Robert Warren Appleton

January 28, 1944 - March 26, 2021
Robert Warren Appleton


Robert “Bob” Warren Appleton passed away on March 26, 2021 at the age of 77 in Wilmington, NC at the Lower Cape Fear Life Care.

He was born on January 28, 1944 in Nashville, TN to the late Jere Thornton Appleton and Emily Taylor Appleton. Bob was predeceased by his brother Jerry T. Appleton.

Bob attended Vanderbilt University for two years and graduated from Belmont University in 1966 with a degree in Business Administration. He then went on to receive an MBA from the University of Memphis. Bob began his teaching career in the fall of 1967 at Wilmington College in the Business Department which later became the Cameron School of Business at the University of North Carolina-Wilmington. He continued to teach in the Department of Accountancy and Business Law in the Cameron School of Business until his retirement as an Associate Professor in 2014. Bob was a true Seahawk fan and attended most of the basketball games and tournaments. One of Bob’s greatest gifts was his sense of humor and the joy of laughter he gave everyone around him! Bob had a great love for music. He played the banjo, guitar, trumpet and sang. Bob sang with the Cape Fear Chordsmen Barbershop group from 1988-2017. Bob was the lead singer in several barbershop quartets the last one being Station One.

Bob is survived by his wife Shearon Appleton; son Robin Appleton and wife Sasha of Belmont, NC and their children Emily, Amara and Josh; his step-daughter Jill Prescott and husband Damian of Wilmington, NC and their children Avery and Vance; his sisters Barbara Paulson of Washington, DC and Susan Howell of Baton Rouge, LA. Bob was a loving husband, father and “Pop” to his grandchildren.

The family would like to thank the entire staff at the Lower Cape Fear Life Care for the excellent care they provided.

Memorial donations in honor of Bob’s memory may be made to the American Heart Association at www.heart.org or the Lower Cape Fear LifeCare at lifecare.org

Due to Covid restrictions, we will have a celebration of life at a later date. Please make sure to have your favorite story ready to share so we can all celebrate Bob together!

Share memories and condolence with the family by clicking on the “Condolence” tab.

Wilmington Funeral & Cremation 1535 S. 41st Street, Wilmington, NC 28403 910-791-9099.


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  • April 01, 2021
    John Brooks says:
    Shearon, I have many fond memories of dealing with Bob with his insurance needs. He was always pleasant, jovial, and it was simply a pleasure to be in his presence. He truly touched many lives and he left this world as a better place. My sincere condolences.

  • March 30, 2021
    Vince Howe says:
    You could never chat with Bob without smiling. Greatest stories ever especially the ones he was in...we will miss him.

  • March 31, 2021
    Louis Smith says:
    We are so sorry for your loss Shearon. Our prayers go out to you and your family. My memories bring me back to 1971 when I had Bob or Mr. Appleton as my Cost Accounting teacher at UNCW. He was serious about subject matter but also made us laugh. He once gave us an exam and tested us on material that we hadn’t covered yet. When asked why he did that afterwards he said he wanted to see what we would do with the uncovered material. We liked him so much we named our Intramural basketball team after him “stump jumpers” but never mentioned it because he would not have liked our nickname for him “stump”, all in good fun. I later got to know Bob as an adult and appreciated our friendship. We often spoke of my former classmates and how they were doing. Patricia and I so enjoyed sharing time with you Shearon and Bob at UNCW functions and Seahawk games and travels. May God bless you and your family and our fond memories warm your hearts!

  • March 31, 2021
    Ron Copley says:
    Shearon and family, I am deeply saddened to hear of Bob's passing. He was truly a bright light to anyone who ever had the pleasure of meeting him. I throughly enjoyed Bob's company whenever given the opportunity. We shared so many jokes, laughs, and stories of all kinds. One of my favorite memories is visiting Bob in his office, which was on an adjoining hall at the Business School. Bob told me one of his favorite jokes and we laughed for a solid 3-4 minutes. Bob had a great sense of humor and an infectious smile. Although I hadn't seen him lately, he continued to come to my mind for one reason or another. I will miss him. My sincere condolences to you, Shearon, and the family. May he rest in peace.

  • March 31, 2021
    Woody and Mary Ann Hall says:
    Bob was a good friend and colleague. I will always remember the trips to football games at NC State and the fishing trip that Bob and Roger took me on shortly after I joined the UNCW faculty. Mary Ann and I send our prayers to the Appleton family..