PAWLEYS ISLAND—Robert Allen McNeese, 68, passed away May 25 in Georgetown after a brief illness.
Bob, as he was known best by his family and broad circle of friends, was born June 11, 1950, to Bill and Ruth McNeese at their home on a tobacco farm in Bracken County, Kentucky.
He was raised in a family of five brothers and a sister, the second born son. He attended and graduated from Bracken County High School, well known for his love of automobiles, motorcycles, meticulous attention to detail, and respected for his hard work.
Bob served in the U.S. Army with a tour of combat duty in Vietnam in 1970-71, as part of an helicopter assault unit in the Central Highlands region near the border of North Vietnam. He earned numerous medals for his service.
After discharge, Bob enrolled in the University of Kentucky, working his way through school while studying mechanical engineering. He earned a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering in 1980. He went on to build a career in the construction industry in Lexington and later worked designing construction plans in South Carolina.
In 1982, Bob married the love of his life, Debra Jones from Louisville, Kentucky, a marriage that lasted 36 years.
From this union, Haley Jean McNeese was born. Haley was Bob’s little girl and whenever a picture was taken of the two of them together, Bob’s smile was bright and happy for his daughter. Haley was the pride of his life and was most proud when he had the pleasure witnessing Haley receive her degree from Clemson University this spring.
In 2005, Bob, Debra and Haley left Lexington to live in Pawleys Island. Bob and Debra loved the beach and golf, spending these years carving out a good life with new friends — plus old ones from Kentucky and other parts — opening their home to everyone.
Bob loved to cook, and so the kitchen and grill became his domain. His golf clubs were always ready for a round and those who played with him understood how much he loved the game.
Bob McNeese made everyone feel better about themselves and was a man whose friendship was to be cherished. His life can be measured and admired by how he lived, the example he set for his family and daughter, and how close he was to his friends. Loyalty to his family and friends was instinctive and second nature.
He was a man who was direct in his conversation, plain spoken, and incredibly honest. Ask his opinion and you would get one, but always an honest thought.
In addition to his wife and daughter, Bob is survived by his mother Ruth; sister Barbara of Lexington; brothers Billy (Sally) of Columbus, Ohio, Barry (Connie) of Cynthiana, Kentucky, Benny (Darlene)of Lexington, Kentucky, and Brian (Sharon)of Mt. Sterling, Kentucky, along with numerous nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by father William and brother, Brent (Georgette).
A memorial service was held May 29 at All Saints Church.