MYRTLE BEACH—Robert Ellis Howser, born May 27, 1945, in Charlotte, North Carolina, and known to those who loved him as “Big Bob,” rode off into the sunset on Aug. 16.

Son of Philip and Frances, husband of 31 years to Tara, father of Merrie, Chuck, Kevin and Lisa, grandfather of 13 and great-grandfather of eight, Big Bob cast a long shadow that provided protective shade to the many family and friends he helped step into the sun.

A standout athlete in his youth, Big Bob was a two-sport star at East Mecklenburg High School, where he set numerous North Carolina high school football records and played in the Shrine Bowl before signing with the Minnesota Twins. Following his time in MLB, where he earned an ALCS championship ring with the 1968 Twins, Big Bob enrolled at the University of Chattanooga and played football for the Mocs, a fitting union between one of the few “outlaw” schools who would sign a former pro athlete and a young man blazing his own path.

Following graduation, Big Bob set out on a career in business that would lead him to Myrtle Beach and, ultimately, Howser’s Home Center, the family-owned business he and his son Chuck have run for the past two decades.

You could learn a lot of what to do from Big Bob, and a lot of what not to do. If you knew him, you’re smiling right now because you know that’s true, and because you know you’re better for it. Maybe he told you to call someone on Christmas no matter how estranged the relationship. Maybe he gave you a few bucks when you were down and out. Maybe he chewed you out for something not entirely deserved. Maybe he told you not to make the same mistakes he did. Ultimately, you came to learn that his bark was bigger than his bite, and his heart was bigger than than both.

“When I die, remember that what you knew of me is with you always. What is buried is only the shell of what was. Do not regret the shell, but remember the man. Remember the father.” - Louis Lamour

A funeral service was held at First United Methodist Church of Myrtle Beach on Aug. 19.

McMillan-Small Funeral Home, was in charge of arrangements.

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