Robert L. “Bob” Nearing – known by many as “Grandpa Bob” joined his Father in Heaven on Wednesday, March 2nd, 2022, at his home in Hampstead, NC surrounded by family that loved him dearly. He was 87 years old.
Bob was born in the Montmorenci/Highland area near Ridgway, Pennsylvania in 1934. He is preceded in death by parents Ira Lee Nearing and Grace Viola Oknefski Nearing; siblings Donna, Margaret, John Lee, Nancy, Regina, and Dail; and his late wife. Bob is survived by siblings Shirley, JoAnn, Francis, and Neal; one son and five daughters; 19 grandchildren, 16 great grandchildren, and 2 great great grandchildren. Bob is also survived by his current wife and “love of his life”, Nancy Nearing (of 12 years); her children Julie (Larry) Dininny (Hampstead, NC), Cheryl (Tim) Bair (Youngsville, PA), Kelly Dawn Chiodo (Leland, NC); 10 grandchildren, 17 great grandchildren, and 1 great great grandchild.
Bob grew up on the family farm in the Highland area near Ridgway, PA. He joined the U.S. Navy in 1952 and proudly served his country for 4 years, traveling across the world. He then began his 40-year career with the National Forest Service. While he worked as a Project Manager Supervisor, his crew was instrumental in the creation of the Kinzua Reservoir Recreation areas after the dam was constructed in the 1960s. Under Bob’s supervision the crew constructed buildings, roads, and campsites surrounding the Kinzua Reservoir. A well-known staple of their work is the walkways at Jake’s Rocks Recreation Area, overlooking the Kinzua Reservoir. If you knew Bob, you know this was where his heart was. He found so much gratitude in his work and never ran out of stories to tell.
Bob was a master craftsman / woodworker and an avid hunter and trapper. He loved teaching others about horses, farming, hunting, and operating heavy equipment – just to name a few. Bob often said he knew a little bit about a lot of things, and not a lot about anything. However, everyone else could see the true value in his knowledge, wisdom and experience.
In 2011 Bob and his wife Nancy retired to Hampstead, NC. Together they spent their summers in Sheffield, PA. Bob loved spending time with his grandkids telling stories. It seemed like he never told the same story twice, yet he had a story for every occasion. A favorite line of his, “sit down and tell me a story about long ago and far away,” seems to echo in our hearts. He spent countless hours turning wood in his workshop and took time to teach younger generations his craft. Bob was very involved with Renovation Church, Hampstead, NC and selflessly served the community, where he never met a stranger. He left a lasting impression on younger couples in the church that became acquainted with him.
Bob was the kindest, most caring, and generous man – to know him was to know the most genuine kind of love.
“I lift my eyes to the hills. From where does my help come? My help comes from the Lord, who made heaven and earth.” Psalm 121: 1-2 ESV
A memorial service will be held Saturday, March 26th at 10:00am 346 Knollwood Drive, Hampstead, NC 28443. The family requests any donations to be directed towards Lower Cape Fear LifeCare. https://lifecare.org/donate/
Please share memories and condolences with the family by clicking on the “Post a Condolence” tab below.
Wilmington Funeral & Cremation 1535 S. 41st St., Wilmington NC 28403