mow the lawn every 72 hours whether it needed it or not!
I can only imagine how Heaven’s grounds will look now…
When I think of Bob, I think of one proud patriot whose love for his country was ever so apparent in all he did during and after his time of service.
March along, sing our song, with the Army of the free.
Count the brave, count the true, who have fought to victory.
We're the Army and proud of our name.
We're the Army and proudly proclaim.
Bob proudly served his country as a soldier in the United States Army beginning June 1955, and honorably discharged in June 1958 (Vietnam War).
He continued serving as a member of the American Legion Post #492. Recently he shared with his grandson, Jordan, that one of his best days was participating in the Honor Flight and casting his eyes on good ole Ole Glory, a sight that made him misty-eyed. I can only imagine.
I’m crediting Bob’s daughter for this beautiful story that I get to share: He had a group of friends I will soon mention, but one in particular is featured in this story and the theme emphasizes the importance of relationships.
At the conclusion of Bob’s military stint, he was at a processing facility in Germany, awaiting transportation orders to return home when he heard a familiar voice. It was that of his lifelong best friend from the Kane Connection, Benny Abbott.
(nearly 5000 miles)
The two of them were on the same ship back to the United States. They stayed up for days, yes – even ignoring their cleaning assignments - to catch up as best buddies do. No doubt that buddy Benny was first to greet him as he arrived at the pearly gates of Heaven. ❤
When I think about Bob, I think about the importance of family and friends…
Tennessee Williams describes the value of excellent friends: “Life is partly what we make it, and partly what it is made by the friends we choose.” No doubt, Bob chose his friends well, creating the most beautiful memories with Benny and Monie Abbott, visiting battlefields and chatting about history about which he had extensive knowledge. “And if his girls failed to remember a certain General or a detail pertaining to that historical moment, he would give them “the look.” I think we are all well-versed in THAT LOOK?
And he had lots of friends, some of whom included those from his Kane Connection - Carol, Ann, Margie, Joann, Barbara, and Darlene, his American Legion Honor Guard comrades, and no doubt I could go on and on. With such a big and genuine heart, countless friendships are longstanding – and Bob made many along his earthly journey.
"Life is beautiful. It's about giving. It's about family." I think Walt Disney pegged the Scoggins way of life. Living a most beautiful life in a giving sort of way with family close. Daughters and Son-in-law Lisa, Mark, and Angela; Siblings and Sister-in-law Roberta, Ruth, Roy & Roma, & Sandra; And his most precious grandchildren and step grandson: Jordan & Leah, Paige & Eric, Reahn & Zach, and Bryan; And those sweet little ones who affectionally refer to Great grandpa as PaBob: Landon, Cora, Cade, Elliot, and that sweet lil’ blessing on her way in March.
I would be extremely remiss if I failed to mention the love of his life: Jeris. 53 years of marriage. 53 years before her passing in 2012. A lifetime of beautiful memories made and shared, which is what keeps all memories alive. After 53 years they are joined together once again.
When I think of Bob, I do indeed think of the Greatest Generation
Momentous Changes – Work Ethic – Frugality – Sacrifice & Honor
I reflected for a bit on the many life transitions that occurred in Bob’s lifetime. Times have certainly changed. When Bob was born, one could purchase items at a much lower rate:
But let me go back to …THE LAST LIVING MALE FROM HIS CLASS AT KANE SCHOOL.
I’m always saddened when I hear the words…The LAST, as it signifies the end of something. I think I share the belief that I’m not ready for the last of Bob’s kind, the last of the gentleman, the last of the courageous, the last of the committed, the last of the diligent, the last of the honorable, the last of the American hero ~ the last of the Greatest Generation.
And because of the example set by Robert Scoggins, there never has to be a last, as all of you, his beautiful family and friends, will continue his legacy in the manner he modeled and taught – every day of his life.
I can’t help but echo my earlier words. I believe with all my heart that Bob had been put on this earth with one simple goal in mind:
TO MAKE THIS WORLD A BETTER PLACE – for YOU and for ME.
I would say he achieved the goals God intended for him, for the life of Robert Scoggins remains the most amazing gift with which we have all been blessed. ❤❤❤