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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  • April 01, 2021
    Paula Greene says:
    Shearon and family, my deepest sympathies to each of you. Shearon, we all got to know each other as fellow employees at UNCW. Bob, ALWAYS had a smile when we would see each other and our shared love of music was truly bonding. Cherish your special memories and know that I will as well. I'm so thanking that my path crossed with this wonderful and loving person. Psalm 121

  • April 01, 2021
    Michael Hash says:
    To the family of Bob Appleton. Bob and I were classmates at West End High School. After West we took separate paths and did not meet again until our 50th class reunion in 2012. As I read other tributes here it is clear that the boy with a great smile, good nature, and easy friend remained the same throughout his life. When we met a few years back I thought how little Bob had changed and how all those qualities that made him so popular at West were completely intact. I can easily imagine what a gifted teacher and mentor he must have been to many. I was very sad to learn of his passing and want to extend my deepest sympathy to his wife and family.

  • April 02, 2021
    Bradley Bruestle says:
    Dear Appleton Family, Please accept my deepest condolences for Bob"s passing. He left an indelible mark on my life as well as many of his students and colleagues over the years. His smile was contagious and his kindness was second to none. May he rest in eternal peace. Sincerely, Brad Bruestle

  • April 06, 2021
    Pamela S. Evers says:
    My deepest sympathies to Bob's family. Bob was a wonderful mentor and friend to me when I was his colleague in the Accounting Dept at UNCW. I always knew I could trust his advice and always loved his kindness and sense of humor. He was a favorite of UNCW students and colleagues and he will be missed. Thank you to his family for sharing him with us.

  • April 10, 2021
    Dick and Margo Engdahl says:
    Dear Shearon and Robin, we are so sad for your loss and will always hold Bob dear in our hearts.