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Bob N. “Bobby” Mast, cherished husband, father, grandfather, great-grandfather, brother, uncle, friend and unsurpassed storyteller, died peacefully as he slept in the early morning hours of January 22, 2018.
Before retiring that evening, he was able to enjoy a favorite, rare treat of ice cream (although not chocolate), surrounded by his loving family. He is survived by his wife, Betty Mast of Carlsbad, NM; daughters: Debbi McSpadden and husband, Kevin of Gilbert, Arizona and Pam Sullivan and husband, Larry of Abilene, Texas; grandchildren: Kristen Summers, Kari Madore and husband, Josh, Kendra Paris and husband, Joel and Kristopher Sullivan; great-grandson, Julien Paris; sister, Jeanne Cacciatore of Pueblo, Colorado and several nieces and nephews.
Bobby was born to Bessie and Arthur Oscar Mast on March 25, 1927 in Columbus, Kansas. He grew up in La Junta, Colorado with his two siblings–older sister Jeanne and younger brother Dickie. By all accounts, including his own, he was a bit of a rebel and a mischief-maker in his younger years.
In 1944, Bobby answered the call to serve his country and joined the Navy, serving on the USS Intrepid in the Pacific as a Fireman First Class. He lost many of his shipmates in battles at sea, and for the rest of his life he continued to respect and honor the brave men and women who put their lives in harm’s way.
Bob had one true love, his wife Betty, his “love at first sight” angel. For over 70 years they shared joys, heartaches and the simplicity of everyday life. They raised three children, son Donnie and daughters Debbi and Pam. Another daughter, Patricia, died in infancy. The home they created was so stable, warm and inviting that it became the second home for many of the children’s friends who Bob and Betty treated as their own.
Bob spent his entire professsional career working for the Santa Fe Railway in various office roles, retiring in 1985 after 37 years’ service. Retirement dreams were cut short in 1986 when he suffered a subarachnoid hemorrhage stroke. Although that devastating medical event greatly compromised his ability to enjoy an active lifestyle, he remained a source of courage, strength, inspiration and unconditional love for his family. He was the playful and witty Papa Bob to his four grandchildren, Kristen, Kendra, Kari and Kristopher, and great-grandson Julien. He leaves each of them a legacy of love, faith, perseverance, gratitude, patience and humor.
Although his mind remained sharp, after almost 91 years, his heart failed him in the end. For the last time, the family gathered to hear his stories and fill his room with love and memories of a life well-lived. The family would like to thank Dr. Huneycutt and the exceptional nurses and staff in ICU at Carlsbad Medical Center for their compassion and quality of care.
Bob was our rock and our goodwill ambassador. There are some who bring a light so great to the world that even after they have gone, the light remains. That light will continue to lift us up as our memories sustain us.
Visitation will be 4:00 PM - 6:00 PM, Thursday, January 25, 2018 at Denton-Wood Funeral Home. Funeral services are scheduled for Friday, January 26, 2018, 10:00 AM, at Denton-Wood Funeral Home Chapel with Larry Sullivan and Pastor David W. Rogers officiating. Interment will follow in Carlsbad Cemetery, Carlsbad, New Mexico. Carlsbad Veterans Honor Guard will provide military honors. Denton-Wood Funeral Home is in charge of the arrangements.
Condolences may be expressed at dentonwood.com