Life Story / Obituary
Robert Ferguson Tabor, 84, known to family and friends as “Tony”, passed away July, 27, 2016, after battling Alzheimer’s for the last few years. He resided at Lakeshore Assisted Living in Grand Haven, MI, at the time of his death. Tony was the youngest of 5 children born to Grover and Blanche Tabor, on December 24, 1931, in Dott, WV. Upon graduating from Matoaka High School, class of ’49, he moved with his parents to Elizabethton, TN and started college at ETSU where he met Joanne Carrier, and a courtship began. The Korean War interrupted his courtship with Joanne and he honorably served his country 4 years with the Air Force. Soon after his return from service, Tony and Joanne were married, February, 1955, and he completed his education in logistics at the University of TN, 1957. Together they raised three sons. Tony coached sports and cheered his sons on in their pursuits. The home got especially rowdy during his sons wrestling careers with father/son matches in the family room. Over his career, Tony worked as a traffic manager for United States Gypsum (Atlanta, GA and Chicago, IL) and Samsonite (Murfreesboro, TN). He retired early to care for Joanne over a lengthy illness. Tony and Joanne remained very much in love until she passed away March, 1993. Tony was a heartbroken widower, when he met Patricia “Pat” Mabry Bowers, also widowed. They were married January, 1995 and had 15 wonderful and active years together living in Hendersonville, NC. Sadly, Pat passed away in December, 2010. Tony, was preceded in death by his sister, Rosala Tabor Brown, brother, Parker Tabor, brother, George Tabor and of course his dear wives, Joanne Carrier Tabor, and Patricia Bowers Tabor. Tony is survived by his sister, Mary Ann Tabor Cox, of Germantown, TN and three sons and 7 grandchildren, Joe (Holly) Tabor of Tuscon, AZ; Tim (Kathy) Tabor of Spring Lake, MI, and their children, Ann, Stephanie and Robert “Thomas”; Eric (Reagan) Tabor of Germantown, TN, and their children, Sondra, Eric, Jr., Samuel and Martha. Also, four step-children and 9 grandchildren, Richard (Donna) Bowers and their children, Garrison and Olivia; Elise (Robert) Bowers Bjork and their children, Robby, Carlton, Claire and Tori; Paul (John) Bowers Pinkerton and their children, Michael, James and David; and Jimmy (Jennifer) Bowers.
Tony was a devoted husband, father, and grandfather; he loved to read, to play bridge and to discuss religion and politics, turning many a family gathering into a spirited discussion; he enjoyed working in his yard and was an avid walker, walking many miles a day until the last few years. He loved giving wild horsey rides to young grandchildren and was always willing to participate in whatever crazy activities they wanted to do. We are especially thankful for the wonderful care and support he received at Lakeshore Assisted Living, during his final two years. He will be greatly missed by many, but we celebrate that he is home with the Lord. There will be a graveside memorial service October 29, 2016, 11:00 a.m., at Holston View Cemetery in Weber City, VA, where his remains will be buried next to Joanne Carrier Tabor.