Robert Mills Eggleston


Robert Mills Eggleston passed away on Friday, August 2, 2019, at Pecan Tree Rehab and Healthcare. He was under hospice care after suffering an accident at his home. He was 86.
Robert was born March 27, 1933, to Holland and Ruby Eggleston. Robert was a graduate from Gainesville High School in 1950 and was Musical Director of Gainesville's famed circus. He earned a Bachelor's degree in Physics from Rice University in 1954. After College Robert served in the Army and joined Melpar (military electronics firm). In 1963 he joined IBM as Senior Marketing Manager for all new business in Dallas and East Texas. In 1976 he joined a distribution business and worked for C.E. services until retiring in 1992.
Robert married Shirley Ann Nicholson in 1956. Robert's career involved lots of travel to different places in California, Irving and Houston Texas, as well as Nebraska. He and Shirley moved back home to Gainesville to settle down and retire.
Retirement did not mean slowing down for Robert. He performed rural addressing for Cooke county and served on the Cooke County Appraisal District Board for many years. Also Robert had a passion for the Republican Party. Bob served as Chairman for the Cooke County Republican Committee and also as Vice Chairman for several others in the Party because he always wanted "to make a difference". During his 20 - 25 years with the Group they referred to him as the "glue" that held them together. When he left that position his friends in the Party had many wonderful, glowing things to say about him.
Robert (also called Bob or Egg) was one of a kind. He loved life and lived it fully every day. He was a sports fan of the Dallas Cowboys and the Texas Rangers, but Bob enjoyed all sports. You could call and no matter if it was an NFL game or a Little League World Series baseball game, he could tell you all about the game. Politics, sports and friends kept Bob busy. He had nicknames for everyone and a big smile to greet them every time he saw them.
Robert is preceded in death by his parents, Holland and Ruby Eggleston, and his wife Shirley Ann Eggleston.
He is survived by his brother-in-law, John Nicholson and his wife Joann, and cousins, Bill and Paula Beck and Jon Eggleston. Robert is also remembered fondly by his numerous friends who shared love, laughter and Bob's friendship over the years. He will be missed by so many.
Robert has chosen to be cremated and there will be no service.
RIP dear friend.
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Published on August 9, 2019
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4 posts

Aug 11, 2019
Egg was always learning new things, and made an exceptional effort to help others. A good man. He made a difference in Gainesville. Egg, that was a job well done.
I was fortunate to have you as a member of Class 1950 and all those good years.
Monica Lamb
Aug 10, 2019
What a hole is left is so many lives with Bob’s passing. He did so much for me and my family personally - but it was just his nature to help and do for others . . .so much for so many. A life well lived. I am beyond blessed to have crossed paths with such a man.
Steve Key
Aug 09, 2019
Godspeed Egg.
Andy Hogue
Aug 09, 2019
Robert Eggleston. Just Bob, "Egg," or at times the Machiavelli of Cooke County.

An obituary can tell you a lot: even about someone you knew well. It summarizes the entire book of someone's life. As a few examples: I was aware he played the calliope for the Gainesville Community Circus in its heyday but I didn't know he directed the entire band -- it's perhaps poetic that he ended up directing the circus of county party machinations. I had no idea he even went to Rice, but it's appropriate being the wise owl that he was for so many of us. I heard much about his adventures on the ARB but nothing of IBM.

Bob was a mentor for sure, but to me he was more of a friendly agitator. I was a headstro kid in community college with no specific career direction but tons of questions which I know agitated him, too. Reading through his life events, I see that it's probably because we were so different. He had an engineer's mind, and I was majoring in art and journalism. I regularly nursed wild theories and was skeptical of authority, and he was battle-tested and skeptical of young idiots like me. He was not particularly religious and I never shut up about Jesus. I suffered fools, he showed them no quarter. He was easy to get laughs out of for most others, but for my attempts at humor he'd often roll his eyes or shake his head. We were a little closer when I came back to Gainesville to write for the Daily Register, but I would always be "Jimmy Olsen" no matter what. In the back of mind I sometimes still ask myself if Bob would approve or shake his head.

Yet he was also kind enough to give me a ride to my first GOP convention and surprised me by paying my hotel room bill. Add this to the countless, unexpected good deeds behind the scenes he performed for so many.

Bob never sought out the limelight, though he often became the man of the hour. He celebrated life to its fullest and always had a smile, even for the fools in our midst. He added a touch of class in bringing musical talent to our Republican fundraisers (often paying for the bands out of his own pocket) and took full advantage of his role as the patron by dancing with all the girls. He sent off many of us in style, including a celebrity roast for my former editor at the Register. So of course WE don't get to send him off! No, that would be missing the point according to the Book of Bob. We should be so honored to be in its pages.
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