2016-04-28 / Obituaries

Bobby Joe Center

Graveside services for Bobby Joe Center, 89, will be held at 11am, Tuesday April 26 in Chandler Memorial Cemetery, Chandler, under the direction of Chandler Memorial Funeral Home.

Bob was born January 19, 1927 in Gilmer, to the late James Earnest and Nancy Lucinda (Meecom) Center and passed away April 21.

He graduated from New London High School in 1946 and from Tyler Commercial College. He married Martha Rebecca Thompson of Chandler in 1954. He and “Becky” were residents of Tyler for 54 years. By occupation, he was a clerk-telegrapher for the Cotton Belt Rail Road and then worked for over 26 years in aircraft electronics at Tyler’s Pounds Field Airport. Before retirement, Bob became a petroleum landman working in over 20 counties all across Texas.

Unknown to many, Bob was an unpublished writer. He wrote about his upbringing in East Texas in “Mama Was A Scorpio” and wrote a satire “All For Naught”. He will be remembered by his family for his guitar playing and the songs he wrote including “Give Me One More Kiss” and “Drinking Tequila” performed by Jim Reeves; “Geronimo” performed by Tony Douglas and “Flea Brain” performed by Gene Vincent. He is recognized with many others on the Rare Rockabilly website in an article titled “Bob Center, the Unknown Rocker from Tyler”.

Bob and Becky were married for 55 years before her death in 2009. The couple made their home in Tyler, living their entire married lives in the same house purchased soon after they were married. He has lived with his daughter, Rosemary and her husband, Ross, in San Saba, since December of 2008.

Bob is preceded in death by his wife and infant daughter Lisa Diana, his step brother and sister Douglas Matthews and Marjorie Lile. He leaves his daughter, Rosemary and son-in-law Ross John Cox of San Saba; two grandsons, Ross John Jr. and Joseph William; and great grandchildren Christopher, Sabella, Hunter and Aleigha, along with many other loving relatives including several cousins, nieces and nephews.

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