Robert “Bob” Farpella, Sr, passed peacefully into the arms of his loving Father yesterday. Bob is survived by his devoted wife, Lois; his children Robert Jr, Curtis, Ronald, Tammy and Rhonda, and their mother Louise Crabtree; many grandchildren, great grandchildren, and great, great grandchildren; many nieces, nephews and great nieces and nephews; along with stepchildren Dawn, Dorothy and Wayne, and their families. He was predeceased by his parents, Joseph and Mary Hampton Farpella, his ten siblings and daughter Becky.
Bob never met a stranger. Whether it was in Walmart, Hardees or just passing someone on the street, Bob had a smile, a joke, or a prayer for everyone. He loved all he met, and they loved him. Known as Cowboy Bob to many for his ever-present hat and boots, he was first and foremost a dedicated Christian who shared his faith and prayers with everyone. As a greeter at Oasis Church, Bob enjoyed spending time with all who entered, and enjoyed the hugs and laughter he gave and received.
Bob was born in California; “right down on the Mexican border” as he liked to say. He grew up farming with his father and siblings and had many stories to tell about those times. His children and grandchildren have memories of helping their dad with the animals – “processing” chickens, feeding pigs, and milking cows and goats. In addition to fruits and vegetables he grew flowers, too, and loved his roses. While farming was what Bob loved the most, to support his family he worked for the states of California and Arizona in the highway departments and in Oklahoma for the power company.
After Bob and Lois married, they hit the roads driving truck carrying explosives across the United States. They enjoyed those adventures until they found their place in the Arizona high desert. There Bob loved nothing more than working with his animals, gardens, and orchard. They made wonderful friends in Concho and were valued members of the community. Bob drove the school bus and loved all the children. He and Lois became “foster grandparents” to so many children, welcoming them to their farm, feeding them, teaching them about the animals, and driving them to church. He enjoyed that for twenty years until, due to his declining health, they moved to Virginia. Once in Virginia they settled in and became fixtures in the community – attending Oasis Church; lunching with their friends at Dogwood Café; as members of the Clifford Ruritan Club, where Bob especially enjoyed serving as an “ambassador” for the yearly Sorghum Festival; and, before COVID, joining friends for senior lunches at the Madison Heights Community Center and at Emmanuel Baptist Church.
The family would like to thank Bob’s team at Centra Hospice – Lynchburg for their care and support these last months. They would also like to thank their friends at Oasis Church and Bob’s good friends Ernie and Curtis for the continued visits, prayers and love shown during this time. The visits and calls from family these last weeks brought so much happiness to Bob. He loved you all and was so grateful for your love in return.
A celebration of Bob’s life will take place at 3 pm, Sunday, October 1, 2023, at the Clifford Ruritan Club pavilion. That address is 755 Fletchers Level Rd, Amherst, VA 24521.
Tharp Funeral Home & Crematory, Madison Heights, is assisting the family.