Mister Bobby", "Coach Gaddis", "Friend", "Buddy" and to me "Honey Bunny". For those who knew him, he was the life of the party, the smile that could be seen from afar, the beast on the field but the teddy bear in person. He was a big guy with a bigger heart that generated "the smile" that everyone remembered. He was quick and agile for his size; he took control of the dance floor and he never turned down a challenge for who had the best moves. Bobby loved music; Gospel and country but Motown was his favorite with Al Green at the top of the list. He would sit out on the porch with his "jam box" cranked up and sing as if he were on stage. Before long, he would get up and start dancing along the porch to the electric slide or just some random moves he made up but then his "bad knees" would guide him back to his chair where he would begin "drumming" on the arm of the chair and wave at anyone driving by.
Probably one of his favorite things to do was to go to the donut shop in town and sit with the "guys". He would greet all the customers with that huge smile and an encouraging greeting to have a blessed day. People have shared how they looked forward to seeing Bobby's smiling face as much as they did the coffee and donuts.
Bobby went from a mild-mannered easy-going guy to beast mode when it came to his daughter MaLeigha and granddaughter Jordan. These two were his little princesses' and he would have risked life and limb to protect them. MaLeigha was his "Baby Girl" and Jordan was his "Darling". He spent allot of time trying to show them what to look for in a man and would tell them, "Anyone that thinks they can date my girls will have to climb over the King James Bible, Smith & Wesson and then come through me"! And he never wavered from that stance. He told them he would be the first to date any guy that wanted to date one of them. This was one time when daddy/Grampsie wasn't joking. The girls would just laugh, and he would say, "You think I'm playing but I'm as serious as a heart attack".
Bobby loved playing sports and especially golf. He was so proud of all 5 of his grandsons who are outstanding athletes. He would always tell them that winning is awesome but it's how you play the game; "Play with heart and leave it all on the field" he would tell them. He loved keeping his yard up and he took great pride in keeping his vehicles clean which was not so easy out in the West Texas sandstorms. Bobby loved his Dallas Cowboys and his OU Sooners. He would sit and watch the game and would yell as if he were there coaching or refereeing. Bobby spent many years coaching and refereeing young people in Allen TX. It was so much a part of him someone gave him a yellow flag to have while watching games on TV so he could continue to be the "ref".
It was not just his smile or his loud boisterous laugh that was infectious, but it was his heart and love for people. Bobby never met a stranger. Everywhere he went he smiled and greeted people with a loud, "how are you today". People responded to his warmth and his genuine personality. He had a lovingly mischievous side too. He loved to say little things to get a reaction or get you a little frustrated and then he would bust out with that laugh and say "Aww, you know I love you". Bobby also had a few competitive bones in his body. If he was playing, he wanted to win and sometimes he might have to stack the "deck" in his favor a little. His grandkids learned quickly to watch Grampsie because while saying they were cheating; he might be distracting them just enough to get a look at his cards. They would call him out in a minute and sure enough, he would throw his head back, put that big smile on and say, "Would I do that"?? All of them in unison would say, "yes you would".
Over the years Bobby's knees started bothering him and it limited him to what physical activity he could do. Often, he would tell us about his aches and pains and when we would start teasing him, he would say, "Just keep Living". It became a saying through our family as Gramps would start talking all the kids would say, "We know, we know…Just keep living".
While Bobby was full of life to all who knew him, there was a place in his heart that was empty. No one would have known it by being around him and he was not aware of it for many years. As "happy go lucky" as Bobby was, he came to realize this life was not all there was. He learned of the one true God who loved the world so much that He sent His only Son to become a sacrifice for the sins of mankind. Bobby always thought of himself as a good man and thought that would get him to Heaven but then he heard the gospel and realized he was a sinner in need of a Savior and without Christ he was destined to spend eternity in hell. Bobby never got over the message of God's amazing grace and unmerited love, so he surrendered his life to Jesus Christ and he never looked back. He would tell anyone that would listen about how Christ had given him a heart transplant and had washed him clean with the blood of Calvary. Bobby was bold and proud of the message he proclaimed about the day he went from rags to riches, from sinner to saint, from death to life.
