Robert “Bob” H. Bone, a local businessman and entrepreneur, passed away peacefully surrounded by loved ones on August 25, 2023, after a long life well lived. Bob, a beloved husband, father, grandfather, and great-grandfather, was 93 years old.
Bob was born on July 24, 1930, to Ernest M. and Essie Mae Bone in Clarendon, Arkansas. His father’s untimely death just nine years later left his mother financially unable to care for their four young children on her own. Bob then went to live with family friends, Charles and Ora Lee Baker, at their farm in rural Arkansas. It was there that Bob learned what he affectionately referred to as his “survival skills.” Farm life taught him that in addition to all the hard work and effort it took to produce a crop for sale, a successful farmer must also be able to negotiate a fair price for both parties involved; a lesson that helped shape him into a smart, influential businessman and entrepreneur in later years.
While growing up on the Baker’s farm, Bob fell in love with the outdoors and became an avid hunter and fisherman. He was a natural marksman who quickly learned to aim and shoot a rifle with extreme accuracy, a skill that was publicly recognized after he enlisted in the Army at the age of 15. Although the Army eventually realized he wasn’t of age to join, Bob served long enough to earn the Top Marksmanship Award of his unit.
After leaving the Army, Bob returned to Arkansas where he took on a variety of odd jobs ranging from cooking and serving at the Elks Lodge and other clubs in Hot Springs, to cleaning horse stalls at the Oaklawn Park Racetrack. In typical “Bob Bone fashion”, he took his stint in the city’s restaurant industry to the next level, and by the time he reached his early 20s, he was the proud owner and operator of the Town and Country Café. But it was his time at Oaklawn Park that had a more lasting impact on Bob’s future endeavors as it sparked his passion for horse racing. He went on to become an owner and breeder of many thoroughbred horses which he raced around the country. To this day, two of Bob’s prized horses are spending their retirement years grazing the green pastures of the backyard.
Bob’s love for horses was rivaled only by his love for family. Bob married his sweetheart and lifetime soulmate, Ann Ewing, in 1952. Five years later, the young couple settled in Baton Rouge where Bob went to work for his uncle, W.H. Higgins, selling commercial refrigeration. He later eased into buying and selling commercial real estate where he found his greatest success.
Bob is survived by his beloved wife of 71 years, Ann Ewing Bone; daughter, Lydia “Diane” Campbell (Dennis); sons, Robert H. Bone, Jr., Alan E. Bone, and Steven D. Bone. He took great pride in his four grandsons, Brockwell Bone, Gregory Campbell (Harmoney), Robert “Bobby” Campbell (Kennon), and Colin Bone. He was always up for a “high five” with his three great-grandchildren, Makenzie, Kellan, and Cooper Campbell.
He was preceded in death by his parents; brothers, Ernie Bone (Marilyn); and sisters, Margaret Howard (Bob), and Peggy Harrington (Donald).
Bob’s final months were blessed with the unwavering support of an amazing team of caregivers. Special thanks to Betty and Sherry of Home Instead, and Consuelo, Jamie, and Melissa of St. Joseph Hospice.
Visitation will be held at Resthaven Funeral Home, 11817 Jefferson Highway, Baton Rouge, on Thursday, September 7, 2023, beginning at 9:00 AM until memorial service at 10:00 AM. Burial to follow at Resthaven Gardens of Memory.
Bob was a long-time member of Broadmoor United Methodist Church. In lieu of flowers, please consider a memorial donation to the Louisiana Methodist Children’s Home at PO Box 929, Ruston, LA, 71273.
Family and friends may sign the online guestbook or leave a personal note to the family at www.resthavenbatonrouge.com.