The Obit For Bob Saulsberry

Robert E. Saulsberry
November 5, 2011

SHAWNEE, Okla. — Robert E. Saulsberry (Bob) passed away Nov. 3, 2011, at his home after a 10-month battle with leukemia (AML).
He was the son of Leola and Loyd Saulsberry, born Sept. 29, 1927, in Shawnee.

He is survived by his wife, Ruby Saulsberry, and two daughters, Jann Saulsberry of Mt. Juliet, Tenn., and Robyn and Tod Bush of Richardson, Texas, and their children Tyler, Lindsey, and Kati Bush.

He is also survived by his brother, Monti Jerrald (Jerry) Saulsberry of Broken Arrow, and Jerry’s wife, Lillie, and their three children, Jane Bishop, Jerrald Saulsberry, and Jeff Saulsberry.

During their marriage, Ruby’s children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren also become an important part of his family. They are Jerry and Sherill Ball, Terry and Kelli Ball and their children Carson and Chloe; Claud (Chuck) Dockrey, Barbara and Larry McLaughlin, Clint and Amanda McLaughlin, Rachel and John Hudson and their children, Emily, Aaron, and Luke, Dan and Mira McLaughlin, and their daughter, Linah; Marilyn Dockrey, Amber and Terrence Matthews, and Adrin Dockrey.

He was born at the Shawnee City Hospital. He attended Irving Elementary School and graduated from Shawnee High School in 1945 where he lettered in basketball. He grew up on his family’s acreage that included chickens, pigs, horses, a dairy cow or two and a full garden. One of his earliest recollections is going hunting with his father and brother – a favorite pastime that continued throughout his life. He attended First Christian Church in Shawnee and became a believer in Christ when he was 7 years old. He later attended First Baptist Church in Shawnee.

He had finished his freshman year at Oklahoma Baptist University when he joined up with the Army in 1946. He then served with the occupation forces in Korea. After his tour of duty, he returned home and continued his education at OBU pursuing a B.S. in mathematics.

He played outfield for the OBU Bison baseball team, where he caught the eye of professional baseball scouts and signed a contract with the Dallas Eagles to play professional baseball. In 1951, he was the leading all minor league hitter with an average of .420. He broke his ankle sliding into second base, causing him to miss six weeks of the season. Upon returning to the team he played the remainder of the season on a bad leg, his eventual batting average was .358 with 26 home runs in approximately 90 games.

In 1953, his baseball career was cut short due to knee and chest damage sustained in a car wreck. Unable to return to baseball, Bob went to work for Sylvania Electric. He worked at the Shawnee plant of Sylvania Electric for six years and then transferred to the Sylvania plant in Burlington, Iowa.

It was during this time in Iowa that Bob and his first wife, Thelma Saulsberry, adopted their first daughter, Jann. The family moved to Richardson, Texas, in 1964, Bob became an engineer for Texas Instruments in their Semi-Conductor division, and they adopted their second daughter, Robyn. He retired from Texas Instruments in January of 1990.

He married Ruby Bierly in 1985, and they enjoyed their 26 years together. Traveling with family, and plenty of hunting trips filled their years together, and they have enjoyed the wonderful friendships through the years with the “ex-Sylvanians.” They have been members at Preston Baptist Church for the last 20 years and enjoyed the friends and ministers who through this last year have faithfully walked with them through this challenging time.
Bob and his brother, Jerry, loved to hunt upland birds with their bird dogs. They hunted Oklahoma, New Mexico, South Dakota and up to Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan.

He was an avid fisherman and enjoyed fishing with his girls in the boundary waters of Minnesota and Canada and the cold waters of Alaska. He loved to play the game of golf and was proud of his hole in one at Twin Creeks Country Club on hole number two. He leaves a legacy of love for the outdoors and appreciation of God’s beautiful creation.

His visitation will be from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. with family present at 1 p.m. to greet guests Monday, Nov. 7, at Resthaven Funeral Home. His funeral service will begin at 2 p.m., with the casket to remain closed, Monday, Nov. 7, at Resthaven Funeral Home Chapel with burial to follow at Resthaven Memorial Park.