Bobby's last few days were hard on him as he began to have problems breathing and he became weak and tired. Bobby would say, "Can you pray with me" and we would pray together. He wanted to live as long as God could use him, but he was not afraid to die. Bobby longed for the days he would be able to walk and run and not give out. He knew this life would end and it would be the gateway to his eternal life with all the saints who had gone before him. His desire in life was that his family and his friends would follow him in surrender to the will of Jesus Christ. Bobby would talk about heaven and how sweet it would be. I can tell you with all certainty that if he could say one thing to us it would be to stop depending on your goodness and start depending on God's grace. He would always say there are two things that are sure, taxes and death and you can't avoid either of them. In life we have the opportunity to choose where we spend eternity and one of Bobby's favorite saying was, "Eternity is too long to be wrong".
Bobby will be missed; our lives here will never be the same. There is nothing that will fill the void in our hearts but there is peace that passes understanding and a living hope because we who are in Christ Jesus will see him again. Our family has received so much love, support and encouragement from those who knew Bobby. His handprint will forever be on our lives and as the song says, "I can only imagine what it will be like".
Matthew 7:24-27 Jesus says, "Anyone who listens to my teaching and follows it is wise, like a person who builds a house on solid rock. Though the rain comes in torrents and the floodwaters rise and the winds beat against that house, it will not collapse because it is built on bedrock. But anyone who hears my teaching and does not obey it is foolish, like a person who builds a house on sand. When the rains and floods come and the winds beat against that house, it will collapse with a mighty crash".
Bobby is survived by his wife Debbie of 47 years, his son Bobby, daughter-in-love Angela, their 5 beautiful children: Jordan, Isaiah, Caleb, Andrew and Asher. His daughter MaLeigha and her precious son Julian. Brothers Eugene and Bruce Gaddis, sisters Sharon and Tammy Gaddis and a host of nieces and nephews and other family members. He is also survived by a legacy of friends and extended family.
Bobby was preceded in death by his parents, Lee and Ruth Gaddis (Big Daddy & Big Mama), His brother Copeland, sister Fredna Douglas & husband RD, brother John Gaddis & wife Alice, brother Freddy Gaddis and wife Jurliene, Sister Rose Daniels and husband Zeb, daughter Kendra Miller and nephew Alvin Gaddis.
We give thanks to our Heavenly Father for the time we had with Grampsie. The Lord gives and the Lord takes away…Blessed be the Name of the Lord.
Bobby Ray Gaddis… He Lived, He Loved, He Laughed.
Bobby and Jason Gaddis will be laid to rest Tuesday, December 15th at Lake View Cemetery, 2343 County Road 486, Lavon Tx 75166.
The viewing will be at FBC Lavon on Monday, December 14th from 6-8PM. FBC Lavon is located at 205 Main Street, Lavon TX. 75166.
The funeral service will be held Tuesday, December 15th at FBC Lavon, 11:00 AM, located at 205 Main Street, Lavon TX. 75166.
The family is very aware of the serious nature of COVID because Bobby and Jason both tested positive for the virus. If you do plan to attend the viewing or the service in person, please be aware we will follow the mandatory guidelines and require masks and will practice social distancing. Because of these guidelines, seating will be limited but there will be overflow at the Assembly of God Church next door to FBC Lavon.
We have arranged for the funeral to be streamed live to allow friends and family to participate from the safety of their homes. To view the service via live stream, log on to FBCLavon or you can follow them on Facebook or YouTube. Their obituaries will be posted on the website of Charles Smith & Sons Funeral Home; texasfuneralhomeandcremation.com.
We thank you in advance for your adherence to these guidelines. One life is worth saving and we would rather be safe than sorry. God Bless,
Flowers can be sent to FBC Lavon and delivered on Monday, Dec. 15th or donations in honor of Bobby and Jason can be made to the benevolence fund at following:
FBC Lavon Texas
Northplace Church of Sachse Texas
Urban Alternative – Tony Evans
FBC Stanton Texas
Services entrusted to Charles W. Smith & Sons of Lavon, Texas.