Robert Warren Appleton

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

Memorial Gifts & Donations

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 or the Lower Cape Fear LifeCare at

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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  • March 31, 2021
    Mary Thomson says:
    Bob was a great teacher and an even better friend. Our paths didn't cross all that often in recent years but we always had a warm and engaging conversation when we did see each other.

  • March 31, 2021
    Tracie Chadwick says:
    Bob was one of the nicest men I ever met. He always had a smile on his face when I saw him. My sincerest condolences to Shearon, his children, grandchildren and siblings. May God comfort you during this difficult time.

  • March 31, 2021
    Tammy Hunt says:
    James and I send prayers and all good wishes to the Appleton family. As others have said, Bob was noted for his laughter, mentoring and caring for students, love of family, and lots of singing. I'll never forget my classroom serenade from Bob and his Cape Fear Chordsmen quartet in Cameron Hall! Memories include Bob helping in planning the Eastwood Village Christmas parties (or any parties), always present cheering for Seahawk sports teams, and always ready to share a story, song or joke. He will be missed.

  • March 31, 2021
    Randy and Ann Hanson says:
    So sad to hear the news about Bob. The world is sadder and quieter today without Bob in it. Such a great friend---such a fun friend. Bob made life fun, one of the happiest persons I have ever met. Bob was the first person I met in Wilmington 30 years ago when he picked me up at the airport to interview at UNCW. As soon as you met Bob you knew you had a friend for the rest of your life. Such a wonderful man. It makes me smile to think of Bob at basketball games here or up in Richmond for the conference tournament or singing in the quartet. Sympathies and prayers to you Shearon and everyone in the Appleton family.

  • March 30, 2021
    Charles Appleton says:
    RIP, Bob. The fun days of playing together as cousins along Music Row in Nashville and atop Sand Mountain and Round Mountain in Alabama are over, but not forgotten. Jesus went ahead of you to prepare a new place for you. He was a carpenter and He's been working on it for 2000 years, so it must be some kind of mansion. I know you will enjoy it and reuniting with Uncle J, Aunt Emma and Jerry. Hope to see you later pal.