Robert Bowles Mortimer
May 23, 1957 - June 19, 2019
Robert Bowles Mortimer Sr., 62, of Greenville, died Wednesday, June 19, 2019, at Delta Regional Medical Center in Greenville of heart and respiratory failure. This was a sudden and unexpected event, he fought hard throughout the night and was surrounded by his family until the end.
On May 23rd, 1957, the number one song on the radio was "All Shook Up" by Elvis Presley. Also on that day, Bob was born in Greenwood - Leflore Hospital, the third child of Gladstone Byrd Mortimer, Sr. and Thelma Kilpatrick Mortimer.
Bob grew up with the reddest hair on the block in Belzoni. He attended Humphreys Academy. He grew up farming cotton, beans, corn, and catfish with his father and brother at Mortimer Farms on Bellewood Plantation. Bob excelled as an athlete as a young man, he could run like a deer. He practiced Shotokan Karate, he fought in Karate tournaments in Mississippi, Tennessee, and Louisiana. As a late teen, he converted the garage in the back yard to a karate dojo. To impress the neighborhood audience, he would break 2 x 4's and center blocks with his hand and feet. Bob enjoyed every minute of being a volunteer fireman in Belzoni in his younger days.
After graduating high school he went on to Mississippi Delta Community College on a football scholarship. He loved playing for Coach Jim Randall. At 21 years old, after two weeks of spring training at Mississippi State University, Bob gave up college football and went into an intensive study in Mortuary Science.
In 1978, at the age of 22 years old, Bob purchased Bain-Berringer Funeral Home in Belzoni; and Mortimer Funeral was incorporated. In 1980, with Thelma's approval, he married Cindy Merchant and started a family of his own.
In 1982, Bob purchased National Funeral Home in Greenville and moved his family there. In the upcoming years, Bob would build his funeral business to 20 funeral homes, seven insurance companies, one crematory, one burial vault company, and eight cemeteries in Mississippi and Arkansas; becoming the 2nd largest family-owned funeral home business in the Southeast at his peak. Bob had many friends in the funeral business. After working for Bob, many funeral directors/embalmers have gone on to have their own successful funeral home businesses in Mississippi and Arkansas. Bob groomed his sons to become morticians and take over his businesses.
As an owner of a funeral home, getting away for a vacation is very hard, but he made sure he took his children on vacation at least once a year. Bob's favorite city was New Orleans, he could go there and get back to work, fairly quickly, in an emergency.
Bob was baptist by faith and a member of the First Baptist Church of Belzoni and Greenville; he was also a member of the Lion's Club of Belzoni, Elk's Club of Greenville
Bob was a man of great wisdom; he was giving, caring, and loving unconditionally. He was a "living room comedian", he loved to tell stories, and most of all, he loved to laugh.
Bob dedicated his life to his family and loved them with all of his heart. His love, wisdom, and legacy will live on threw his children for the years to come.
Part of every journey is the end, and everything is going to work out the way it is supposed to work out; life is a precious thing.
He is preceded in death by his parents, Gladstone Byrd Mortimer Sr. and Thelma Kilpatrick Mortimer; and granddaughter, Rosalie Marie Mortimer.
Survivors include his wife, Cindy Merchant Mortimer; son, Robert Bowles Mortimer Jr. (Lindsey) of Lake Village; son, John Arthur Mortimer II (Heather Stubbs) of Greenville; daughter, Andrea Kay Mortimer of Greenville; one brother, Gladstone Byrd "Tim" Mortimer Jr. of Belzoni; one sister, Melinda Mortimer Jones (Don) of Madison; one brother-in-law, William Paul "Buster" Merchant of New Albany; and four loving grandchildren, Evelyn Mateele Mortimer, Garrett Elijah Stevens, Odella Camille Mortimer, and Gladstone Byrd Mortimer II.
A visitation will be held Thursday, June 27, 2019, at Mortimer Funeral Home in Greenville.
Visitation will be at 1:00 PM Friday, June 28th, 2019 at the First Baptist Church of Belzoni, Mississippi; followed by the service at 2:00 PM, under the direction of Mortimer Funeral Home.
Entombment will be in Greenlawn Memorial Gardens, Greenville.
In lieu of flowers:
American Diabetes Association
200 Office Park Drive
Birmingham, AL 35223